HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc584-5
12. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that certain member States of the United Nations are interpreting the General Assembly's Resolution of 18th May, 1951, as permitting the export of turbogenerators to China; and if he will now revise Her Majesty's Government's interpretation so as to permit British exporters to participate in this trade.

Mr. Nutting

As far as I am aware, only one Western member State of the United Nations has issued licences for the export of turbo-generators to China and these exports have not yet taken place. Her Majesty's Government do not consider that this is a sufficient reason for revising their own controls.

Mr. Swingler

Can the Minister of State say what action Mer Majesty's Government are going to take about this case? Is it not a fact that this member State is a member of the consultative group upon the controls of East-West trade? Is it the view of the Government that this export should be permitted, while British exporters may not carry on trade? What action are the Government going to take?

Mr. Nutting

The hon. Member is quite wrong. The country concerned is not a member of the consultative group and did not vote for the United Nations Resolution in question.

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that turbo-generators were first included in this list as the result of the bombing of the Yalu River power houses during the Korean War? Will he also bear in mind that in present circumstances there is every opportunity for certain foreign competitors of Britain receiving orders from China for this very valuable class of equipment but that those opportunities are being denied, by the ban, to British exporters? Will my right hon. Friend therefore review this particular form of manufactured article in view of its special importance to Britain's export trade?

Mr. Nutting

As the Prime Minister said in the House the other day that he was not prepared to go into the question of trade embargoes in advance of the Washington talks, I do not think I had better go further than I have, namely, to say that in this case—as I have already told the hon. Member opposite—the country concerned was not a member of the consultative group and is not bound by the terms of the United Nations Resolution. We are.

26. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he is taking with the United Nations to raise the embargo on trade with China, in the interests of the British export trade.

Mr. Nutting

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given by the Prime Minister to the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) on 24th January, to which I have nothing to add.

Mr. Warbey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the United Nations Resolution is now completely out-of-date? As British ships seem to be carrying quite a lot of goods of other countries to China, would it not be good to give them an opportunity to carry some British goods as well?

Mr. Nutting

I have nothing to add to the Answer which I have given to the hon. Gentleman.