HC Deb 01 August 1963 vol 682 cc617-8
1. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary to the Treasury what recent action has been taken to increase the financial facilities for increasing exports; if he is satisfied that British firms are not at a disadvantage with their foreign competitors in this regard; what financial incentives are provided for the organising of consortiums so that large orders may be obtained from abroad; and what further action is being taken in this matter.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Edward du Cann)

There have been a number of improvements in guarantee facilities and banking arrangements in the last couple of years. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that adequate finance is generally available for exports, and that British firms and consortia are at least as well served as their competitors. These matters are kept under review.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is the Minister aware that some of us were kept in full employment during the most difficult days of the terrible depression by the obtaining of orders worth millions of pounds from the South American Republics, China and Russia? Now that large-scale orders are being given out for the building of factories and the provision of equipment, is the Minister satisfied that the financial arrangements are such that our people are not handicapped in any way?

Mr. du Cann

The points made by the hon. Gentleman, whose interest in this subject is very much welcomed, will certainly be borne in mind. In general, we are satisfied that the present arrangement works well. I hope that if he or any other hon. Members have particulars of individual cases which seem to indicate that improvements may be made, they will let us have them.