HC Deb 07 July 1953 vol 517 cc1033-4
19. Mr. Russell

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent he has information that United Kingdom exports, especially to South America, are being handicapped by subsidised exports from foreign countries.

Mr. Mackeson

Certain foreign Governments have special incentives for their exporters which, in our view, act as export subsidies. These schemes are one of several factors contributing to the increased competition which our exporters are meeting in South American as in other markets, but their effect cannot be measured in isolation.

Mr. Russell

Can my hon. Friend say what steps he is taking to bring this up to the Committee which is responsible for running G.A.T.T.?

Mr. Mackeson

Yes, Sir. We are talking to individual Governments, raising the matter with the appropriate international institutions and, in particular, with the International Monetary Fund and with O.E.E.C.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the House to be informed of any success following the visit of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs? The Secretary for Overseas Trade will remember that I said that it was the job of the Joint Under-Secretary to report to us as well, if he had any information of any kind.

Mr. Mackeson

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put down that question to the Foreign Secretary.

Mr. K. Thompson

Is the Minister aware that one of the most important subsidies for exports to other countries is extended credit, and that efforts on the part of British exporters to offer extended credit have been hampered to some extent by the increase in the rates charge by the E.C.G.D. covering these exports, and will he look into it?

Mr. Mackeson

I will gladly look into it, but I should like to see that supplementary question in writing.