HC Deb 15 March 1956 vol 550 cc538-9
16. Mr. Bottomley

asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from the Australian Government regarding their official proposals for revising the Ottawa Agreement at the forthcoming Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

It is not the practice to disclose the subjects to be discussed at meetings of Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the President of the Board of Trade aware that it has already been reported in The Times Survey that this is so? In those circumstances, does he not think that he should tell the House of Commons something about it?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I am not in the least responsible for what is reported in The Times.

Mr. Stokes

Although it does not directly arise from the original Question—but it very nearly does—may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman does not think it is about time that at this conference we should give the world a lead by making it quite clear that we no longer expect a developing country to have a favourable balance of trade, because that is nonsense?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I do not think that I can promise that that will be on the agenda of the conference.

Mr. Stokes

Well, it ought to be.