Argentina.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 7th July 1931.

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Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

32.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if negotiations are still in progress for the preferential treatment of British Empire products in the Argentine; and when he expects the completion of a definite agreement?

Photo of Mr William Graham Mr William Graham , Edinburgh Central

His Majesty's Government have never been in negotiation with the Argentine Government for the accord to British goods of preferential treatment in the Argentine. The hon. Member may, however, have in mind the negotiations which took place last year with the object of obtaining a general reduction in the Argentine duties on artificial silk goods. Reductions in important descriptions of these goods were made last December and the possibility of obtaining some further concessions is not being overlooked.

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the strong position which the United States now occupy in the Argentine trade, and will he make some arrangements by which, in view of the number of our markets at the disposal of the Argentina, he will get some preferential treatment from the Argentine for our goods?

Photo of Sir Robert Chadwick Sir Robert Chadwick , Wallasey

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that at the present time we have probably a greater opportunity in Argentina for our trade than in any other foreign country in the world; and, following up the British Exhibition, which has created such an intense interest in the Argentine in regard to this country and our people, is it not time that the Government took the opportunity of departing from the rigid line which they have adopted?

Photo of Mr William Graham Mr William Graham , Edinburgh Central

I cannot deal with the question of preferences and tariffs in reply to a supplementary question, but I can assure the House that, following the recent reports and other efforts, we are doing everything in our power to maintain British trade interests in Argentina and other parts of South America.

Photo of Sir Geoffrey Mander Sir Geoffrey Mander , Wolverhampton East

How does that fit in with Empire free trade?