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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the desirability of providing for the greatest possible interchange of trade between Great Britain and Holland, arrangements can now be made to do away with the quota, recently reimposed, on the importation of Dutch flower bulbs into this country; and if he proposes, as a matter of general policy, to press forward as rapidly as possible with all reductions in trade barriers between this country and Europe where practical and desirable, or to maintain these barriers with a view to giving Great Britain a better bargaining position when the principles of European free trade are agreed.
Our policy is to remove the remaining import controls as quickly as the balance of payments permits, but I regret I cannot remove the restrictions on imports of Dutch flower bulbs at present. The quota for this year is £3,200,000.
But as domestic production in this country does not satisfy domestic demand, and as my proposal seems to coincide with proposed Ministerial policy, would not my right hon. Friend think again about this matter?