HC Deb 09 November 1954 vol 532 cc1032-3
30. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of increased competition in the Canadian market; and what steps he is taking to encourage and promote British exports to Canada.

Mr. Low

Yes, Sir. However, according to the latest statistics, the United Kingdom maintained its share of Canadian imports in the first seven months of this year, and I am confident that when Canadian trade resumes its upward trend British industry will not be behindhand. Officials here and in Canada, who enjoy invaluable support from the Dollar Exports Council, assist and encourage British exporters to Canada daily, and in many ways; and no opportunity is lost to make known in Canada, as my right hon. Friend himself stressed on his visit there last June, that the United Kingdom is now able to offer goods competitive in price, quality and delivery in nearly the entire range of Canadian imports.

Mr. Hughes

Is this rosy and optimistic survey in accordance with the facts? Is the Minister aware that recently Germany has increased her competition in the Canadian market, that Krupps has recently secured very great contracts; and while the Germans are off armaments and competing in the Canadian market we are on armaments, and therefore restricted in competition?

Mr. Low

My statement was strictly in accordance with the facts and was not optimistic. I think that the hon. Gentleman was very pessimistic.

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend have regard to the fact that the most important export to Canada from this country is investment of British financial funds, and is it not a fact that this year British investments in Canada ran at a rate four to five times greater than during the last year of Socialist Government?

Mr. Low

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for making that point. The trade figures do not, of course, reflect the remitted profits from many of the manufacturing subsidiaries set up in Canada by British firms.

Mr. Hughes

In view of this disgraceful conduct and neglect of the British Empire, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member should really confine himself to the well-known formula, "Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise this matter on the Adjournment."

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