HC Deb 26 July 1960 vol 627 cc1270-1
9. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a full statement on the import effects of the new Anglo-Japanese trade agreement; what is the increase allowed in the yearly quota of pottery imports; and whether the appropriate trade organisations were consulted.

Mr. Maudling

The new trade arrangements with Japan for the period up to 31st March, 1961, provide additional opportunities for trade in both directions. To allow for increased imports from Japan quotas on a range of goods have been increased in total by £2.5 million and a number of goods have been placed on open licence. A full list of the goods affected and of the new quotas has been published in the Board of Trade Journal.

The quota for imports of pottery from Japan has been increased from £50,000 to £100,000.

The Board of Trade and other Departments concerned are constantly in touch with industry on these matters, but they cannot consult industry about the detailed conduct of particular negotiations.

Mr. Nabarro

Is there any increase, in quota or otherwise, for carpets coming from Japan?

Mr. Maudling

The Question referred to pottery. However, I can tell my hon. Friend that the new quotas have been published in the Board of Trade Journal. In view of the assiduity of his reading, I am surprised that he does not know the answer already.

Mr. Chetwynd

What goods do we expect to get into Japan in increased quantities in return for this?

Mr. Maudling

A wide range of goods—machine tools, woollen textiles, razor blades, whisky, and many other things.

Mr. Nabarro

Why not answer about carpets? I do not think that my right hon. Friend knows the answer.

10. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade what undertakings were requested and given, respectively, by either party during the negotiations on the Anglo-Japanese trade agreement.

Mr. Maudling

I cannot disclose details of what passed during the negotiations. The arrangements concluded have been announced in the Board of Trade Journal.

Mr. Ellis Smith

The issues involved in this Question are too serious to treat like this. While not attributing any responsibility to the present President of the Board of Trade, may I ask whether he would agree that it is a fact that our trade needs have been subordinated to the foreign policy of another country? Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that in future we shall make it quite clear to the world that our economic needs are such that our trade must come before everything else?

Mr. Maudling

I am grateful for the opportunity of making it absolutely clear that in working out these new trade arrangements the sole concern of the Board of Trade was the interest of British trade as a whole. We are quite satisfied that the arrangements will lead to an expansion of trade on both sides, and my belief is that if British exporters take all the opportunities open to them we shall gain on balance.