HC Deb 23 March 1937 vol 321 cc2771-2W
Mr. Johnston

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether there are any commodities upon which he could increase the French quota of imports in return for a French increase in the quota of cotton tissues exported from this country; and whether he is aware that the discontinuance of production in periods between the end of one export quota period and the inauguration of another is causing serious disturbance of business in this country and considerable hardship to the workers engaged in the production of cotton tissues?

Mr. Runciman

Such import quotas as are in force in this country are based on principles of equitable and agreed allocation between supplying countries, which preclude their use in bargaining. The

conversation with me the recent discussions between experts representing the countries which were parties to the Oslo Convention. I assured him of this country's sympathy with any initiative having as its object the reduction of obstacles to international trade. I must point out, however, that the Oslo Convention of 1930 provided for a form of tariff truce and not for the creation of a low-tariff group. So far as I am aware, no proposal for a low-tariff group emerged from the recent Conference at the Hague.