§ 83. Sir H. Williams
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an assurance that any agreements made at Torquay will not be ratified before they have been discussed in the House of Commons.
§ Mr. Bottomley
The Torquay Protocol to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which is the instrument incorporating the results of the tariff negotiations, will not be signed on behalf of the United96W Kingdom until the House has had an opportunity to study the White Paper which it is hoped to table before the middle of next month. As the hon. Member was informed on 23rd November last by my right hon. Friend the then President of the Board of Trade, changes in the United Kingdom tariff can, of course, only be made by legislation or by Orders which are subject to Parliamentary discussion.
§ 84. Sir H. Williams
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an undertaking that the period for the denunciation of the General Treaty on Trade and Tariffs will not be extended beyond the existing period of 60 days.
§ Mr. Bottomley
The question of such an extension will not arise unless and until it is proposed to apply the General Agreement definitively instead of, as at present, only provisionally. As stated by my right hon. Friend the then President of the Board of Trade, on 8th February in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, North (Mr. J. Hudson), the undertaking given in 1948, that opportunity would be afforded for debate in Parliament before any decision by His Majesty's Government to ratify the General Agreement would be implemented still, of course, stands.