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European Common Market (Commonwealth Trade)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th April 1957.

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Photo of Mr Richard Hornby Mr Richard Hornby , Tonbridge 12:00 am, 16th April 1957

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of imports into Europe from the British Commonwealth is likely, under the existing proposals, to be affected by the inclusion of overseas territories in the Common Market.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Of total Commonwealth exports to the members of the Customs and Economic Union, about 10 per cent. consists of goods which are also produced by their overseas territories and for which these territories will or may gain tariff preference in all countries of the Union. The extent to which this Commonwealth trade might in practice be affected depends on many factors, including the level of the common tariff ultimately introduced.

Photo of Mr Richard Hornby Mr Richard Hornby , Tonbridge

Can my right hon. Friend tell us whether any of the Commonwealth producers have indicated that they might welcome greater access to European countries than they have hitherto had?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

No, I do not think so. Some of the Commonwealth producers, of course, are very anxious that the tariff which the six countries put on shall be as low as possible.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

Could my right hon. Friend publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT details regarding the African Commonwealth territories and Colonies that are particularly affected by the Overseas Territories Convention?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I will have to discuss that with the Colonial Secretary.