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International Trade Barriers (Removal)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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34.

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of official statements of policy made in discussions with the Federal German Government and elsewhere that Britain is trying to encourage more freedom in international trade, when he hopes to remove all barriers to the international movement of goods.

Substantial progress has been made by a number of countries, including ourselves, in the reduction of barriers to trade, but I cannot predict the speed and extent to which further progress may prove possible.

Do the Government realise that the expression of pious hopes at international conferences does no good? What we want is deeds, not words. Do the Government also realise that a policy of free trade, freely convertible currency and no coercion is the only policy to save Britain and the world?

I think Her Majesty's Government can point to a good deal more than pious hopes in the achievements of their commercial policy.