HC Deb 25 November 1958 vol 596 cc191-2
1. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the opportunities existing in the United States of America, Canada and Africa for the sale of the products of Scottish trade and industry; what steps he has taken since last April, and through what agencies or bodies, to publicise and encourage the expansion of trade between those countries and Scotland; and with what results.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. John Maclay)

As the hon. and learned Member is aware, Departmental responsibility for overseas trade rests with the President of the Board of Trade. I am, of course, in close touch with him and with bodies such as the Scottish Council (Development and Industry), the Scottish Tourist Board and the Council of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Secretary of State not realise that he has some duty in the matter? Does he realise what great strides are being taken by the countries I have mentioned to attract British, and particularly Scottish, trade? Does he realise that Canada has created the new 2,200-mile St. Lawrence Seaway and that Africa is trying to attract trade, too? What is the right hon. Gentleman doing in a reciprocal way to encourage trade for Scotland?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. and learned Member will realise that I am in close touch always with the bodies which are taking an interest in all these matters. He will doubtless realise that there is to be an important Scottish Industries Fair in the autumn of next year, and I hope he will do all he can to publicise it and to help me in the matter.

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