Tariff Conference, Torquay

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1950.

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Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South 12:00 am, 14th December 1950

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the progress of the Torquay Conference.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is yet in a position to give the House some information on the progress of the conference at Torquay.

Mr. H. Wilson:

I am not in a position to make a statement about the Torquay Conference at this stage, but, as I informed the hon. Member for Croydon, East Sir H. Williams) on 23rd November, I propose to lay before the House any necessary reports in due course.

Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he will be able to make a statement? Will he have to wait until the end of the conference, and can he give any idea how long the conference will last?

Mr. Wilson:

I should hope that it will be possible to make some statement to the House about the first part of the conference, namely, the meeting of the contracting parties to the general agreement, early in the New Year, but I would not like to forecast now how soon there will be a report on the tariff negotiations.

Photo of Mr Nigel Fisher Mr Nigel Fisher , Hitchin

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that while the House is kept in ignorance of what is happening no steps will be taken at Torquay to prejudice Imperial Trade or further to jeopardise Imperial Preference?

Mr. Wilson:

I have already made clear to the House on a number of occasions what are our views on Imperial Preference.