International Trade.

Oral Answers to Questions — Town Planning. – in the House of Commons on 12th November 1936.

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Photo of Mr Henry White Mr Henry White , Birkenhead East

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now state what steps he proposes to take consequent upon the agreement between Great Britain, France and the United States of America with regard to the stabilisation of the exchanges to promote the freer exchange of goods throughout the world?

Mr. JENKINS:

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action has been taken by His Majesty's Government, in conjunction with the governments c f France and the United States of America or otherwise, in view of their declaration that they attach the greatest importance to action being taken without delay to relax progressively the present system of quotas and exchange controls with a view to their abolition?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

In this country there is no system of quota restrictions on the import of industrial goods, neither are there any exchange restrictions. As regards other barriers on international trade, it remains one of the main objects of the policy of His Majesty's Government to promote the exchange of goods between this country and other countries by means of bilateral trade agreements. As regards the general question of the freer exchange of goods throughout the world, His Majesty's Government will continue to keep in touch with the Governments of France and the United States of America and other Governments in order to take advantage of any opportunities that offer to promote the objects which they have in common.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Will the right hon. Gentleman take the initiative in the matter and not leave the initiative to the United States of America and France? If they do not take action, cannot we take action ourselves?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I have explained in the answer I have given that it is difficult for us to take action apart from other Governments.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will give some thought to the question which is the easier thing to do—to put a tariff on or take a tariff off?