HC Deb 17 February 1959 vol 600 cc174-5
9. Mr. Oram

asked the President of the Board of Trade who is to represent the United Kingdom on the group of governmental experts which the Thirteenth Session of the Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade decided to set up to study restrictive business practices in international trade; and what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government in this matter.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Invitations to Governments to nominate representatives to serve on the group of experts have not yet been issued. We would examine any proposal which might emerge from the experts' studies in the light of the conclusions reached on whether concerted international action is needed or practicable.

Mr. Oram

Is the Minister aware that during the last decade there has been a great deal of discussion in various international bodies on the subject of international restrictive practices without any effective action being taken as a result? Since the activities of cartels can so easily frustrate attempts to reduce tariffs and remove quantitative restrictions, will the Government ensure that we take a full and vigorous part in those discussions and back up the Scandinavian countries, which have been left to take the lead in these matters in the past?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Perhaps the hon. Member does not realise that the convening of the group and nomination of those to serve on it have been left to the Executive Secretary of the G.A.T.T.