HC Deb 01 May 1952 vol 499 cc1657-8
42. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give a complete list of all the commodities included under the designation of strategic goods, which this country is precluded from exporting to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China and certain other countries.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

All exports to North Korea are prohibited. The China embargo list was published in the OFFICIAL REPORT on the 19th June, 1951, in a statement after Questions made by the then President of the Board of Trade. As regards exports to the U.S.S.R. and the European Cominform countries, there is a complete embargo on the export of arms, ammunition and atomic energy materials. Further, we have prohibited the export of all other goods which are likely to be of primary strategic importance.

The complete list is very much more complicated than the China embargo list and I see no reason to dissent from the decision of the previous Government that its publication would not be in the public interest.

Mr. Davies

Would the right hon. Gentleman enlighten us by telling us why the publication of the consequences of our obviously foolhardy policy will not be to the advantage of the House and the country? Has he forgotten that only a few moments ago he lamented the obstacles that had been erected against the normal carrying on of the trade of this country, and is not this the most fatuous of obstacles created by any Government?

Mr. Thorneycroft

All I can say is that, having weighed the arguments as best I can, I have come to the conclusion that it would not be in the public interest to publish the list.