HC Deb 09 April 1957 vol 568 cc947-8
24. Mr. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that business worth nearly $1,000 million was done by the German Democratic Republic at the Leipzig Trade Fair; that much of this trade was done with countries having no political or diplomatic relations with this Government; what amount of this trade was done by British industry; and what action he proposes to take to extend this trade.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I am aware of the Press reports of the business transacted at the Leipzig Fair. I have no means of gauging how much of this was done by British firms. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave him on 26th February.

Mr. Lewis

In support of my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas), who asked a supplementary question on Question No. 20, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman now say what positive action he intends to take to assist British business men in doing trade with that country? Will he assist them in preventing West Germany from cornering the trade? Is he aware that some of our most reputable business firms sent representatives to Leipzig and are anxious to do business, but cannot get any assistance from his Department? Will he do something to help them?

Mr. Walker-Smith

If these business men want specific assistance from the Board of Trade in this context, I have no doubt that they will ask for it.