HC Deb 05 February 1957 vol 564 c34W
70. Mr. Edelman

asked the President of the Board of Trade what provision has been made in the proposed common market treaty for the safeguarding of the British motor industry against low wage competition from abroad.

Mr. Walker-Smith

In spite of the phraseology of the Question, I assume from its context that the hon. Member intends to refer to the proposed negotiations for an agreement for a free trade area in Europe, and not to the treaty for a Customs and Economic Union now under negotiation between the six Messina powers, to which the United Kingdom is not a party. The negotiations for a free trade area have not yet started and I cannot anticipate their outcome. I would, however, remind the hon. Member that the question of relative levels of wages was discussed in some detail in the debate on European trade policy on 26th November last in speeches from both sides of the House, notably those of my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Member for Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins).

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