HC Deb 02 February 1956 vol 548 cc1050-1
3. Sir L. Plummer

asked the President of the Board of Trade when he expects that the trade talks with Roumania will be reopened.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

We have invited the Roumanian Government to send a delegation to London for trade and financial talks, and we await their reply.

Sir L. Plummer

While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask him to remember that since the trade talks with Roumania were broken off six months ago the Germans have made arrangements to increase their trade to something like three times ours with Roumania, and the French have also increased their trade arrangements for 1956, and that these might have been a welcome addition to our trade?

Mr. Thorneycroft

As I say, we have issued an invitation. I will not comment upon the possibilities in advance of our discussions.

Mr. Bottomley

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is not trade alone that holds up these negotiations, and that so far as it is possible for him to carry on these negotiations he will see that the trade part develops as fast as possible?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The right hon. Gentleman is quite right. There are trade and payments questions involved.