Oral Answers to Questions — Germany (Import Licences).

– in the House of Commons on 25th February 1924.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

20.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that injury to British trade is caused by the necessity of securing import licences for introducing certain articles into Germany, and by the German tariffs generally; and whether, in the event of his proposing to effect any redaction in the total obligations of the German Government to this country, he will consider the possibility of securing from the German Government a promise to terminate the licence system and to abolish or reduce the tariffs on British goods?

Photo of Mr William Lunn Mr William Lunn , Rothwell

I have been asked to reply. I fully realise that import restrictions and Customs duties are an impediment to our exports, but the German Government have recently extended considerably the list of goods not subject to licence requirements. I do not think that it would be desirable to make any settlement of the problem of German reparations dependent on action being taken by the German Government in the sense suggested by my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

Can my hon. Friend give us any hope that the licensing system will, before long, be put an end to?

Photo of Mr William Lunn Mr William Lunn , Rothwell

I think, if my hon. Friend looks at the Board of Trade Journals for the 17th January and the 14th February, he will see that there has been a large extension, and possibly there will be a larger one in the near future.