§ Mr. John Garrett
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress has been made in his discussions with the Eastern European countries about their exports to the United Kingdom in 1976 of leather footwear and men's woollen suits.
§ Mr. Shore
Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania, the three main East European suppliers, undertook last year to restrain their exports to this country of men's leather footwear, excluding sandals, in 1975 to between 5 and 10 per cent, below their exports in 1974. I am satis-244W fied that these undertakings were honoured in 1975. These countries have now undertaken not to exceed during 1976 the levels of restraint for their exports to the United Kingdom of men's leather footwear, excluding sandals, which were applied during 1975. In addition they will be restraining their exports of women's and children's leather footwear, excluding sandals, to approximately the level of their 1975 exports.
In 1975, 380,000 men's woollen suits were imported from the five East European countries concerned. A major increase in exports to this country from the five main East European suppliers had been planned for 1976. Exports of woollen suits for the whole of 1976 from the five countries concerned will now be reduced to about 350,000 suits, a reduction of some 8 per cent. on 1975.
Hungary and Poland will be restraining their exports voluntarily. Quotas which come into effect immediately are being applied to imports of men's woollen suits from Czechoslovakia, the GDR and Romania.
Details of the quotas and of the licensing arrangements that will apply are set out in a notice to importers to be published with a Press notice later today.