HC Deb 11 November 1954 vol 532 cc152-3W
73. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the present provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade operate harshly against trade and commerce in and by the West Indies; and if he will make a statement on the policy relating to the West Indies which he, representing Her Majesty's Government, intends to pursue at the Ninth Session of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade at Geneva.

Mr. Low

Yes. My right hon. Friend referred to this matter in his statement to the Contracting Parties on Monday. The following is the relevant extract from the statement: I would like now to mention for a moment the problems of the Colonial Territories. These problems are partly provided for already by the Article XVIII provisions for under-developed territories. Under Article XVIII it is open to the United Kingdom or any other metropolitan territory to seek on behalf of a Colonial Territory approval for special measures which that territory wishes to take for the purposes of development. But this does not fully meet the difficulties. There may be cases where the industry to be developed depends not on the limited domestic market of that territory but on export to the metropolitan country. We would wish to seek arrangements within the framework of the G.A.T.T. to deal with these needs individually as they arise. I would emphasise that no benefit is sought for the metropolitan country concerned. The benefit is intended for the Colonial Territories alone, and hope that other Contracting Parties will aid us in finding a solution to the problem.