§ 2.36 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government, with regard to stated policy to secure international abandonment of export subsidies, what is their policy towards securing suppression of export taxes particularly on food products and textile fibres which all can add to the cost of living in the United Kingdom.]
My Lords, as the noble Lord indicates, Her Majesty's Government are opposed to export subsidies which distort trade and interfere with normal commercial competition. Export taxes are imposed mainly by the Governments of less developed countries primarily to raise revenue. The imposition of these taxes is consistent with the international commitments of the Governments concerned. It is, of course, for them to decide how best to raise revenue. If, however, the noble Lord has in mind any particular case in which he considers an export tax damaging to British trade, and would supply details, Her Majesty's Government will consider the matter.
§ LORD BARNBY
My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his reply. May I ask him whether he would be good enough to make sure that the Board of Trade press in all directions possible for the mitigation of export taxes, which are just as harmful as export subsidies which the Government oppose so strenuously at present?
My Lords, I do not know that I can follow the noble Lord quite as far as he would wish, but I would remind him that there is actually no direct link between export subsidies and export 876 taxes, and it is a matter for the individual countries concerned as to how they should raise their own revenue. But if the noble Lord has any specific points, then I will certainly look into the matter and let him know.