HC Deb 09 July 1957 vol 573 cc195-6
48. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he had with representatives of firms experienced in dealing with the Soviet trade enterprises before he sent his letter to Mr. Bulganin expressing doubt about the possibility of achieving an increased turnover of trade with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Prime Minister

I have no doubt about the possibility of increasing Anglo-Soviet trade even more rapidly than it has been increasing in recent years if the Soviet authorities will respond constructively to the suggestions in my letter. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is of course constantly in touch with firms handling Anglo-Soviet trade.

Mr. Pargiter

Is the Prime Minister not aware that the tone of the letter was more liable to upset relationships than to help them, in view of the doubts it suggested whether this matter can be best handled through the machinery which the Soviets have very definitely established and will continue to use?

The Prime Minister

I hope that the terms of my letter were not calculated to upset the Government of Soviet Russia. The letter was carefully thought out, and I think it was courteous and constructive.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Has the right hon. Gentleman noted the rather friendly note in the speech about Russia delivered during the weekend by the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill)? Will the Prime Minister assure us that he will not ask the Foreign Secretary to denounce the right hon. Member for Woodford as a fellow-traveller?

The Prime Minister

Everything that my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) says is always wise and always pertinent.

Mr. Chetwynd

Especially his scathing remarks in 1911 about the Tory Party.

The Prime Minister

He has said some things about your party, too.