45. Mr. De la Bère
asked the Prime Minister whether he will find time for a 2705 discussion of the Motion standing in the name of the hon. Member for Evesham relating to Compensation of Exports with Imports?
§ [That this House, whilst fully realising the importance of exports to an industrial nation, is concerned lest these exports be exploited to the disadvantage of the largest industry in the country, that of agriculture; is of opinion that a great deal more foodstuffs could be grown at home than at present, even though this country would not be able to produce sufficient foodstuffs to enable it entirely to do without imported food; and urges on the Government the necessity of insuring that supplies from the Dominions and foreign countries should only be admitted on condition that the countries concerned were prepared to purchase from this country to the extent of 75 per cent. of the value of the foodstuffs which are imported by them instead of the 30 per cent., which is the average amount purchased in exchange by many countries to-day, with a view to benefiting the manufacturers of this country by compelling importers to purchase more goods from this country and less from competitors, and by enhancing the purchasing power of the farming community by the production of several hundred million pounds' worth more food, thus building up a prosperous countryside, creating a healthier and finer race of people, with a better standard of living and an increased spending capacity, to the advantage of all communities throughout the country.]
§ The Prime Minister
In view of the statement on Business which I made on Thursday last, my hon. Friend will realise that there will be no opportunity for the discussion of this Motion.
Mr. De la Bère
Is the Prime Minister aware of the alarming difference between the value of what is imported into this country and the value of the manufactured goods which we export; and, further, are not certain foreign countries defaulting on the interest on their loans which they obtain in order to provide for the manufactured goods, and also on the capital as well? Is not this one of the most important things that can be considered to-day?
§ The Prime Minister
While fully recognising these things, that does not enable me to find more time.