HC Deb 17 June 1958 vol 589 cc882-3
39. Mr. Thornton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the total combined value of Hong Kong's import and export trade in all commodities in 1957; and, of this combined total, the percentages of imports and exports.

Mr. Profumo

In 1957, the total trade was £511 million of which imports were £322 million, or 63 per cent., and exports £189 million, or 37 per cent.

40. Mr. Thornton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the percentages of Hong Kong's total imports and exports in 1957 which came from and went to the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America; and what percentages of Hong Kong's total exports of cotton piece-goods and shirts went to the United Kingdom in the same year.

Mr. Profumo

The figures for imports were: 13 per cent. from the United Kingdom, 22 per cent. from China, 10 per cent. from the United States of America. For exports: 11 per cent. to the United Kingdom, 4 per cent. to China, 7 per cent. to the United States. Twenty-two per cent. of cotton piece-goods and 22 per cent. of shirts exported went to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Thornton

May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he agrees that these figures tend to indicate that both China and the United States benefit more from trade with Hong Kong than does the United Kingdom?

Mr. Profumo

I think the percentage figures show that the 13 per cent. is worth £42 million and that the 11 per cent. is worth only £21 million, and that we thus have a favourable trade balance between the United Kingdom and Hong Kong of £21 million.

Mr. Nairn

In the interests of Hong Kong, would my hon. Friend point out that Hong Kong imports from this country more than it exports to this country?

Mr. Profumo

That is what I had hoped to indicate.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can the hon. Gentleman confirm that the value of cotton imports from Hong Kong into this country has risen in seven years from £30 million to £100 million a year?

Mr. Profumo

It has risen very considerably indeed, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will remark the answer I gave to the last supplementary question, which I think is the important nub of this question.