HC Deb 29 July 1941 vol 373 cc1230-1
13. Mr. Stokes

asked the President of the Board of Trade, on what grounds it has been decided to be necessary to continue the export of cotton goods and textiles to the United States of America where there is already a sufficiency of clothing?

Mr. Harcourt Johnstone (Secretary, Department of Overseas Trade)

Our need for dollars is very great, and it is essential that we should make the fullest use we can of the export capacity which we still possess, without interfering with essential home requirements.

Mr. Stokes

Will the hon. Gentleman say how he reconciles this statement with President Roosevelt's advice to his countrymen to "cut out the dollar sign and forget the financial nonsense," and will he also say why he has considered it advisable to export clothing from this country, where we have too little, to America, where they have too much?

Mr. Johnstone

I do not think those points call for a reply. Whatever my hon. Friend may say, the Treasury's need for dollars is still very great, and if the United States wish to buy clothes which we can manufacture and which are superfluous to our bare requirements, there is no reason why they should not be exported.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not the case that we are producing manufactured goods out of raw materials supplied by the United States of America? Is that why?

Mr. Johnstone

No, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we not producing cotton goods from American cotton?