HC Deb 12 July 1932 vol 268 cc1118-20
Mr. LANSBURY (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is now in a position to make a statement as to the Agenda of the Ottawa Conference?


Yes, Sir. As a result of discussions which have been proceeding for several months past between His Majesty's Governments it has been agreed that economic questions of general importance to various parts of the Empire might be conveniently discussed under the following general headings which will constitute the provisional Agenda for the Conference:

(A)General trade questions.

  1. 1. Examination of aspects of questions of trade and tariffs policy and administration affecting Empire trade, including, inter alia, the following subjects:
    1. (a) Recognition of principle of reciprocal tariff preferences within the Commonwealth.
    2. (b) General application of existing and future tariff preferences within the Commonwealth.
    3. (c) Extension to other parts of the Commonwealth of tariff advantages accorded to foreign countries.
    4. (d) Determination of percentage of "Empire content" necessary to secure preferential tariff treatment;
    5. (e) Export bounties and anti-dumping duties within the Commonwealth.
  2. 2. Commercial treaty policy with respect to foreign countries, including inter alia:
    1. (a) Relations of inter-Imperial preferences to concessions to foreign countries.
    2. (b) Interpretation of Most-Favoured-Nation Clause, particularly with reference to development of regional preferences and of systems of import quotas.
  3. 3. Consideration of appropriate basis and means of inter-Imperial co-operation, including review of existing agencies, examination of report of Imperial Economic Committee on Industrial Cooperation, and discussion of communications and of research and standardisation.

(B)Monetary and financial questions.

Consideration of existing inter-relationships of various currencies and monetary standards of the Empire, and of the desirability and feasibility of taking steps to restore and stabilise the general price level and to stabilise exchanges.

(C)Negotiation of Trade Agreements.


Have I understood correctly that an attempt will be made to establish an Empire currency?


No, I did not say anything about that. I said there would be a general discussion on currency questions.


Will there be any discussion as to the relationships between the British Commonwealth of Nations and the rest of the world? [HON. MEMBERS: "Russia!"] I am thinking of everyone.


Obviously, it will be the duty of the delegation to keep clearly in mind that, while we must do all we can to develop and encourage Empire trade, we must also have regard to the rest of the world.