HC Deb 22 October 1953 vol 518 cc2139-40
29. Sir T. Moore

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he is taking in regard to the revision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

If my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind the request for a waiver from the rule of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade against the increase of margins of preference, I would refer him to the reply given today to my hon. and gallant Friends the Members for Angus, South (Captain Duncan) and for Norfolk, Central (Brigadier Medlicott).

As regards the wider question of a general review of the Agreement, the contracting parties have decided to fix 15th October, 1954, provisionally as the date for a session at which to review the Agreement.

Sir T. Moore

Now that Australia has given a lead in this matter, might we assume that we are knocking at a sympathetically open door when asking my right hon. Friend to do everything he can to have this burden removed?

Mrs. Castle

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that if he gets his waiver and increases horticultural tariffs he will at once abolish the quota system which at present gives a high level of protection to British horticulture?

Mr. Thorneycroft

This Question refers to the general review, but I have already said that the purpose of getting freedom to make moderate adjustments in tariffs is to free the way for the removal of the quota restrictions.