HC Deb 27 January 1947 vol 432 c590
35. Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the need for restoring British foreign trade, he will take immediate steps to secure the re-admission of British business men to Japan.

Mr. McNeil

Trade with Japan is still, for the time being, on a Government to Government basis. His Majesty's Government are aware of the desirability of bringing about the early resumption of private trade provided that satisfactory arrangements are first made for the necessary intermediate steps. These include the return of British business men to Japan and the provision of facilities to enable them to operate their business. These matters are at present under discussion with the competent allied authorities in Washington, to whom our views have been made known.

Brigadier Maclean

Is it not a fact that representatives of American insurance agencies and motor manufacturers have already visited Japan?

Mr. McNeill

In regard to the third category—motor representatives—I have no knowledge of them. As to the first two, it is true that they are not there in a commercial position. They are there because certain currency, banking and insurance facilities have to be made available to the troops there, and I repeat that the position is that there are no normal business transactions. As I have stated, there is no discrimination against British business men, and we would not permit that to be so.