Salter, Arthur
January 1932
Foreign Affairs;Jan1932, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p188
This article presents some suggestions to solving Great Britain's dilemma in 1932 with regards to its foreign economic policy. In the first place, emergency powers are likely to be secured from Parliament for the imposition of such new duties or prohibitions as events may require. This would cover duties or restrictions against excessive dumping resulting from the world's financial crisis, and special duties against luxury imports, designed to help the pound or to prevent a fall in its external purchasing power from depriving the country of its more necessary imports. Duties (including some on subsidiary articles of food) of a tentative and temporary character may be expected under these powers, the exact extent and character of them depending upon the development of the financial crisis. In the meantime, it is likely that a scheme of protective duties of a more permanent character will be elaborated and examined by a commission which will take evidence from the interests affected. Such an examination is likely to bring out much opposition in detail to particular proposals. The effect of this will be to restrict the protection and make it subject to onerous conditions as to reorganization and as to safeguards against price increases that are out of line with world conditions. Meantime the Government will be able to bargain with a freer hand with other countries. This process of bargaining will in turn raise the question of a considerable extension of the exceptions to the most-favored-nation clause. It is likely also to involve a further departure from the conditions of secrecy with regard to prospective duties. Meanwhile negotiations, culminating perhaps in the Imperial Conference of July next, will proceed with the Dominions; and the whole development will be influenced at every stage by external world events.


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