§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what discussions have been held with the EEC with a view to having Hong Kong included in the countries whose textile exports will benefit from reduced import duties under the Common Market's generalised preference scheme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Shore
The United Kingdom has repeatedly stressed to the Community the importance which it attaches to the extension to Hong Kong of the benefits of the EEC's scheme of generalised preferences from which it is at present excluded; these are textiles and footwear. At the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 12th November I was able to secure agreement that in the scheme to operate for 1975 Hong Kong should be included as a beneficiary for rubber and plastic footwear which are the types of particular importance to her. I was not able to secure a similar agreement in respect of textiles but the Council did agree to review the position of Hong Kong textiles when the generalised preference scheme for 1976 was drawn up.