§ Mrs. Margaret Ewing
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress is being made in negotiations with the Japanese Government to ensure the early removal of discriminatory import taxation on Scotch whisky as agreed under the general agreement on tariffs and trade; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
The Japanese authorities have now announced their intention to introduce, from April 1989, a single rate of tax for all whiskies, at a level 45 per cent. below that currently applying to Scotch. This news is most welcome. Nevertheless, since some discrimination in the tax rates applying to other competing spirits will remain, the impact of the proposes changes would need to be kept closely under review, and the possibility of further recourse to the general agreement on tariffs and trade left open.