HC Deb 26 January 1956 vol 548 cc345-6
16. Mr. Dodds

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress is being made in increasing trade between this country and China; and what are the prospects for the next 12 months.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Trade between this country and China was 28 per cent. higher in 1955 than in the previous year. The prospects are that it will be maintained at this level in 1956.

Mr. Dodds

Is the Minister satisfied that we are doing the best we can? Is he not aware that in many responsible quarters there is still a feeling that the Government have been far too cautious in matters of this sort?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The figures show a substantial increase.

Mr. Dodds

It is not good enough.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that for about three years we have never been given a clear answer to the question of the Government's attitude with regard to trade with China? Now, nearly three years after the end of the fighting in Korea, is it not time that this boycott was relaxed, and the same restrictions placed upon trade with China as apply to trade with Eastern Europe?

Mr. Thorneycroft

That question, although pertinent, raises wider issues than can be dealt with simply by way of question and answer.