HC Deb 14 June 1956 vol 554 c758
43. Mr. G. Darling

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he has so far taken to encourage smaller firms in manufacturing trades to form co-operative agencies for promoting exports; and whether he will lend the services of his Department to trade associations for this purpose.

Mr. Low

Industry is well aware of this method of export trading. The Government's export services are available at all times to trade associations and their members, but it must be for the firms concerned to decide on the best method of conducting their export business.

Mr. Darling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that quite a number of trades, particularly in the light engineering section, could expand their exports if the individual firms could spend more money on overseas advertising promotion and sales, but that they cannot afford this unless they work together? Would he encourage them by suggesting schemes of co-operative action which would achieve that result?

Mr. Low

I do not think any suggestions from us are necessary. This is already done in one or two cases, and there are, of course, other methods—quite satisfactory methods, such as exporting through export merchants—which also work extremely well to this end. I am well aware of the importance of smaller manufacturers exporting more.