§ 89. Mr. J. Hudson
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether His Majesty's Government propose to recommend to Parliament that the United Kingdom should ratify the Havana Charter and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Mr. H. Wilson
As was made plain at the end of the Havana Conference, His Majesty's Government had intended to recommend to Parliament in due course, if circumstances proved favourable, that the United Kingdom should ratify the Havana Charter. In the light however of more recent developments, His Majesty's Government have come to the conclusion that there is no prospect in view of the International Trade Organisation envisaged by the Havana Charter being established and developed as an effective instrument for fostering international trade.
The House will no doubt be aware in this connection of the recent announcement by the United States Administration that they do not intend to submit to the new Congress the proposal that the United States should ratify the Charter. In these circumstances, His Majesty's Government would not in any case propose to recommend to Parliament that the United Kingdom should ratify the Charter.233W
This change in the situation with regard to the Charter, and the intention of the United States Administration to support the continuation and the development of the organisation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in lieu of the proposed International Trade Organisation, create a new situation which will require careful examination before His Majesty's Government determine their attitude, particularly as to whether and how the General Agreement could be converted into an appropriate continuing instrument. 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, of course, still stands.