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General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress is being made in the current General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations for a 20 per cent. all-round tariff cut; and if he will make a statement.

Negotiations continue, but I cannot disclose details of them while they are in progress.

Will the Minister give an assurance that notwithstanding our entry into the Common Market—which, in fact, makes this more urgent—the Government will energetically pursue a policy of getting all-round reductions in G.A.T.T. in order that when we enter the Common Market the discrimination which would otherwise affect our trade with the rest of the world will be lessened?

We are anxious to secure further liberalisation through tariff reductions, as much as ever before.