HC Deb 25 October 1962 vol 664 cc214-5W
Sir Richard Glyn

asked the President of the Board of Trade how much Australian wheat was landed in Britain in the twelve months to the last convenient date; what was the average price; and what information he has obtained regarding the quantity and price of Australian wheat landed in Common Market countries in the same period.

Mr. Erroll

The following information showing the quantity and the average c.i.f. value per ton is available for the periods shown:

Trade Area countries; and if he will reduce the Commonwealth preference rate of duty to zero.

Mr. Erroll

Imports in 1961 under this sub-heading paying Commonwealth, E.F.T.A. and full rates of duty were nil, £27, and £47,261 respectively.

Since 1919 the Commonwealth preference rate of duty on these products has been equal to two-thirds of the full rate. The rate of 20 per cent. was introduced in 1956 following a reduction in the full rate to 30 per cent. The E.F.T.A. rate of 18 per cent. represents 60 per cent. of the full rate in force on 1st January, 1960; it was reduced to that level on 1st March, 1962, when the third reduction in E.F.T.A. duties was made in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of the Stooklholm Convention, which provides for the gradual elimination of protective duties on industrial goods traded between the E.F.T.A. countries. On 31st October the full, Commonwealth and E.F.T.A. rates of duty will be reduced as a result of the recent G.A.T.T. tariff negotiations and the introduction of the fourth E.F.T.A. duty reduction. The rates of duty will then be—full rate 24 per cent., Commonwealth preference rate 16 per cent., E.F.T.A. rate 15 per cent.

As regards the last part of the Question, it would be contrary to the G.A.T.T. BO new-preference rule to reduce the preference rate to zero without making a corresponding reduction in the m.f.n. rate.