Italy (Textiles)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3 November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Derick Heathcoat-Amory Mr Derick Heathcoat-Amory , Tiverton 12:00, 3 November 1949

asked the, President of the Board of Trade whether, when agreeing to the removal of restric- tions on the import of Italian rayon piece goods into the United Kingdom, he arranged for this action to be followed by reciprocal removal of restrictions on the import of British woollen and other textiles into Italy.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

We have removed our own restrictions on the assumption that other O.E.E.C. countries will in turn be taking similar measures appropriate to their economic and financial position, but we cannot expect that these will necessarily include every product in our own lists.

Mr. Amory:

While I most certainly do not want to oppose anything which would lead to the freeing of inter-European trade, will the right hon. Gentleman not agree that its success must be judged by the degree of reciprocity?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

I entirely agree with that statement, and the hon. Gentleman will no doubt have read of further moves which have been taking place on this matter in Paris during the last few days.

Photo of Sir Walter Fletcher Sir Walter Fletcher , Bury

How long will the President of the Board of Trade want before reciprocal action is taken?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Ormskirk

Negotiations are going on at the present time both in bilateral discussions and on the conditional list, and, as the hon. Gentleman will have seen, a time limit was set for further propositions at yesterday's meeting in Paris.