HC Deb 28 June 1956 vol 555 cc686-7
39. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of United Kingdom total imports in 1953, 1954 and 1955 were represented by imports from Europe; and what proportion of the United Kingdom exports during 1953, 1954 and 1955 were sent to European countries.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Of imports, 29 per cent. in 1953, 30 per cent. in 1954 and 31 per cent. in 1955. Of exports, 31 per cent. in 1953, and 32 per cent. in both 1954 and 1955.

Mr. Holt

In view of the growing proportion of our trade both ways with Europe and the fact that this has gone along with increased liberalisation, would the right hon. Gentleman say when the Government intend to take further steps towards liberalisation, as we are now falling behind the other European countries with a lower percentage of about 85 per cent. only?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I think that that is a rather large policy question to hang upon a request for statistical information.

40. Mr. Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade to give the propor-

Percentages of total trade (1)
Imports U.K. Exports Exports plus re-exports
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
Commonwealth countries (2) 46.1 48.7 47.4
Non-Commonwealth sterling countries 3.6 5.9 5.8
Non-sterling non-dollar countries 37.8 37.1 38.2
Dollar countries 21.7 13.7 13.8
(1) The columns add up to more than 100 per cent. This is because Canadian trade comes into the figures for both the Commonwealth and the "dollar countries". The respective percentages are 8.8, 4.9, and 4.8. Similarly the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan is included both as Commonwealth and as "non-sterling non-dollar". The percentages are 0.4, 0.5 and 0.4.
(2) Independent members, Channel Islands, British whale fisheries and all colonial Protectorates, Trust and Mandated Territories, territories under Condominium and the Protected States of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Trucial States.