HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 c996
34. Mr. Grimond

asked the President of the Board of Trade to make a statement on the effect of the steps recently taken by Australia to liberalise her trade with this country.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

I welcome the Australian Government's decision to terminate the import restrictions on many more goods, and to increase the quota for consumer goods. I cannot say in detail what the effect of these relaxations will be on trade with Britain, as they apply to imports from a great number of countries, but I am confident that British exporters will secure a good share of the increased trade.

Mr. Grimond

What categories of goods are principally affected, and what is the value to exporters from this country?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The Prime Minister of Australia has indicated that he thought the value was about £A25 million, but it is very difficult to do otherwise than guess at the share which British exporters will get. It depends to some extent on the competitive character of British export industries.

Mr. Gaitskell

Are the Australian Government continuing to maintain restrictions on the import of dollar goods?

Mr. Thorneycroft

Yes, Sir, they have restrictions on the import of dollar goods and Japanese goods. The relaxations should be of substantial help to British exporters generally.