HC Deb 24 January 1956 vol 548 cc23-4
35. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he has taken to prevent British tanks from reaching Egypt.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. Derek Walker-Smith)

I would ask the hon. and learned Member to await the statement which will be made this afternoon by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Defence.

Mr. Mallalieu

We have had a White Paper on the subject, and it refers to sales of surplus stores. Does it not refer only to sales to private traders, and are not the Government, at the same time as they are preventing sales to private traders, allowing sales through their own Departments? Is not this further evidence of the disintegration in the present Administration?

Mr. Walker-Smith

No, Sir. The hon. and learned Gentleman is reading far too much into his complicated supplementary question. I do not think it would be for the convenience of the House if I sought to anticipate the debate.

Mr. Bottomley

Is not the Board of Trade responsible for export licences? Is it not possible for the hon. and learned Gentleman to say whether the President has or has not granted export licences?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The export control machinery is set out in paragraph 9 of the White Paper, and certain action taken by the Government is set out in paragraphs 18 and 20.