HC Deb 24 January 1956 vol 548 cc28-9
44. Mr. Grimond

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to improve the balance of trade.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I am not yet in a position to make any general statement.

Mr. Grimond

In view of the continual excess of imports over exports, can the Chancellor of the Exchequer say whether he is contemplating any further steps to reduce the demand for inessential imports?

Mr. Macmillan

I would rather stand by my reply and say that I am not yet in a position to make a general statement.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the balance of visible trade in 1955 was about £270 million worse than in 1954 despite the fact that world economic conditions in general were a great deal easier and more advantageous to our balance of trade? Will he therefore indicate especially what policies he intends to follow to reduce unnecessary imports?

Mr. Macmillan

The right hon. Gentleman, as so often, has imparted information rather than asked it of me, but I think that he also would agree that a general debate or a general statement would be a more suitable occasion than answers to questions.