HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 cc1788-9
27. Commander Donaldson

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Canada is anxious to rebuild her trade with Britain; and if he will, whenever possible, recommend the expenditure of dollars in Canada when dollar purchases are under consideration.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I know and share Canada's desire to rebuild her trade with Britain. I am glad that the improvement in our balance of payments has enabled us in recent months to relax restrictions affecting imports of many staple products from Canada.

Commander Donaldson

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask if he will press on with zeal and vigour towards increasing trade between these two countries, which has been traditional for at least a century?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Yes, Sir, I am glad to say that we have now been able to place on open general licence such commodities as wheat, coarse grains, soft wood, copper, lead, and zinc, all of which will be satisfactory to that country.

Mr. Bottomley

Is it not likely that goods to be dumped in the United States will be sold in preference to Canadian supplies?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That is very well looked after.

Mr. E. Johnson

Does my right hon. Friend think there is any possibility of Canada accepting payment in sterling for some goods she wants to sell and which we in turn want to buy?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That raises a rather wider issue and does not come directly under my Department.

Mr. J. T. Price

How does the President justify a complete embargo on Canadian apples because of the dollar shortage but an unlimited import of Canadian barley for the purpose of ruining the industry in this country?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The relative essential character of these various things must be taken into account by the Government concerned. In general, all Governments have recognised that the import of cereals and coarse grain does rank above the import of apples.