HC Deb 12 December 1963 vol 686 cc557-8
32. Mr. Jay

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if he is aware of the proposal of the European Coaland Steel Community to raise the Common Market tariff on British and other steel products; and what representations he has made against this.

Mr. Heath

Yes, Sir. We have already expressed our concern at possible measures of this kind. The High Authority are now undertaking formal consultations with the United Kingdom and other principal suppliers.

Mr. Jay

Is it not rather unsatisfactory that when a major British industry like steel does compete successfully and sell at a lower price within the Common Market group we immediately have new barriers erected or threatened against us? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that his efforts will produce some results?

Mr. Heath

It is not entirely just to say that immediately we find barriers have been put up against us. We must all recognise the difficulties existing in the steel markets of Europe at present. The British steel industry appreciate that. We have expressed very forcibly our opposition to an increase in tariffs. We had first consultations with the High Authority on 10th December, and we shall resume them on 17th December.