HC Deb 21 March 1957 vol 567 cc532-3
15. Mr. Cronin

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take to increase exports from the United Kingdom, in view of the renewed demand for imports which will follow the increase in investment envisaged by the Government.

Sir D. Eccles

The Government's aim is to reduce inflation and thereby help the export trade. We shall continue to assist exporters through the direct services provided by the Government and, as necessary, by negotiation with other Governments.

Mr. Cronin

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that his reply is the very reverse of reassuring? Does he realise that essential capital investment will provoke another severe balance of payments crisis unless there is a very large increase in exports? Does he also appreciate that the gloominess of the prospect is in no way relieved by the fact that production has been completely stagnant since 1955?

Sir D. Eccles

No, Sir.