HC Deb 30 November 1949 vol 470 cc1128-9
18. Mr. M. Philips Price

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are being taken in connection with the work of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, to secure great co-ordination between the industries and economic systems of the Marshall Plan countries and to prevent overlapping and high costs of production.

Mr. Mayhew

As my hon. Friend will appreciate, the general objectives outlined by him underlie many of the activities of O.E.E.C. As examples of progress achieved, I would quote: first, the steps which have been taken to free intra-European trade from import restrictions on the lines of the proposals first put forward last summer by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and, secondly, the studies which are proceeding as a result of directives laid down by the organisation of the investment proposed by the participating countries in the oil and steel industries.

Mr. Price

Would not an understanding on this matter contribute towards lowering costs of production, and thereby help to solve the difficult problems of the dollar deficiency for the whole of the European economy?

Mr. Mayhew

Yes, Sir. But the relaxation of import restrictions, to which I have referred, should contribute to lowering unduly high costs of production in Europe.