21 APRIL 1933, Page 3

Trade Agreements Mr. Runciman stated last week that trade agreements

with Argentina, Scandinavia and Germany were nearing completion. The German agreement might, he said, double our much restricted export of coal to Hamburg and Bremen ; the nature of the other bargains was not indicated. His speech was notable for the admission that the Government's fiscal policy could only be justified if it opened the way for treaties which secured reductions in foreign tariffs in return for abatements of our own. Any lowering of the tariff walls that obstrtwt international commerce and intensify the trade depres- sion will be welcome. But the Government must be prepared to turn a deaf ear to protests from such trades as may lose part of the protection given them a year ago. The hosiery trade, for example, has already begun to complain that Germany may send us more cheap stockings if we are allowed to sell her more coal.

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