HC Deb 02 December 1958 vol 596 c1009
21. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards imperial preference.

Mr. J. Rodgers

I would refer the hon. Member to the Report on the Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference at Montreal, which was presented to Parliament as Cmnd. Paper No. 539 in October last.

Mr. Holt

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the President of the Board of Trade, answering a Question put to him by the hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Green) on 25th November in relation to the recent New Zealand-United Kingdom agreement, said that the reduction in preferences would enable New Zealand to reduce her domestic costs? Do I understand that it is now accepted by the Government that imperial preferences increase domestic costs, even United Kingdom domestic costs?

Mr. Rodgers

Later today there will be a debate on Commonwealth trade, and it would be more appropriate to follow that up in debate rather than at Question Time.