HC Deb 15 July 1963 vol 681 cc1-3
1. Dr. Bray

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether the German Federal Republic is keeping up with its undertaking under the Support Costs Agreed Minute of 6th June, 1962, to purchase goods from Great Britain; and what steps Her Majesty's Government have taken to further the sale of British data processing equipment to the German Post Office under the agreed arrangements.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Edward Heath)

Payments under the agreed Minute of 6th June, 1962, fell short by about D.M 190 million during the financial year l962–63 out of the total agreed of D.M.600 million. As part of the continuous consultation between the two Governments about the implementation of the Agreed Minute, my right horn. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will visit Bonn on 22nd and 23rd of July.

Her Majesty's Government are aware that British firms might be able to supply data processing equipment to the Federal German Post Office under the Agreed Minute. Her Majesty's Embassy in Bonn are giving all possible assistance to the firms concerned.

Dr. Bray

Is the Minister aware that the House will welcome this initiative by the Government in bringing pressure upon the German Government to honour their obligations in this respect? Will he note that this type of contract for data processing equipment will be particularly valuable to the industry of this country and that it is the kind of export which, frankly, we should prefer seeing go to Germany rather than military equipment?

Mr. Heath

I entirely agree with the hon. Member. I saw this machinery on display at the Hanover Fair—or, rather, one example of what it is possible to sell. I was accompanied by the Ambassador and those from the Embassy who are looking after commercial affairs. They are fully aware of the position.

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