HC Deb 30 March 1961 vol 637 cc146-7W
Mr. A. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of his responsibilities regarding trade quotas affecting exports and imports, what information he has concerning the trade arrangements made by the Federation of British Industries with the Chamber of Foreign Trade of the German Democratic Republic, the fixing of quotas of imports and exports between the two organizations, and the financial extent of such trade agreements; what limits or restrictions are imposed by his department on increasing these quotas; what are the financial limits of such trade agreements; and with what other countries or organisations the Federation of British Industries has signed such trade agreements with the knowledge and consent of his department.

Mr. Maudling

The unofficial Trade Arrangement between the Federation of British Industries and the East German Chamber of Foreign Trade was signed on the 20th January, 1959, and has been renewed annually by exchange of letters. Under it, lists of goods to be exchanged between the two countries are agreed and both parties undertake to use their best endeavours to secure that any necessary import licences are issued, on application, to importers in the respective countries; both parties also undertake to inform each other after consultation with their respective competent authorities if the arrangement can and will be put into operation. The Arrangement concerning trade in 1961 was concluded on the 28th February, 1961, and envisages U.K. exports to East Germany of quota and non-quota goods, totalling ³8.4 million and East German exports of quota and non-quota goods to the U.K., totalling ³9.1 million. Increases in quotas for U.K. imports and East German imports are a matter for negotiation between the two parties. In the national interest my Department place certain limits on imports from East Germany within which the F.B.I. negotiate and, on the other hand, there is the known policy of the East Germans to restrict their imports to essentials. Details of finally agreed quotas on both sides have been published.

The Federation of British Industries have no other trade arrangements of this kind.