§ 16. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, since the Paris Consultative Committee has now finally proved ineffective, Her Majesty's Government will resume responsibility for the United Kingdom's commercial policy towards the countries of the Eastern bloc.
§ Mr. Ian Harvey
The Consultative Group is not ineffective. However, I would like to make it clear that the Consultative Group is an advisory body only and Her Majesty's Government have at no time relinquished their responsibility for the United Kingdom's commercial policy towards the countries of the Eastern bloc.
§ Mr. Allaun
Since the China Committee has proved such an embarrassment, will not the co-ordinating Committee quickly become as bad? Why cannot we end this stupid and damaging position altogether and take our own trade decisions, as we used to before the Battle Acts, and particularly now, when more than £1,000 million worth of trade with Russia is at stake?
§ 37. Mr. Zilliacus
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of our economic situation and the reference in the Prime Minister's reply to Prime Minister Bulganin to the desirability of expanding Anglo-Soviet trade, he will put an end to all restrictions on trade with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China and other Communist-ruled countries, except in such goods as Her Majesty's Government consider should come within the scope of a Convention for the control of the traffic in arms and munitions of war.
§ Mr. Zilliacus
Has not the success of the British initiative in the matter of loosening the restictions on trade with China suggested that the only way of getting a further loosening of restrictions 193 would be for us to take some action? Would not this be a logical basis on which we could at last reach some kind of finality in this matter of trade with nearly two-fifths of the world?
§ Mr. Ormsby-Gore
We have just taken some action and we have brought about a relaxaticn of the China trade control. I am bound to point out to the hon. Member that the Soviet authorities have not yet followed up the purchasing programme which they announced last year. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in his reply to Premier Bulganin, has invited them to do so.