HC Deb 30 October 1980 vol 991 cc317-8W
Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether it is the Govern- ment's view that the subsidisation of energy costs by some of the United Kingdom's trading partners, including EEC nations, contravenes the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; and if so, what steps he proposes to take.

Mr. Eyre

Subsidies, other than certain export subsidies, do not contravene the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, the Government consider that the under-pricing of energy is both wasteful in resource terms and distorts world trade in an unfair and unacceptable way. We shall continue vigorously to press this view on our major trading partners, both in the Community and more generally, and to take up particular issues as appropriate.