HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 cc476-7

We can see this fact most clearly in the context of exports. The attainment of a 4 per cent. growth rate needs an even greater increase in our exports. This is a formidable task, but I am confident that it will be within the capacity of a vigorously expanding British economy.

I will not deal at length with the problem of exports, or with the various measures of Government assistance to exporters, as the President of the Board of Trade will speak on this subject tomorrow if he catches your eye, Sir William. But the main conditions of a successful export drive are clearly a general expansion of world trade, an international trading system which gives opportunities for the export of manufactures, and British goods that are competitive in price, quality and date of delivery.

I have already described the large reserves available to sterling, but I shall continue to pursue international agreement on further additions to world liquidity that would not throw undue strain on the key currencies—and I welcome new allies. We will certainly play our full part in the Kennedy round of tariff discussions, to which we attach great importance.

In a world where expanding trade and fair rules of competition present growing opportunities to British exporters, our problem can be solved if we keep our economy competitive and enterprising. The spare capacity now available is such that expansion can take place without diverting goods from exports and, indeed, in many cases—the motor industry is an example—a more buoyant home market should provide a basis for lower unit costs, more competitive export prices, and so for higher exports. Growth, change and stable costs, at which I am aiming in this Budget, are the only recipe for success in expanding our export trade.