HC Deb 23 January 1962 vol 652 cc22-3
Q1. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement about his postponed visit to Japan.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

For reasons which the House knows, I was compelled with great regret to postpone the Asian tour which I had planned for last September, including my visit to Japan. But I regard this tour as postponed, not, I hope, cancelled.

Mr. Ridsdale

That reply is most encouraging, but will not my right hon. Friend agree that Princess Alexandra's visit last year showed that there was a great deal of good will and friendship in Japan towards this country and that a visit to Japan by himself would do a great deal to help the growing friendly relations between our two countries?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir; I recognise the growing good relations, and, if I may do so without impropriety, I pay a tribute to the work which Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra did in that respect.

Mr. Callaghan

When the Prime Minister visits Japan, will he inquire into the reasons why those small islands without any natural resources are able to pursue their export and production policies with such marked success and without a pay pause?

The Prime Minister

Although there is a certain similarity in the character of our islands, there is, alas, a certain similarity in the balance of payments difficulties which both countries are suffering at the moment.