§ 27. Mr. Hamilton
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet completed his examination of the evidence he has received from the Scientific Instrument Manufacturers' Association that types of equipment made in the United Kingdom, which cannot be exported to China, are being made and copied in East Germany and elsewhere in countries under Soviet control and sent to China via the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and the nature of his reply to the association.
§ Mr. Low
I assume the hon. Member is referring to evidence from a member of the Scientific Instrument Manufacturers' Association to which I referred in my reply to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler) on 2nd November. This evidence was not from the Association. It referred to East Germany and not to China.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Is the Minister not aware that common sense would suggest that this is likely to happen, and that goods made in this country are likely to be copied in other countries and sent to China via Russia? Would he not agree that it makes us look rather ridiculous to impose an embargo and thereby deprive ourselves of markets in China which other people are getting?
§ 36. Mr. Sorensen
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an estimate of the financial loss in trade with China caused by the embargo on the export of rubber and other commodities from this country; and to what extent trade has increased as the result of the easing of the embargo.
§ Mr. Low
It is not possible to make any such estimate.
There has been no general relaxation of the embargo on the export of strategic goods to China. Certain changes were, however, made last winter in the embargo list, particularly as regards certain drugs, and as a result export licences have been issued for about £650,000 worth of goods previously controlled, mainly pharmaceuticals.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Surely if the right hon. Gentleman can give the last figure he can, by implication, make some assessment regarding the first one; and will he make further inquiries on the extent of the losses, particularly in this connection?
§ Mr. Sorensen
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any further representations are to be made about this matter? Undoubtedly there are certain commodities we could export to China which are being exported by other countries and, therefore, to our loss.
§ Mr. Awbery
Is it not a fact that when an embargo was put on rubber to China the whole of the industry in Malaya was destroyed, while at the same time contracts were entered into with Ceylon for £400 million worth of rubber to be supplied to China in four years? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into that?