HC Deb 05 February 1959 vol 599 cc555-6
10. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion, approximately, of Great Britain's industrial production must be exported to pay for the 40 per cent. of our food requirements and the 100 per cent. raw materials that must be imported; and what additional steps he proposes to take to make the nation realise the importance of exports and the difficulties of maintaining them.

Mr. Erroll

In order to pay for our imports and meet other commitments we need to export roughly 30 per cent. of the output of manufacturing industry. The export trade remains of paramount importance, and I think this is generally realised. My right hon. Friend has no additional steps in mind, but he is always ready to receive suggestions.

Mr. Osborne

In view of this immensely impressive figure of 30 per cent. of our products which have to be exported to keep us afloat, does not my hon. Friend think it is a mean fraud for the Opposition to tell the people of this country that they can guarantee full employment when they cannot make the foreigner buy British?

Mr. Woodburn

Would the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to keep in mind that it may be more profitable for this country in the long run to invest a great deal more in this country and a little less abroad?

Mr. Erroll

I think it most important that we should invest abroad as well as at home.