HC Deb 18 March 1952 vol 497 cc2099-100
47. Mr. Ian Horobin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in view of the fact that it will require an improvement in the net United Kingdom balance of payments of about £800 million per annum to balance our current account by the last half of this year and that only £500 million per annum is hoped for from imports cuts, what steps he has taken to ensure that the necessary additional £300 million per annum can be obtained by increases in exports.

Mr. R. A. Butler

As regards comparison between the second half of 1951 and the second half of 1952, I am not prepared to add to my statement of 29th January, but I would refer the hon. Member to what I said in my Budget speech about our new objectives and the improvement necessary in 1952–53 compared with 1951–52.

Mr. Horobin

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply but would he not agree, in view of the large proportion of invisible exports on which he is relying, that this strengthens the case for the re-opening of the produce markets, including the Liverpool Cotton Market.

Mr. Butler

I think that raises a somewhat wider question.