HC Deb 09 June 1959 vol 606 cc798-9
26. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the outcome of the discussions of the Paris Co-ordinating Committee about its restriction on the export of cable to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by British firms.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

The cable in question falls within the strategic embargo. The situation arising from Soviet inquiries for it is still under consideration in Paris.

Mr. Allaun

Is the Minister aware that these orders are for ordinary telephone-type cable, that we are losing the chance of big orders and that the French Government are not objecting to their manufacturers going ahead? Will he give the House one good reason why we should lose these orders?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I am told that these are inquiries and that no shipment has taken place to date.

Mr. Jay

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether ordinary telephone cable is on the banned list, and, if so, why it should be?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I should like notice of the question about the actual specification, but long-distance communications cable can have important military uses.