HC Deb 08 February 1971 vol 811 cc29-30
43. Mr. Roper

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish inTrade and Industryan article summarising his Department's plans for implementing the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development agreements on generalised preferences for developing countries.

50. Mr. Prentice

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will publish a White Paper explaining the progress made towards agreeing a system of generalised preferences for the manufactured goods of developing countries in the markets of developed countries, and setting out Her Majesty's Government's proposals for legislation on this subject.

Mr. Noble

We expect to introduce enabling legislation during this Session. There will be no White Paper, but an account of our proposals and those of other countries will be given shortly in Trade and Industry.

Mr. Roper

Does the Minister agree that there is a need for a clear statement on this matter, particularly in view of the very unsatisfactory statement by President Pompidou at the weekend in Dakar?

Mr. Noble

I agree about the need for a clear statement. I am certain that the hon. Gentleman will find that the publication Trade and Industry is absolutely clear on this subject.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is my right hon. Friend aware that some of us do not necessarily find President Pompidou's desire to retain preference for the French Community unreasonable and that some of us want to retain preference for Commonwealth developing countries?

Mr. Noble

There are very considerable built-in advantages for the Commonwealth developing countries. This is what the House is concerned about.

Mr. Pavitt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that comparing G.S.P. and Commonwealth preference in regard to India, the consequences are pretty disastrous? Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore advise his right hon. Friend in Brussels to do something much better than G.S.P.?

Mr. Noble

I think that I have already answered this point in reply to a previous Question.