HC Deb 03 May 1944 vol 399 c1324
59. Dr. Russell Thomas

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he will now publish an interim survey of our position and prospects in regard to post-war overseas trade.

Mr. Harcourt Johnstone (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

No, Sir. I see no advantage in preparing and issuing a survey which might be out of date in six months' time. Reports on markets and on the opportunities for individual industries will be issued at the appropriate time and will be as up-to-date as we can make them.

Dr. Thomas

In view of the large amount of knowledge and information which the right hon. Gentleman constantly tells us is going into his Department, does he not think that, after the Conference of the Empire Prime Ministers, he would feel a little more buoyant if he unburdened himself a little?

Mr. Johnstone

I said in my first reply that I thought the information when finally circulated should be as up to date as it possibly can be.

Captain Plugge

Does not my right hon. Friend think that our prospects for postwar overseas trade will be much enhanced if we avail ourselves of the facilities used by our Dominions and the United States of using their radio for our advertising?

Mr. Granville

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is serious anxiety among industrialists owing to the lack of figures of export trade up to 1938–39, and will he spare no expense to see that these figures are made available to industrialists who wish to export at the end of the war?

Mr. Johnstone

That is another question.