HC Deb 02 December 1947 vol 445 cc45-6W
78. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the decision taken at Geneva to increase Duties on glazed kid and many other classes of leather entering Canada, which is our best export market, and the reduction of Duties on similar goods entering Canada from U.S.A., will make the achievement of the target in respect of leather exports an almost impossible task; and will he take such action as will retain Empire preferences on leathers entering Canada, in view of the fact that Canada has a free export market in this country.

Mr. Belcher

No. There is no question of the Canadian preferential duties on leather being raised as a result of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The hon. and gallant Member may have in mind the discount of 50 per cent. of the duties which Canada unilaterally accorded us by the War Exchange Conservation Act, 1940. That discount was a temporary measure which will cease to have effect from the end of the present year, and the Canadian schedule to the General Agreement naturally refers to the normal tariff rates. As regards the second part of the Question, small reductions in the preferential margins have been agreed on several leather items in the Canadian tariff as part of our contribution to the General Agreement but appreciable margins remain.