HC Deb 14 October 1941 vol 374 cc1220-1
10. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is the policy of His Majesty's Government to discourage the opening of new outlets for British exports to the United States of America; and whether he is aware that the Department of Overseas Trade has declined to suggest the names of suitable agents for a particular industry in the United States of America, on the grounds that business has not previously been done in that market?

Sir A. Duncan

The growing demands made by the war upon our labour, materials and plant make it increasingly difficult to promote now lines of export trade; accordingly, it is sometimes not possible to encourage such developments. I shall be glad to look into the case my hon. Friend has in mind if he will let me have particulars.

Sir W. Davison

Surely it is the obligation of the Board of Trade to make contacts in the United States for possible business in the future? This is not the time to make applications of this nature. Surely it is the duty of the Board of Trade to develop and encourage our future trade after the war?

Sir A. Duncan

It is not so simple as that. We have to consider the susceptibilities of the United States in these matters, as well as the proper return we should make for the invaluable help they are rendering to us now.

Sir W. Davison

Is there any contact with trade organisations in the United States so that a proper understanding may be established after the war with regard to Anglo-American trade?

Sir A. Duncan

Discussions in relation to the Lease-Lend arrangements are going on at the present time with the appropriate authorities in the United States.

13. Mr. Hannah

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government are in touch with the Institute of Export as to the best way to keep alive our foreign markets in war-time with a view to the development of overseas trade the moment peace is in sight?

9. Mr. Price

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any steps are being taken to regain, after the war, for British exporting industries markets now being lost or voluntarily abandoned under Lease-Lend arrangements with the United States of America?

Sir A. Duncan

Winning the war must be our paramount task. But so far as is consistent with that and with our Lease-Lend obligations, everything possible will be done to preserve markets for our postwar trade. I shall be very ready to consider any suggestions that any trade organisation may have to make on the subject.

Mr. Hannah

Except for winning the war, do the Government realise that this question is more important than any other?

Sir H. Williams

Is the Export Council still functioning?

Sir A. Duncan

The Export Council is still functioning, and so is the export programme.