HC Deb 09 April 1963 vol 675 cc1082-3
33. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the President of the Board of Trade in how many cases he has concluded trade agreements with other countries in which a clause has been included guaranteeing free competition in shipping; and what provision is made to ensure that competition is free and unsubsidised by the Government concerned.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. Alan Green)

Two post-war trade agreements and five informal trade arrangements include provisions about freedom of competition in shipping. So do two commercial treaties which have not yet entered into force. It is not always easy to ensure that competition in shipping is really free; but Her Majesty's Government maintain a close watch on the position.

Mr. Digby

In view of the present difficulties of British shipping, is it not important that this free competition really should be free? In the case of the new trade treaty with Japan, will the competition be really free in view of the widespread allegations of Government subsidisation in Japan?

Mr. Green

The Japanese Government have agreed not to continue their export subsidies beyond March, 1964.