HC Deb 11 March 1959 vol 601 cc1257-8
48. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Prime Minister if, during his visit to the United States of America, he will discuss with President Eisenhower the question of the discriminatory trade practices of United States firms against British industry.

The Prime Minister

My discussions with the President will be private and I should prefer not to anticipate their course. But if my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind the controversy about imports of heavy electrical plant, I can assure him that Her Majesty's Government have already made their views abundantly clear and will not hesitate to press them upon the United States Government.

Wing Commander Bullus

Is my right hon. Friend aware that all thinking people in this country desire the closest partnership for defensive purposes with the Americans, but that there is increasing concern, and even bitterness, regarding the unscrupulous and unprincipled business tactics of the Americans, sometimes connived at by Washington, at a time when Britain has liberalised her trade at the behest of the Americans?

The Prime Minister

I am aware of strong feeling in this country. I have not failed, and shall not fail, to press our point of view strongly upon the United States.

Mr. Jay

Would not it be a good idea if, instead of making unilateral concessions to the United States, as they have over machine tools and legacy property, the Government were first to get concessions in return on such matters as these contracts and oil?

The Prime Minister

We buy machine tools because we need them for our business.