HC Deb 19 December 1938 vol 342 cc2462-4
56. Mr. Liddall

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has drawn the attention of individual trade associations to the detailed information about various goods as printed in Section 2 of his Department's Report No. 705 on trade with the Argentine; and will he, in order to increase the export of British goods to Argentina, issue a publication to chambers of commerce giving the replies of those associations to the observations of His Majesty's Commercial Counsellor at Buenos Aires?

57. Sir Joseph Leech

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether, in order that the information provided on pages 45 to 89 of the April, 1938, report of His Majesty's Commercial Counsellor in Buenos Aires may be acted upon by British exporters, he will arrange for members of his staff to confer separately with the representatives of every trade referred to in the report, to show firms interested in British export trade how they may benefit by the opportunities disclosed by the report?

58. Sir Nicholas Grattan-Doyle

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether, in view of the helpful critical analysis of the reasons for our losing trade in Argentina shown in the last report of His Majesty's Commercial Counsellor in Buenos Aires, he will ask other British overseas representatives for annual reports similarly critical; and will he now ask representatives of British industries organised in units to consult with him as to how, by the adoption of the recommendations already furnished, export sales may be increased?

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The primary purpose of the annual reports issued by the Department is to give a general picture of economic and commercial conditions abroad rather than detailed information in regard to particular products. Such detailed information, including advice as to the classes of goods required, is separately reported to the Department by its overseas officers and is brought directly to the notice of trade associations, chambers of commerce, and individual firms concerned. The Department's overseas representatives also pay periodical visits to the United Kingdom during which they visit the principal commercial and industrial centres in order to confer with firms interested in export trade. The annual reports are published and are reviewed in the daily and in the trade and technical Press, and the Department also takes steps to draw attention to their publication. In general, therefore, it is not necessary to communicate with trade bodies in regard to particular passages in reports, but where this is desirable it is done. I am afraid it would not be practicable or desirable to publish such correspondence.

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