HC Deb 31 May 1951 vol 488 cc380-1
11. Mr. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he has considered the recommendations from the Anglo-Canadian Trade Committee, a copy of which has been sent to him, concerning the calling of an Empire economic conference; and what reply he has made.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. Gordon-Walker)

I have not received a copy of the recommendations referred to by the hon. Member.

Mr. Russell

If I send the right hon. Gentleman a copy will he look into it, in view of the fact that it is now 19 years since we last had a large-scale economic conference? Does he not think it is time, in view of the changed conditions, that we should have another?

Mr. Gordon-Walker

Naturally, I will look into the matter if the hon. Member sends me whatever he has in his possession. But I do not accept the allegation that there has not been a meeting of the Commonwealth on these matters for 19 years. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not large-scale."] We had one only last September on a very full scale.

Mr. Braine

Bearing in mind that great damage was done to Anglo-Canadian trading relations some years ago by the arbitrary cancellation of contracts, would not greater advantage accrue from accepting this suggestion at a time when the Canadians are willing to hold a conference?

Mr. Gordon-Walker

I said that I would be prepared to consider this matter, and the Government would, but we have just been having very amicable talks with Canada in the last week on all these matters.