HC Deb 16 February 1961 vol 634 cc1759-60
42. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Prime Minister if he proposes to discuss the effect of the economic situation in the United States of America and the United Kingdom on the problem of unemployment in Great Britain, during his coming visit to the United States of America.

The Prime Minister

As I have said before, I hope to discuss with President Kennedy all the international problems that confront us. These naturally include a number of aspects of the world economic situation.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Prime Minister aware that there are now over 5 million unemployed in the United States and that this will result in a decreased demand for British goods? Is he aware that American citizens in this country are now being advised by the American Government not to buy British motor cars? Will the Prime Minister respectfully suggest to President Kennedy that however grave is his problem in America, we will not be pleased if he exports it here?

The Prime Minister

That is precisely the point that the world economic structure must be considered as a whole, and what is done in other countries has a tremendous effect upon our position.

Mr. Shinwell

If the right hon. Gentleman is to have talks on the economic situation, both here and in the United States and, probably, elsewhere, will he also take into account the desirability of discussing the effect of American action on British shipping, even if the discussions are confidential? I do not mind as long as the right hon. Gentleman has the discussions.

The Prime Minister

As I said a day or two ago, that had not escaped us.

Mr. C. Osborne

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the possibility of discussing with President Kennedy the possible reduction of quotas and tariffs in both countries so as to bring a little more competition into both economies and give greater efficiency?

The Prime Minister

All these things are relevant, but I must be careful not to discuss these matters with Members of the House. I am supposed to be discussing them with President Kennedy.

44. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now name the date on which he proposes to meet President Kennedy.

The Prime Minister

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) on 14th February.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. C. Osborne) has been placed in an invidious position by certain investigations in this country and that although there is a certain humorous irony in the case, nevertheless an important principle is involved in this noxious practice? Will the Prime Minister raise the matter with President Kennedy?

The Prime Minister

I do not quite understand how that has to do with the date of my visit.