HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 cc202-3
39. Mr. Sorensen

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent exports and re-exports from this country to China and to other Asian countries have increased in 1956 compared with 1955; whether this market continues to expand; what further action has been taken to ensure that appropriate commodities for export to those areas comply with the stipulations and characteristics desired by the importers: and in particular what are the exports and re-exports of rubber and rubber goods.

Mr. Walker-Smith

United Kingdom exports and re-exports to China increased from £7.9 million in 1955 to £10.8 million in 1956, and to the principal Asian countries from £351 million to £415 million between those years. Exports and re-exports of rubber and rubber manufactures to China and to the other countries were £12,844 and £8.5 million in 1956.

With permission, I will circulate the figures for the principal Asian countries in the OFFICIAL REPORT, from which the hon. Member will see that our experience in the individual countries has differed. I am confident that United Kingdom exporters will take advantage of all the opportunities offered by these important markets and that they are well aware of the need to pay full attention to the requirements of their customers.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Minister of State aware that he has not fully answered the penultimate part of my Question, and that there are some exports which do not comply with the requests and desires of the purchasers? Is anything done by his Department about that matter?

Mr. Walker-Smith

If the hon. Gentleman has specific instances of those, perhaps he would be good enough to let me know, and I will look into them.

Following are the figures:

Total 1955 1956 Rubber, including synthetic and reclaimed, and rubber manufactures
1955 1956
China 7,946 10,789 9 13
India 131,372 169,749 519 1,451
Pakistan 36,687 32,821 837 1,056
Singapore 38,548 41,990 1,137 1,111
Federation of Malaya 35,991 40,429 1,344 1,206
Ceylon 21,844 26,027 642 710
Hong Kong 25,880 33,142 269 286
Burma 22,036 17,444 241 397
Thailand 12,309 13,720 635 634
Indonesia 11,444 16,132 240 1,498
Japan 14,394 23,872 75 168
Total selected Asian countries (other than China) 350,505 415,326 5,939 8,517