HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc589-90
41. Mr. N. Pannell

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies under what international treaties or agreements the Colonies of the Gold Coast and Nigeria are still prevented from according preferential treatment to imports from the United Kingdom; and whether he will seek to abrogate these agreements in the interests of inter-Commonwealth trade.

The Minister of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. John Hare)

In addition to the Anglo-Dutch Convention of 1871, which applies to the Gold Coast, the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which applies to the Gold Coast and Nigeria, prevent the granting by those territories of any new preferences. In reply to the second part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the Government's statement of policy on the General Agreement contained in Cmd. 9413, which was laid before this House in April, 1955.

Mr. Pannell

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the other parties to these agreements are strictly observing them and, in particular, that the French Colonies in the area concerned allow the importation of British goods without discrimination?

Mr. Hare

I am satisfied that other parties are observing the agreements, but, if my hon. Friend has any examples to the contrary, I shall be glad to be made aware of them.