HC Deb 25 February 1965 vol 707 c600
25. Mr. Marten

asked the President of the Board of Trade what contribution the tariff dismantling between the European Free Trade Association countries has had on keeping prices down.

Mr. Jay

A group of experts in E.F.T.A. is studying this subject. Many factors influence prices, and it is difficult to isolate the effects of tariff reductions.

Mr. Marten

Will the right hon Gentleman ask them particularly to find out whether, when the tariffs are being reduced, the exporters put their prices up at the same time?

Mr. Jay

I believe that the E.F.T.A tariff reductions have left some prices lower in this country than they would otherwise have been, but it would be difficult to establish this precisely and statistically at present. We are ourselves making a study of it.

Mr. Barber

Will the right hon. Gentleman also take into account in his own studies the effect of the surcharge on keeping prices up?

Mr. Jay

As the surcharge is now going down, we can look for some relief there, too.