HC Deb 10 June 1952 vol 502 cc15-6
27. Mr. Patrick Maitland

asked the President of the Board of Trade what results he has achieved in conversations with the Australian Government about cuts in imports of British goods, including Scottish textiles, and chenille in particular.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I am still discussing these and other trade matters with Mr. Menzies and cannot make any statement at present.

50. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the rapid using up of Australia's sterling balances, he will arrange a long-term credit so as to enable the speedy resumption of shipment of goods from this country to Australia.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir. I am afraid that our economic situation does not enable us to finance the export of British goods in the way proposed.

Mr. Stokes

If that really is so, how does the right hon. Gentleman propose that we shall ever get Commonwealth development far enough forward so that we get our consumer needs satisfied within a reasonable time? Surely this is a most retrogressive attitude?

Mr. Butler

In the case of capital goods, of course, the right hon. Gentleman is aware of the Export Credit Guarantees which provide a certain proportion on shipment and a certain proportion within two years. If he is referring to capital goods, he will see that there is some consideration there.

Mr. Stokes

I was referring to capital goods, but I still regard the answer of the Chancellor as completely unsatisfactory. Here we are wanting more consumer goods from Australia but not doing nearly enough to supply them with the necessary capital goods to produce them.

Mr. Butler

The original answer was provided before a little bird informed me that the right hon. Gentleman intended to say "Capital goods."

Back to