Clause 3. — (Charge of Temporary Customs Duty.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley 12:00 am, 1st December 1964

What the Government have had to do since the imposition of the surcharge is to send Ministers to every sort of gathering in Europe in order to explain what they have done. They have been met with the greatest animosity, because this action was taken before they said anything to any members of E.F.T.A.—to which organisation we belong—or the G.A.T.T., or the Common Market, or other countries affected. Surely it would have been better if the Government had followed the normal course of going to the Permanent Council of E.F.T.A., which can be summoned at a moment's notice, and going to the Permanent Council of the Community, in Brussels, which can be summoned at a moment's notice, and to the Permanent Council of the G.A.T.T., and making their explanations there before taking the drastic step of imposing this surcharge, rather than try to pick up the bits afterwards.