HC Deb 28 March 1956 vol 550 cc219-20W
Lieut. - Colonel Bromley - Davenport

asked the President of the Board of Trade what clause of the Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement makes it obligatory for Britain not to impose the 10 per cent. bacon duty on imports from Ireland despite the fact that Ireland has recently imposed a special levy on a large range of goods imported from this country; and whether he will consider initiating discussions for the review of the Trade Agreement in the near future with a view to obtaining fairer terms for Great Britain.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The provision about duty-free entry is in Article I of the Trade Agreement of 1938. In applying the special import levy to certain classes of United Kingdom goods the Irish Republic have paid due regard to their obligations under the Trade Agreements of 1938 and 1948.

These Agreements provide valuable benefits for United Kingdom exports and, taken as a whole, have worked very fairly for both parties. In 1955 United Kingdom exports to the Irish Republic totalled £114 million, mainly in manufactured goods, of which only a very small proportion will be affected by the new levy. This compares with imports into the United Kingdom from the Irish Republic of £98 million.