HC Deb 04 April 1957 vol 568 cc573-4
45. Mr. Swingler

asked the Prime Minister what discussions he had with President Eisenhower on the subject of trade with China; and what decisions were reached.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave on Tuesday.

Mr. Swingler

May I ask the Prime Minister whether he will be good enough to amplify that statement? Is he aware that there has been a very long delay in considering this question of relaxing the embargo on trade with China; that it is a matter of years and not months? Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will fix a time limit to the discussions, after which he will take action in the interests of British firms?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. As the hon. Gentleman says, it has been a very long problem. That is why I said I hope to make a statement shortly.

Sir T. Moore

Apart from our natural desire to work closely with the United States, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether it would be helpful to the prosperity of our country if the area of trade with China were widened, especially as it involves 600 million possible buyers?

The Prime Minister

For that reason I hope to be able to make a statement shortly.