HC Deb 17 April 1957 vol 568 cc1902-3
12. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when he expects to be in a position to make a statement on the removal of restrictions on trade with China.

26. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at which meeting of the Paris Consultative Group the decision concerning the Government's relaxation of the China trade embargo is expected to be taken; where this meeting is expected to be held; and what is his present estimate of the likely date for this decision.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

As my hon. Friend informed the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis) in a Written Answer yesterday, following the discussions in Bermuda, the United States Government have made some proposals for reviewing the China Lists. We shall study these proposals in consultation with other members of the Consultative Group.

Mr. Swingler

What on earth are these proposals? Is it not a fact that the Paris Consultative Group has met fifty times in the last twelve months to discuss the relaxation of controls on China trade? How can there be any new proposals when this has been discussed for more than twelve months? Why this policy of evasion of a simple question?

Mr. Lloyd

There is no policy of evasion of a simple question. I referred to this matter in answer to a Question recently. We have been awaiting certain proposals from the United States Government, following the Bermuda Conference. Those proposals have now been made. We propose to study them, and to study them urgently.

Mr. Rankin

Are we to assume from the answer of the Foreign Secretary that America has laid down the limits within which we can act independently, and is that the kind of independence which the Tory Government are going to accept?

Mr. Lloyd

I thought it was one of the philosophies of the Opposition that we should act in consultation over these matters.

Several Hon.


Mr. Speaker

Order. Lady Tweedsmuir. Question No. 13.