October 5, 1949 (21st Parliament, 1st Session)


Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a brief statement on the Annecy tariff negotiations. As hon. members already know, Canada, along with thirty-two other countries took part in those negotiations which were conducted at Annecy, France, between April and August of this year.
The purpose of the conference was to permit a number of additional countries to enter into tariff negotiations with a view to joining the general agreement on tariffs and trade. As a result some 140 two-sided tariff negotiations were successfully concluded. Hon. members know that these negotiations go on between the principal importer and the principal supplier of a given commodity, and the arrangement arrived at between them then is affected by the most-favoured-nation clause in the various tariffs and is of benefit to all the other members of the general agreement on tariffs and trade.
The following ten countries have as a result completed the primary condition of membership in the general agreement: Denmark, the Dominican republic, Finland, Greece, Haiti, Italy, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sweden and Uruguay.
Procedures have been established for the reciprocal entering into force of the tariff concessions provisionally agreed to at Annecy. Under these procedures no concessions need be applied before January 1, 1950. It is expected that all countries concerned will have put their .tariff concessions into force by the end of May.
The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) informed the house on September 16 that the results of the negotiations would probably be made public over this coming week end. The time has now been decided by the countries concerned. The results of the Annecy tariff negotiations will be made public by the United Nations and in the capitals of all countries concerned at an internationally agreed time corresponding to 8.30 p.m., eastern daylight saving time, next Sunday night.
An extensive press release will be issued in Ottawa at that time. Members of the house
and of the Senate will be supplied at the earliest possible moment with a copy of the full text of the release, which will run to some twenty pages.

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