HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc426-7W
115. Sir C. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that imports of knitwear from Portugal for the first eight months it 1967 were 160 per cent. more than for the whole of 1966; and since Portuguese exports to Great Britain are free of all restrictions and duties, whereas British exports to Portugal are subject to a 60 per cent. duty, if he will now take steps to achieve a balance between these imports and exports.

Mr. Crosland:

As regards imports, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave him on 22nd November.

The E.F.T.A. Convention provides for the gradual elimination of Portuguese duties, which vary widely, with accelerated reductions for products of which there are substantial exports. This should lead to increased opportunities for our exports of knitwear to Portugal. It is also relevant that Portugal did not devalue when the pound was recently devalued.—[Vol. 754, c. 1308–9]