HC Deb 05 May 1952 vol 500 cc31-2
51. Mr. Maurice Edelman

asked the Minister of Supply by how much he proposes that exports of machinery in 1952 should exceed comparable exports in 1951.

The Minister of Supply (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

We have urged manufacturers to increase the export of machinery as much as possible and we are discussing targets with each of the industries concerned; but I do not think there would be any advantage in publishing forecasts.

Mr. Edelman

Whilst I welcome the likelihood of increasing exports of machinery, is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that, parallel with this policy, there is to be a considerable reduction in importation of machinery to this country? is he aware of the damaging effect that will have on the re-equipment of British industry and also on productivity? Will he not reconsider this policy-as it appears that he is at the moment taking a short-term profit for a long-term loss?

Mr. Sandys

The hon. Member knows well the country's economic position. It is the policy of the Government to increase exports of machinery in so far as that is compatible with meeting the most essential needs of our domestic industry.