Developing Countries (Tariff Preferences)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing 12:00 am, 22nd November 1967

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards proposals which are being made for United Nations Commission for Trade and Development members to implement general tariff preferences in favour of developing countries on a non-reciprocal basis; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby

Our policy has consistently been to support the grant of special tariff treatment by all industrial- ised countries to imports of manufactures and semi-manufactures from developing countries. This subject will be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the O.E.C.D. Council at Ministerial level, and subsequently at the meeting of the U.N.C.T.A.D. in New Delhi next February.

Photo of Mr Terence Higgins Mr Terence Higgins , Worthing

As devaluation effectively increases the barriers to less developed countries' manufactured exports to this country, are we to understand from what the right hon. Gentleman has just said that he will press for an increase which is more than proportionate to offset this additional protection?

Photo of Mr Anthony Crosland Mr Anthony Crosland , Grimsby

I am glad that devaluation will have a very healthy effect on the trade in commodities of a considerable number of the under-developed countries. The answer to the second part of the supplementary question is "No", because we have never envisaged this as a concession which we would make unilaterally, but only as one—and here we are in agreement with our predecessors—which we would make in concert with all the other major industrial countries.