HC Deb 01 December 1930 vol 245 cc1770-2

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has yet notified suitable firms in Manchester, Stockport, Huddersfield, and Leicester that there is an unfilled market in Southern Rhodesia for coloured cottons, limbo cottons, felt hats, woollen blankets, underwear, pull-overs, and shoes; and will he state whether he has suggested that steps should be taken for a representative of the trades concerned to go to Southern Rhodesia to organise business connections for the distribution of the above-mentioned United Kingdom goods with the assistance of our trade commissioner?


No, Sir, but the Government Economic Mission, under the leadership of Lord Kirkley, investigated the market in Southern Rhodesia for United Kingdom manufacturers, and one of its members, who has had long experience of the textile and allied trades, made a special study of the demand for the goods referred to. The member in question will shortly attend meetings of the trade in Manchester and elsewhere. He will then doubtless refer to the results of his investigations and give information as to openings for United Kingdom goods. During his tour he also collected, for the benefit of interested manufacturers, samples, which will be available for inspection, of foreign made textiles commanding a ready sale in Southern Africa. As a result of these meetings arrangements will, I hope, be made for representatives to go to Southern Rhodesia, where they will, of course, receive the full support of His Majesty's Trade Commissioners.


As this Commission brought back samples, will the hon. Gentleman himself go down to the Manchester district and organise a sample exhibition, so that the firms concerned may see these samples?


I cannot say whether I will organise an exhibition, but I am going to Manchester on Thursday.


Will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that there is also a very large and almost untapped market in Northern Rhodesia, even larger than in Southern Rhodesia, and will he include Northern Rhodesia in these matters as well?


From what I know of the report which is coming, I am sure that that matter is going to be referred to.


Is there any reason why the proper name of the individual concerned should not be mentioned?


The member of the Mission is Mr. Waddington.