HC Deb 12 February 1973 vol 850 cc976-7
26. Mr. Body

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what changes have taken place in tariffs upon United Kingdom exports to Australia since 1st January 1973.

Mr. Peter Walker

None, Sir.

Mr. Body

In the course of this year there will be a number of changes which have been proposed and announced and they will have the result of diversifying trade to our disadvantage and the advantage of the Japanese. One example of that is that they are now buying beef produced in Australia, which we could have had, and which is now available to Japanese housewives at 39p lb.

Mr. Walker

I think my hon. Friend will agree that the trade figures between Australia, Japan and Britain during the last 10 to 15 years show that throughout the whole of this period there has been a substantial switch of trade from Britain to Japan.

Mr. Jay

But if the Secretary of State says "None" in answer to this Question is he aware that he is quite wrong? A number of tariffs were imposed by Australia on British exports on 1st February.

Mr. Walker

I apologise if I am wrong. My information is that none has been imposed at the present time, but if I am wrong I apologise.