HC Deb 23 July 1959 vol 609 cc1488-9
3. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a full statement on trade with China; what results have been obtained since the Parliamentary Secretary and others have visited China; what are the future trade prospects; and what consideration is being given to the need for a trade agreement like that negotiated in Moscow, and the facilities of the Export Credits Guarantee Department for exports to China.

Sir D. Eccles

Our exports to China in 1958 were £27 million against £12 million in 1957, while imports from China increased from £14 to £19 million. The level of business depends primarily on the trading policy of the Chinese Government. The facilities of the Export Credits Guarantee Department are available for exporters to China and I do not consider that there is need for a trade agreement.

Mr. Ellis Smith

As one who was kept in full employment for many years through large-scale trading with China, particularly in heavy electrical plant, as one who assisted in the training of many Chinese students, and knowing the enormous good will they have for Britain, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to take early steps with a view to capitalising that enormous good will so that there can be the maximum trade between the two countries?

Sir D. Eccles

I shall certainly do my best, but the Chinese Government have not shown any desire to have a trade agreement.