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Great Britain And Spain (Commercial Treaty)

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 23 May 1922

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what active measures are being taken to clear up the misunderstanding with the Spanish Government regarding the excessive import duties on British-manufactured goods; whether retaliatory measures have been considered by His Majesty's Government. and, if so, what is their nature; and, if not, what policy and procedure is contemplated to effect a drastic modification on the part of the Spanish Government of the excessive duties on British-manufactured goods of Customs classes?

I am not aware of the misunderstanding to which the hon. Member refers. In view of the high duties imposed by the Spanish tariff, negotiations have been commenced with the Spanish Government for the conclusion of a commercial treaty, by virtue, of which, if the proposals of His Majesty's Government are adopted, certain of these duties would be modified. I hope that the negotiations will have a successful issue, but I do not think there would be any advantage at this stage in stating what action His Majesty's Government might find it necessary to take in the contrary event. The hon. Member may rest assured that in that event the action taken by His Majesty's Government will be designed to be effective.