HC Deb 10 March 1955 vol 538 cc71-2W
Mr. Lucas

asked the President of the Board of Trade what restrictions have recently been placed on the import of Swiss watches to Great Britain; whether he is aware of the resultant retaliatory 30th September, 1954. Figures for the year 1954 are not yet available.

action against our exports to Switzerland, particularly motor cars, which are being, increasingly resisted in favour of German and Italian makes; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

No new restrictions have been placed on the import of Swiss watches. In the Anglo-Swiss trade talks of January, 1955, we offered an increase in the quota for watches but unfortunately the limitations which we felt obliged to attach to the offer made it unacceptable to the Swiss delegation. Although it was not, therefore, possible to reach agreement on an increase in the quota this involved no discrimination against imports from Switzerland.

No new restrictions have been placed on imports from the United Kingdom into Switzerland, but certain other countries appear to have obtained, as a result of bilateral negotiations, quota increases which have not been extended to the United Kingdom. I am not aware, however, that our exports of motor cars, which, save for heavy commercial vehicles, are not subject to import restriction, have been affected by the outcome of the trade talks.