HC Deb 12 February 1963 vol 671 c1108
23. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of the fact that British industrial costs have risen less than those of overseas competitors, why United Kingdom exports have fallen by so much in the second half of 1962; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maudling

Exports were higher in the second half of last year than the first, but no longer expanding. They respond quickly to changes in demand overseas, and there is little doubt that the growth of production in the main industrial countries slowed down after the middle of 1962.

Sir C. Osborne

Since our exports have undoubtedly slowed down, does the Chancellor of the Exchequer think that tax exports incentives are possible, and does he agree with them?

Mr. Maudling

That is a rather wide question to answer at Question Time, but I can confirm that our obligations not to introduce subsidies in the form of taxes are contained not only in the G.A.T.T. but in the O.E.C.D. Agreement and the E.F.T.A. Agreement. It would be very unwise to start breaking those agreements.