§ 4. Mr. H. G. Williams
asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of foreign countries the trade of the United Kingdom with which showed a larger adverse balance in the first quarter of this year than in the first quarter of last year?
1800 Japan have fallen by more than 50 per cent. in the first quarter of this year, as compared with the first quarter of 1937, while imports have not declined; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. There has been a heavy fall in Japan's total imports during the period mentioned, owing primarily to the necessity in which the Japanese Government are understood to find themselves of restricting imports to the minimum in present conditions. As at present advised, I can see no action which His Majesty's Government can usefully take to induce Japanese importers to buy more United Kingdom exports.