HC Deb 15 April 1948 vol 449 cc1143-4
16. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the stocks held by men's outfitters are of large dimensions and are frozen because the markets are closed; and if he will take steps to enable traders to dispose of these goods, particulars of which have been sent him, either at home or abroad.

Mr. H. Wilson

It is not the case that all overseas markets are closed to goods of this kind and it is most important that traders should take every possible step to live up to the undertakings to export on which they acquired such goods. I am writing to the hon. Member about the particular case of which he has given me some details.

Sir W. Smithers

While thanking the Minister for that answer, may I ask him if he will take what steps he can to decrease the coupon value, or to issue more coupons for home consumption and give complete freedom for export? Does he not realise that the accumulation of stocks is entirely due to State control?

Mr. Wilson

No, it is due to nothing of the kind. I have already made considerable easement in the matter of export controls, and I am not aware of any difficulties in the way of exporting these goods so far as the British Government are concerned.

Mr. Spence

May I ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has taken all steps to see that foreign markets are open for our goods? Is he also aware that, although we have just signed a trade agreement with Denmark, Danish traders have informed suppliers here that no men's clothing is to be imported?

Mr. Wilson

I made a pretty full statement on this subject on Monday last and referred specifically to the case of Denmark.

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