HC Deb 23 January 1951 vol 483 cc29-30
52. Squadron Leader Burden

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the rearmament programme and the agreements with India, Pakistan and Ceylon, whereby the flow of unrequited exports to those countries will be considerably increased, and thus make it impossible to attain the increased export target of £300 million, if he will reopen negotiations with the Governments named, in an effort to reduce the flow of unrequited exports to the minimum.

Mr. Gaitskell

These agreements which are satisfactory to ourselves and to the other three Governments involve a reduction in the rate of releases of the sterling balances of the countries concerned in comparison with the last few years, and I have no intention of reopening negotiations.

Squadron Leader Burden

Surely, since this agreement was announced, there has been a suspension of Marshall Aid. We hope that the rearmament programme will be boosted so as to be satisfactory in view of the circumstances of today. If that is the case, will it be possible to obtain the export figures, which have been set as a target by the Government, without looking into this matter again?

Mr. Gaitskell

I think that in the present political situation, apart from anything else, it would obviously be a very unwise move to attempt to reopen the negotiations.