HC Deb 30 April 1959 vol 604 c1460
43. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will remove the import duty on foreign raw goatskins.

Sir D. Eccles

No, Sir. On 16th March an application for the removal of this duty was rejected in order to preserve the Commonwealth preference.

Mr. Holt

Does not the President of the Board of Trade agree that it is unreasonable to keep this duty on if supplies from the Commonwealth have in fact gone to other countries and are not now available to this country? Why, therefore, will he not agree to remove this duty so that the industry can buy its raw material at less cost from some other source?

Sir D. Eccles

The preference margin is of importance to the Commonwealth and it is in fact guaranteed to India, Pakistan and South Africa. We cannot break these guarantees without expecting to pay something very large in exchange, and I do not think it would be a good policy to do so.