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Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 23 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what were the amounts, in volume and price, of imports of textile goods from Malta to the United Kingdom for each of the last five years and similar figures for exports of textile goods from the United Kingdom to Malta for the same period, expressing these figures as a percentage of the whole of the United Kingdom's trade with Malta.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what embargo exists on trade in textiles between the United Kingdom and Malta; what steps he is taking to get this lifted; and if he will make a statement.

Since 1 January 1979 there have been no restrictions on United Kingdom textile imports from Malta, although I understand that the EEC Commission has informed Malta of indicative levels for her exports to the Community and has said that no safeguard action will be taken during 1979 if those levels are not exceeded.Following the publication on 8 November 1978 of the safeguard regulation which introduced restrictions on certain textile imports from Malta, the Maltese Government said they would ban imports of all textiles from the United Kingdom. This ban has not subsequently been lifted. This ban may be contrary to the EEC-Malta association agreement and we are currently pursuing the matter with the Commission.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the quota for textile imports from Malta into the United Kingdom for each of the last five years; and what percentage of that quota has been taken up.

Textile imports from Malta were not subject to quota until November 1978 when, at our request, the EEC Commission suspended imports from Malta of cotton cloth, trousers and woven shirts for the remainder of 1978 and introduced the following quotas:

Cotton yarn274 tonnes
Knitted shirts365,000 Pieces
Blouses304,000 Pieces
These quotas, which were fully taken up, expired on 31 December 1978.