§ Mr. Arbuthnot
asked the President of the Board of Trade when the United Kingdom import duties on tea and tropical hardwoods will be suspended, in accordance with the agreement reached in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Ministerial meeting in May; what has been the result of subsequent negotiations with the European Economic Community for the simultaneous suspension of these duties; and which hardwoods will be affected.
§ Mr. Erroll
As my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal stated on 15th July in reply to a Question from the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) negotiations have been going on with the European Economic Community for the simultaneous suspension of our duties on tea and tropical hard-118W woods in the interests of less developed countries. I am glad to say that the Council of Ministers of the Community have now formally approved the terms of an agreement, which I hope will be signed in the near future, whereby we shall both suspend our duties on 1st January next until 31st December, 1965.
I hope that the suspension of these duties will be made permanent as a result of the forthcoming round of G.A.T.T. negotiations.
The United Kingdom duties suspended will affect tea, mate and all hardwoods except oak, ash, birch, maple, elm, sycamore, walnut, aspen, poplar, beech, Spanish chestnut, jarrah and karri.
The Commonwealth has been fully consulted throughout.