HC Deb 14 March 1950 vol 472 c47W
78. Sir W. Wakefield

asked the President of the Board of Trade what the effect of Order 2353 relating to the reduction of duties on certain articles is in the transference of the purchase of the items enumerated from sources within the British Commonwealth to sources without as a long-term policy and in the current year, respectively.

Mr. Bottomley

These minor reductions of Ottawa duties will not affect significantly our imports from the Commonwealth of the items concerned during the current year. The effect in the longer term will depend mainly on the relationship between Commonwealth and foreign prices, which cannot be forecast; but as at present advised I should not expect these reductions of duties to prejudice the interests of any Commonwealth producers concerned, who are still assured of a reasonable margin of preference. These reductions were, of course, negotiated at Annecy with the main foreign suppliers and in agreement with the Commonwealth countries concerned, who had the opportunity to claim from them compensatory tariff concessions.