HC Deb 06 November 1958 vol 594 c1090
21. Mr. Rankin

asked the President of the Board of Trade why he has retained electronic computers and high speed cinematograph cameras on the embargo list of goods not for export to China, Russia and other Communist countries.

Sir D. Eccles

I regret I cannot give this information as the proceedings of the Paris Group are confidential. But many types of electronic computers and high speed cameras are now free from embargo.

Mr. Rankin

The types which, as the Minister knows, I am referring to are on the embargo list. Does he agree that at the moment this country of ours possesses a lead of from four to five years over any other nation in the manufacture of these products? Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that, while we may keep these methods secret now, in due course advancing knowledge will cause us to share those secrets with the rest of the world, with the result that in the end we lose the secret and also what would now be a good market?

Sir D. Eccles

I agree with the hon. Member that our electronics industry is second to none. The hon. Member may, however, have seen references in the public Press to the effect that some of these computers are needed in connection with rocket missiles.