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European Economic Community

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 15 March 1962

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what effect the United Kingdom's entry into the Corn-man Market will have on the trade relations of the United Kingdom with other countries who are signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

But that was not a satisfactory Answer. That is why I tabled the Question again. What will the Government do, under their undertaking, as a signatory of G.A.T.T., that all the other signatories should be treated equally? What consideration has been given to these undertakings in our discussions with the Common Market countries?

I have glanced again quickly at my Answer of 1st March, and I think that it was a very good one. But I will do my best to give further details in writing, if possible by letter to the hon. Gentleman.

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there might be some complication in view of the fact that Czechoslovakia is a member of G.A.T.T.?


asked the President of the Board of Trade what detailed examination has been made, or reports and information received, concerning the probable effect on light industries, in particular those producing umbrellas and vacuum flasks, of the United Kingdom's entry into the Common Market.

My Department is in regular contact with British industry including the industries mentioned by the hon. Member. Representatives of the British umbrella industry have welcomed the prospect of entry into the Common Market; I have received no suggestion that entry would cause difficulties for the British vacuum flask makers. But the effects of accession to the European Economic Community would vary not only between industries but from firm to firm within an industry.

May I take it that a careful examination has been made of this category of light industries and that the employers and firms in those industries are fully acquainted with the information the right hon. Gentleman has gathered?

As regards the first part of the supplementary question, generally speaking the answer is "Yes", but as regards each light industry I would not like to answer in detail a specific question; but the Answer I have given in respect of the umbrella makers, I think, shows how far we have gone into finding the opinions of individual light industries.