HC Deb 02 March 1948 vol 448 cc48-9W

Negotiations in regard to trade and payments between Denmark and the United Kingdom were concluded on 23rd February when an agreement covering the period 1st January to 3oth September, 1948, was initialled in the Treasury.

The new agreement will enable shipments to the United Kingdom of butter and bacon to be resumed after an interval of nearly five months; except for some token shipments, they ceased on 30th September last when the earlier negotiations for the renewal of contracts were unsuccessful.

It has been agreed that payments between Denmark and the sterling area shall be governed by the Anglo-Danish Monetary Agreement of 16th August, 1945, but that during the period in question, they should, as far as possible, be kept in balance. It is estimated that they may amount to approximately £50 million in each direction.

Apart from certain quantities already disposed of to other markets, Denmark agrees to deliver to the United Kingdom not less than 62½ per cent. of her exportable surplus of butter at a price of 321s. 6d. a cwt., and guarantees the delivery of 40,000 tons. Denmark will also deliver to the United Kingdom not less than 8o per cent. of her exportable surplus of bacon at a price of 225s. a cwt. until 30th September, 1948. This should produce about 22,000 tons. The United Kingdom also undertook to purchase not less than 90 per cent. of Denmark's exportable surplus of bacon in the 12 months ending 30th September, 1949, at not less than 225s. a cwt. The United Kingdom will also be able to purchase other foodstuffs, including eggs, cheese, condensed milk, meat and fish.

The United Kingdom agrees to deliveries of coal, at the rate of 870,000 tons per annum, and iron and steel, at the rate of 50,000 tons per annum, during the period covered by the agreement. Denmark would also have facilities for obtaining some petroleum products from British controlled sources and limited facilities for making payments in certain countries outside the sterling area and the dollar area. In addition, Denmark will be able to purchase a wide range of manufactured goods, from the United Kingdom, such as chemicals, machinery, vehicles and textiles, and will have regard to the normal pattern of trade in her import licensing policy.