HC Deb 02 February 1961 vol 633 c1175
29. Mr. Teeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade why imports to the United Kingdom from Formosa have increased during the past 12 months whereas exports from the United Kingdom to Formosa have decreased; and what steps he proposes to take to increase exports to that island.

Mr. Maudling

Imports from Formosa are admitted freely.

Exports to Formosa have not decreased but increased from £1.1 million in 1959 to £1.3 million in 1960. The ordinary facilities of my Department are available to exporters to Formosa.

Mr. Teeling

Does my right hon. Friend realise that there are a large number of people in this country who would like to share in the increasing exports to Formosa from Hong Kong, Australia and other parts of the Commonwealth? Will he consider whether anything more can be done to help in this matter?

Mr. Maudling

I hope that we shall increase our sales there. All the facilities of my Department are available to help in that process.

Mr. H. Wilson

Will the right hon. Gentleman clarify the position about the Formosan trade mission? Is it in this country now, or is it coming? Has the Board of Trade agreed to meet it? Is he aware that the statements circulating about official recognition of this trade mission are having a very serious effect on our trade with China?

Mr. Maudling

I have seen reports, but I have received no information about any purported official mission, but, of course, that would be governed by political relations between ourselves and the Formosan people.