§ 20. Mr. Nigel Fisher
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement following the discussions recently concluded between his 2276 Department and the trade delegation from Spain.
Mr. H. Wilson
Discussions on the progress of Anglo-Spanish trade and payments have just been concluded between representatives of the Treasury and the Board of Trade and a Spanish trade and financial delegation. It is expected that Spain will be able to maintain and possibly to increase the existing rate of supply of important raw materials. Prospects for United Kingdom exports were also reviewed and I trust that, while the increased claims on our resources must mean a reduction in our exports to Spain, special regard will be paid by the Spanish authorities to the interests of our traditional trades.
§ Mr. Fisher
Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that despite the political policy of the Government towards Spain it is undeniable that the interests of both countries would be served by increased commercial relations? Could he not give the House a little more detail about the scope and character of the recent negotiations?
The hon. Gentleman will be aware that apart from strategic considerations we have never allowed political considerations to stand in the way of our commercial trade—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—and that that point has not always been understood by hon. Members opposite in connection with trade with Eastern Europe. As for the request for fuller particulars of these arrangements. I will see if something can be put in the Board of Trade Journal.
Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Foreign Secretary to avoid political considerations entering into the question of our relations with Spain?