HC Deb 28 January 1974 vol 868 cc13-4
8. Mr. Fortescue

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will seek to make representations to the United States Government concerning the consequences for the United Kingdom of the candy quota introduced by the United States Sugar Act of 1971 and due to be renewed in 1974.

Mr. Onslow

Her Majesty's Government have made representations to the United States administration about the confectionery quota four times since 1971. With our accession to the EEC the Commission has taken up the matter and is seeking a satisfactory solution through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Mr. Fortescue

Does my hon. Friend agree that this quota is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and will he accept that the United States administration would welcome further representations from foreign Governments with a view to having it abolished?

Mr. Onslow

It is indeed our view that the quota is contrary to Article XI of the GATT and it is a breach of the United States obligations to the United Kingdom following the Kennedy Round of negotiations. As to the question of representations, it is best that they should be made on behalf of the Community as a whole.

Mr. Milne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Government are in a sticky enough mess already without dealing with the candy quota in the way suggested?

Mr. Onslow

No, Sir.