HC Deb 10 July 1957 vol 573 c363
13. Mr. Harold Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to have a permanent trade representative in Hanoi, as a result of relaxations of trade with North Vietnam.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

None, Sir. It is one of the functions of Her Majesty's Consul-General at Hanoi to handle trade inquiries on behalf of British firms.

Mr. Davies

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that answer. In view of the fact that the embargo is now being lifted on China and on North Vietnam, does not he think that it would help British businessmen in furthering British trade if we appointed a trade representative? This in no way deprecates the excellent work of Mr. Simpson, as Consul-General there, who is working very hard in a difficult situation. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman look into this question rather more closely?

Mr. Lloyd

Certainly, I have no closed mind in the matter. I went very carefully into Mr. Simpson's qualifications soon after the hon. Gentleman put down his Question. In fact he has almost unique experience of trade matters, but I will consider the matter again.

Mr. Baird

Will the right hon. Gentleman state simply why we are not officially represented?

Mr. Lloyd

That is quite a different matter from the Question on the Order Paper.