HC Deb 13 December 1960 vol 632 cc183-4
1. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on constitutional and procedural changes in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, consequent on the recent increase in membership; and to what extent Nigeria and other new members of the organisation have accepted the relevant conventions already accepted by Great Britain.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. F. J. Erroll)

Only Nigeria has acceded fully to the General Agreement since 1957. In doing this she has acknowledged the obligations entered into on her behalf by the United Kingdom before the date of her independence. Argentina Cambodia, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Tunisia are taking part in the work of the Contracting Parties pending full accession; the obligations which they have so far accepted vary from case to case. No constitutional or procedural changes have been made in the General Agreement as a result of the participation of these countries, but the Contracting Parties have established a Council so that closer and more continuing attention can be given between sessional meetings to the problems of international trade.

Mr. Hughes

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the conventions relating to trade unions are being fully maintained, especially by the new nations? What steps is he taking to make sure that these conventions, rights, liabilities and duties are being, and will be, fully maintained?

Mr. Erroll

I shall have to look into the very important point which the hon. and learned Gentleman has put to me.