30. Mr. J. T. Price
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the partial slackening of the Australian import embargo: and the estimated value to the Lancashire textile industry during the present year of these measures.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
I have seen Press reports about forthcoming relaxations in the Australian import restrictions, but I know of no announcement by the Commonwealth Government to that effect. The second part of the Ouestion. accordingly, does not arise.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that Lancashire was one of the chief victims of the Australian restrictions? While I appreciate the need for being tolerant and showing great patience with our Australian friends, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman what action he is taking to unfreeze the vast amount of merchandise now stored in warehouses and awaiting shipment to Australia?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
The hon. Member will remember that this question was dealt with fairly specifically in the communique after the Commonwealth Conference arid also in the speech of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the debate on that subject. In view of that, and of Press reports of a forthcoming announcement by the Australian Government, I do not think that I can really add anything to my answer.