HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 cc959-60
4. Mr. Blaker

asked the Minister of Transport what is his estimate of the effect on British industry of the quotas imposed by continental countries on the movement of British lorries to the continent; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Murray

The total effect of road haulage quotas on British industry cannot be accurately quantified but is cer- tainly small in volume. We would naturally prefer to do away with these quotas altogether if the other Governments concerned would agree. In the meantime we shall do our utmost to negotiate quotas which are adequate to the needs of trade.

Mr. Blaker

Although the Parliamentary Secretary's remarks about doing away with the quotas are welcome so far as they go, is he aware that the Italian quota is particularly damaging to British hauliers, and presumably to British exports, and that the quotas imposed by the three Continental countries are more painful for Britain than ours for them because of the comparative volume of traffic involved? Will he pursue the matter energetically?

Mr. Murray

All quotas are on a reciprocal basis and are subject to review. The hon. Member no doubt will know that we have just negotiated an increase in the Anglo-Italian quota and new discussions on the Anglo-French quota are to take place at the end of February.