HC Deb 12 June 1956 vol 554 c221
18. Mr. Sorensen

asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the substantial increase of imports into Burma from Communist countries during the past twelve months, to what extent these have replaced Burmese imports of British goods; and if he is satisfied that everything possible is being done to ensure maximum trade between the United Kingdom and Burma.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Burma has substantially increased her purchases from Communist countries as a result of her barter arrangements with them. Some part of these purchases would not otherwise have been made at all from any country, but as regards the rest the purchases do affect Burma's imports from us and from other countries outside the Communist bloc. As the greater part of Burma's rice sales are still made for cash to the free world, we have recently made representations to the Government of Burma pressing them to permit the import under non-discriminatory trading conditions of at least a fair proportion of Burma's requirements of all classes of goods.

Mr. Sorensen

Can the Minister state whether, in fact, those representations have had any effect and, if so, what is likely to be the result in the coming twelve months?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I hope that they will have an effect.