HC Deb 06 August 1924 vol 176 cc2961-2W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to proposals made in France to increase the French tariff duties on imported steel products and other goods by means of new classifications, and by the adoption of a gold basis for the payment of the duties; whether he is aware that these proposals, if put into effect, would have a damaging effect on the British steel trade and employment in that trade; what representations have been or will be made to the French Govern- ment in the matter; and what steps the Government are prepared to take, in the event of the proposals being adopted, to secure markets for the steel products effected?


I am aware that the French Customs tariff is in process of revision, and my attention has been called especially to the case of steel. No official information is at present available as to the proposed rates of duty, and it is therefore not yet possible to form an opinion as to the effect of the new tariff on British trade; but the hon. and gallant Member may rest assured that the matter is being carefully watched, and will continue to be. Representations have already been made to the French Government regarding certain changes in the tariff classification of steel which were reported to be under consideration by that Government.

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