HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 c196
28. Mr. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will initiate discussions with Rumania and Eastern Germany with a view to negotiating a commercial agreement with these countries.

Mr. Walker-Smith

As regards Rumania, I have nothing to add to the Answer given by the then President of the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. Owen) on 4th December last. As to East Germany, as my right hon. Friend informed the hon. Member on 31st January, Her Majesty's Government do not recognise the East German authorities as the Government of the Soviet Zone of Germany.

Mr. Lewis

Is the Minister aware that most countries in Europe, including West Germany, do not recognise that Government but are nevertheless trading with them? One of the biggest trading countries of Europe is, in fact, doing very well out of it. Why should not we, without any political ties, at least do some trade, because we might thereby get rid of some of our motor cars and some of the other goods which we now have difficulty in disposing of?

Mr. Walker-Smith

We are doing trade with East Germany. Last year, our imports from East Germany totalled £2,400,000 and our exports rather more than £1,500,000.