HC Deb 19 December 1938 vol 342 cc2465-6
63. Mr. Garro Jones

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what reply he has given to the representations made to him by the Federation of British Industries in which they are attempting to influence the commercial policy of this country; and whether he will undertake to discourage a campaign of unfair discrimination against the progressive socialist economy of New Zealand and in particular to give no support to a policy designed to exclude that Dominion unilaterally from such benefit as may come to them under the Ottawa Agreement?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

My right hon. Friend has taken note of the representations by the Federation of British Industries to which the hon. Member refers. I have seen no evidence of a campaign of unfair discrimination against New Zealand. The letter from the Federation of British Industries in fact expresses appreciation of some of the statements made by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and indicates that at a future date the Federation might have to press for a modification of the Ottawa Agreement with New Zealand in the event of the new policy having certain results.

Mr. Garro Jones

Does not the right hon. Gentleman receive Press cuttings showing the dishonest campaign against the Socialist Government in New Zealand which is being conducted in the columns of the financial Press?

Mr. Hudson

I have no evidence of any such campaign. I think that possibly some of the statements to which the hon. Gentleman refers were based on a misapprehension of what, in fact, the letter from the Federation contained.

Mr. Garro Jones

If the right hon. Gentleman has no evidence and no arrangement by which references to the New Zealand economy in the financial Press are sent to him in the form of Press cuttings, will he make such arrangements in order that he may be better informed?

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