HC Deb 18 June 1953 vol 516 cc1164-5
17. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to make a review of the strategic controls over exports to Eastern countries.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

There is nothing I can usefully add to the answer which I gave the right hon. Member in reply to his question of 11th June.

Mr. Wilson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are now in existence a considerable number of strategic restrictions the removal of which would not make the slightest difference to the security of this country or any other country? Secondly, is he aware that the Soviet Union particularly—it may be less true of China—could substantially increase their exports to this country of grain, timber and other materials and provide large orders for consumer goods from us if there were a reasonable easement of the strategic control list?

Mr. Thorneycroft

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, the strategic control list was drawn up by my predecessors, including the right hon. Gentleman himself. It is kept under constant examination. Our desire is to try to keep in line, so far as is possible between one country and another. In present circumstances, I cannot see that there is any case for radical alteration.

Mr. Wilson

Since the attempts of the right hon. Gentleman to keep in line with other countries seems to be always based on adding items to the list, may I ask whether he can say when there was a removal of any important item from the strategic list?