HL Deb 30 July 1957 vol 205 cc393-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government when they contemplate removing the remaining control system over the jute industry; whether the existing form of control, if newly imposed, would not be in conflict with the spirit of G.A.T.T.; what effect its continuance would have in relation to present announced aims for a European Common Market; and also whether it is right to assume that, while apparently the jute industry is protected against low Asiatic wages, on the other hand the cotton industry is to be regarded as expendable, more particularly in view of the recent publication of figures recording that

dividing. Are we to be given the time or not?

On Question, Whether the Resolution shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 22; Not-Contents, 18.

cotton cloth imports, mostly from Asiatic low-wage countries, now for the first time exceed our exports.


I can give no indication of when it will be possible to remove the existing control. This is limited to the arrangements necessary to maintain centralised buying of jute goods imported from India and Pakistan. The arrangements are not inconsistent with the General Agreement on 'Tariffs and Trade. The proposals for a European Free Trade Area do not as such affect the Jute Control which buys and sells only Indian and Pakistani goods. I am afraid that the assumption in the last part of the Question suggests that my noble friend has seriously misunderstood the whole policy of Her Majesty's Government.

House adjourned at eight minutes before nine o'clock.