HC Deb 09 March 1938 vol 332 cc1892-3
63. Sir Granville Gibson

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he will review the appointments of trade and consular representatives of His Majesty's Government in South and Central America with a view to satisfying himself that the defence of British trade interests in those countries is fully competent and informative; and will he consult with British exporters, as represented by the chambers of commerce, with that end in view?

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

The organisation of the Commercial, Diplomatic and Consular services is constantly under review for the purposes referred to by my hon. Friend. If he has any special point in mind, I should be grateful if he would bring it to my notice.

Sir G. Gibson

Is the hon. Member aware that there is a general impression among exporters of this country that the least competent of our trade and consular representatives are relegated to Central America and to South American Republics, and that there are many complaints that there is not the same efficient service in this part of the world as there is in other parts of the world?

Mr. Hudson

All I can say is that in the course of my recent tour of the chief industrial centres of the country I never met a single complaint from chambers of commerce as regards our consuls in South America. On the other hand, I received numerous testimonies to the active assistance which they give to British trade. The one complaint turned out on examination to be baseless.

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