HC Deb 01 December 1953 vol 521 cc942-3
34. Mr. Grimond

asked the President of the Board of Trade what information he has on the extent to which British ex ports, particularly of locomotives, have been adversely affected by exports from Western Germany competing with the aid of a Government subsidy.

35. Mr. Fienburgh

asked the President of the Board of Trade what evidence he has that the West German Government are directly or indirectly subsidising the export of capital goods in competition with this country; and what steps he proposes to take in the matter.

Mr. Amory

I have no evidence that the export of capital goods, including locomotives, is directly subsidised by the Government of Western Germany, but all German exporters receive some benefit from the remission of a proportion of their tax payments. Her Majesty's Government have taken a lead in international efforts to eliminate export incentives of this kind which amount to indirect subsidies.

Mr. Grimond

Does not this remission amount in fact to a subsidy and, if so, is it in accordance with the international obligations of Germany?

Mr. Amory

We are taking up through the various agencies the question of the discontinuation of all export subsidies by Government.

Mr. Fienburgh

Is the Minister further aware that credit terms offered to various German manufacturers are such as to appear to be disguised subsidies? Will he also look into that matter?

Mr. Amory

We are looking into that matter too, but though the question of credit available may have some influence on these lost orders, price is the main reason.