asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the intentions of His Majesty's Government with regard to the continuation of the present arrangements concerning most-favoured-nation advantages for Japan in international trade agreements; what consultations he has had on this subject with the Governments of the other nations of the British Commonwealth; and what views they have expressed to him.
Japan is not at present entitled to most-favoured-nation treatment from this country, and any question of giving her general most-favoured-nation rights must await the eventual negotiations for a peace treaty. The question of according such rights to Japanese goods during the period of occupation has been raised by the United States Government, and His Majesty's Government have been in consultation on this subject with the Governments of the Commonwealth countries. His Majesty's Government do not at present contemplate entering into any such arrangements.
Can the hon. Gentleman give the House any more detailed information as to what members of the British Commonwealth, and particularly Canada, feel about this matter?
No, Sir, I cannot answer for Commonwealth Governments.
Is any attempt being being made to work out a general plan in regard to Japan's place in industry in the future?
Yes, Sir, and we are in consultation with Commonwealth Governments.
asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the intentions of His Majesty's Government with regard to the renewal of a trade agreement with Japan after the expiration of the present agreement; and when negotiations or discussions in regard to this matter will commence.
It is hoped to begin discussions in Tokyo in mid-July between representatives of the sterling area participants in the present trade arrangement, on the one hand, and of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, on the other hand, with a view to reaching a similar arrangement for trade with Japan in 1949–50.
Can the hon. Gentleman give the House any information how far the new valuation of the yen will affect these negotiations or any plans about it?
We are in consultation about the matter. I understand the reasons for the Question.
Are the Government relying upon the trade agreement or upon any other means to prevent Japanese textiles and other cheaply-produced goods from flooding the markets of the world and driving us out altogether? By what means are the Government going to do it?
The best plan is possibly to expand trade in the best way by equal delivery of goods.
Who is to represent the United Kingdom in these discussions? Will it be a strong representation?
There will be representation, and I am sure that it will be of a strong character.
May I ask my hon. Friend to ensure that arrangements for trade btween this country and Japan will not be left in the same state of neglect as the arrangements which existed before the war?
The hon. Gentleman says "mid-July." Is anything going on at the present moment?
Not among the supreme Allies as such, but among the Commonwealth Governments.