HC Deb 23 November 1949 vol 470 cc362-4
46. Mr. Tiffany

asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the response so far made to his appeal for increased exports to the dollar area.

The Prime Minister

The country will be grateful to those firms who have already made strenuous efforts to expand their sales to dollar markets, and, while it is far too early to see results in the export figures, evidence continues to come in of many firms who are joining in the dollar drive. A great deal, however, remains to be done before we can afford to say that we are satisfied.

Mr. Tiffany

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the compliments which he paid to the workers and management of export manufacturing firms at the recent Lord Mayor's Banquet and to the Perkin Diesel Company are greatly appreciated and serve as a stimulus in the export drive?

Major Beamish

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what contribution has been made to the export drive by one of the biggest organisations in the country, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, of which the hon. Gentleman is a nominee?

The Prime Minister

The hon. and gallant Gentleman must put that question down.

Mr. M. Philips Price

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in view of the amount of information that exists with our diplomatic and consular officials in the United States on the matter of our British exports to that country, that information is duly conveyed to exporters in this country, because the information is very important?

The Prime Minister

I think that information is given. If my hon. Friend has a question on that matter, perhaps he will put it to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. Mikardo

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the ratio of dollar exports to the total exports has remained virtually unchanged for three and a half years, and since this is our most urgent commercial task at the present time, and since measures so far taken do not appear to be adequate, will he re-examine the matter to see if there are some fresh or even unorthodox methods which can be taken to increase this ratio?

Mr. Gandar Dower

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if he is satisfied with the increase in exports and if that gives him some hope of balancing the devaluation of the £?