HC Deb 15 May 1952 vol 500 cc1601-2
4. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the percentage of goods affected by the recent import cuts which came from sterling area countries.

Sir A. Salter

The cuts do not apply to imports from sterling area sources.

Mr. Shepherd

When the Prime Minister of Australia visits this country will my right hon. Friend draw his attention to the disparity between the methods of this country in effecting imports cuts and those of the Australian Government?

Sir A. Salter

All these matters will doubtless be discussed; but I think it is right to say that the pattern of trade is different in the two cases.

5. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the present cuts in the import programme are proving adequate to deal with our balance of payments problem.

Sir A. Salter

Our balance of payments situation is improving, and the import cuts have, of course, been an important factor in this.

Mr. Shepherd

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that as a result of these changes, there will be the necessary surplus in the second half of the year?

Sir A. Salter

It is too early to make a confident prophecy.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

On a point of order. Might I ask the Minister, through you, Sir, to address the Chair when he answers supplementary questions put by his hon. Friends, as when he turns away none of us can hear?

Mr. Speaker

I may say that I have observed that both Front Benches frequently turn one way or the other. I would remind hon. Members on the Front Benches that they are more audible if they address the microphone.