HC Deb 27 March 1956 vol 550 cc1946-7
11. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade what facilities his Department offers to encourage the British motor industry to compete successfully in overseas markets against the growing challenge particularly of Germany.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. A. R. W. Low)

All the services of information, help and advice provided by the Board of Trade and overseas officers for exporters generally are available to the motor industry; so are the facilities for export credit insurance offered by the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

Mr. Johnson

Does not the Minister think that the best thing he can do is to lift the embargo on exports to China? Is it not a fact that the Americans are pouring cars into China whilst they insist that we retain the embargo? Is it not time that the Minister woke up to facts of life and looked after the interests of the workers in my constituency and also of those of Coventry, which adjoins it?

Mr. Low

As has frequently been explained by my right hon. Friend and myself, the export to China of nearly all types of motor cars is freely allowed. The embargo is upon commercial vehicles.

Mr. Bottomley

Bearing in mind all the excellent service provided by Her Majesty's Government for exporters generally, can the Minister say why the motor car industry is not doing better in the export trade?

Mr. Low

We discussed that matter the other day during the employment debate, and it has been covered by my right hon. Friend frequently in Answers to Questions. It goes much wider than this Question.

Mr. Bottomley

Is the Minister aware that we have had no reply to those observations and that this is why I have put my Question again?

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Would not the best thing be to encourage the motor industry by discouraging any further wage increases that put up costs?