HC Deb 25 November 1958 vol 596 cc19-20W
Mr. Green

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the negotiations with New Zealand for the revision of the United Kingdom-New Zealand trade agreement of 1932 have yet been concluded; and on what terms.

Sir D. Eccles

The New Zealand Government gave notice in January of their wish to negotiate with us a revision of the United Kingdom-New Zealand Trade Agreement of 1932. Negotiations began in London on 17th April and it was announced on 12th September that agreement in principle had been reached.

I am now glad to report to the House that Heads of Agreement between the two Governments were signed in Wellington today. As from today the application of the United Kingdom-New Zealand Trade Agreement of 1932, as supplemented by the Agreement on agricultural and marketing policies of 1957, will be subject to the modifications and additions set out in these Heads of Agreement. These will be embodied in a formal Agreement as soon as possible.

The terms on which we have reached agreement with New Zealand follow broadly the pattern of our agreement with Australia concluded two years ago. They recognise the substantial changes since the war in the pattern of world trade and in the economic circumstances of both countries. In particular they recognise the desire of the New Zealand Government to have greater freedom to reduce the preferences accorded to the United Kingdom in the interests both of lowering domestic costs and of facilitating increased New Zealand trade with other countries as well as with the United Kingdom.

Copies of the text of the Heads of Agreement and of an agreed statement on trading policies to which the two Governments affirm their adherence are being placed in the Libary of the House today.