HC Deb 26 January 1956 vol 548 cc347-8
19. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Government of Denmark concerning the proposed tariff on the import into Denmark of British textile goods; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Most of the Danish textile duties were bound under the G.A.T.T. in 1949 in the form of the then existing specific duties with permitted ad valorem alternatives. The latter are about equivalent to the prewar incidence of the specific duties. A change to these alternative duties, which is what is proposed, would be within Denmark's international obligations, and there is no ground on which Her Majesty's Government could base representations.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that although this is quite legal it may be very damaging to the interests of this country? Is he quite satisfied that this proposed action by Denmark has no connection with the proposal of Her Majesty's Government to place a tariff on Danish bacon?

Mr. Thorneycroft

No, Sir. I do not think there is any connection between the two.

Mrs. Castle

Has the right hon. Gentleman been consulted about the discussions now going on with the Danes over the imposition of a tariff on Danish bacon? If so, what representations has he made to his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food against these proposals?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The Government stand as one upon these matters.