§ 7. Mrs. Castle
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he was consulted by the United States Government about the restrictions recently imposed by the Mutual Security Agency on the carriage of goods to Formosa in British ships also carrying goods to China; and if he can give an estimate of what effect this is likely to have on British trade with China.
§ Mr. Nutting
No, Sir. I am advised that these Mutual Security Agency regulations apply to ships of all flags carrying Mutual Security Agency cargoes to Formosa. Such regulations are entirely within the competence of the United States Government, and there is no reason why Her Majesty's Government or any other Government should have been consulted. I am advised that the effect of this instruction on British trade with China is likely to be slight, since few British ships carry Mutual Security Agency cargoes to Formosa.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this ban does not apply to strategic war materials but applies to any cargoes to China, even such peaceful cargoes as fertilisers or wool tops, and prevents such cargoes from being carried in ships which are carrying goods financed by the Mutual Security Agency? In view of the fact that the Foreign Secretary has just accepted further restrictions on shipping relating to strategic goods, 817 might not a quid pro quo be asked for at the same time with regard to this ban on normal trading?
§ Mr. Nutting
—carrying cargo to Formosa of any kind—but cargoes to which the Mutual Security Agency of the United States, in other words the United States taxpayer, has subscribed money. I do not consider it unreasonable that they should make such a demand that the ships carrying these cargoes and earning freight charges from the Mutual Security Agency should be debarred from carrying on trade with Communist China.
§ Mr. Donnelly
In view of the statement issued yesterday on the agreement between the Foreign Secretary and the American Government, has the hon. Gentleman any further information to give to the House? Is he aware that, on the face of it, what it appears we have achieved is the maximum political harm with the minimum strategic gain?
§ Mr. Nutting
The hon. Member is asking a rather wider supplementary question, but he will recall that on 18th May, 1951, the United Nations General Assembly, by a resolution, applied an embargo on the export of goods of direct strategic value to the Chinese war effort. The agreement now reached between the Foreign Secretary and the United States Government is designed to tighten the measures taken to apply that United Nations embargo and to carry out the spirit as well as the letter of the United Nations Resolution.