HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 cc1651-3
31. Mr. Harold Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of our imports and exports to China up to the most recent date, together with a list of the main commodities in which there is trade.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman discourage the effete and flaccid idea that as the Chinese know the addresses of British business houses they could write to them if they wished to trade, and do his best to encourage legitimate trade in non-strategic materials with these people?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The hon. Member's question raises a slightly different point from the list for which he asked. Our business houses in China, their location and everything about them are well known to the Chinese and have been open for business at any time.

Mr. Davies

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the latter part of his statement is not now accurate—

Mr. S. Silverman

It was.

Mr. Davies

I am saying that it is not now and my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) can come in if he catches your eye, Mr. Speaker. Will the right hon. Gentleman investigate the situation so far as the blockade against China is concerned and the non-carrying out of contracts with the Chinese since the new policy?

Mr. F. Maclean

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the reason for any cooling off in trade with China is largely because the Chinese Government have put down our trading houses and turned them out?

Mr. Thorneycroft

They have certainly put many obstacles in the way of normal trade.

Following is the answer:

Imports from China in the year 1951 were £7,667,160, and in January to March, 1952, £981,468. United Kingdom exports to China in 1951 were £2,674,733, and in January to March, 1952, £196,837. The following table gives the main commodities:

Commodity Year 1951 Jan.-March, 1952
Pottery, Glass, Abrasives, etc. 74 4
Iron and Steel and Manufactures thereof 333
Non-ferrous metals and Manufactures thereof 65
Cutlery, Hardware, Implements and Instruments 163 6
Electrical Goods and Apparatus 378 24
Textile machinery 360 97
Other machinery 295 31
Wool tops 377
Chemicals, Drugs, Dyes and Colours 344 19
Pedal cycles 105
All other articles 181 16
TOTAL 2,675 197
Commodity Year 1951 Jan.-March, 1952
Maize 1,489 358
Feeding-stuffs for animals 793 138
Eggs, not in shell 1,136 46
Seeds for expressing oil 1,429 189
Vegetable oils, other than essential—
Tung oil, raw 109 15
Other 141
Hides and Skins, undressed 205 40
Bristles 362 9
Hair, raw 285 7
Silk, raw and waste 133
Textile Yarns and Manufactures 246 18
Apparel 120 31
Menthol 283
Essential oils, natural 122 5
All other articles 814 125
TOTAL 7,667 981
* Including Manchuria but excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Formosa.