HC Deb 15 April 1965 vol 710 cc1641-2
10. Mr. Jackson

asked the President of the Board of Trade, following his visit to Peking, what progress has been made in increasing trade between Great Britain and China.

Mr. Jay

British traders are continuing to develop the contacts they have made with the Chinese State Trading Corporations. I am glad to say that orders for two ships and a chemical plant, together worth £5 million, as well as numerous other contracts, have been placed in Britain within the past few months.

Mr. Jackson

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, but will he bear in mind that China is at present in the take-off stage of its economic development and that its import requirements are likely to increase greatly, and will he make sure that Britain maintains a share of that trade, particularly by an expanding British representation in Canton?

Mr. Jay

Yes, Sir. That was one of the impressions I gained in Peking last autumn, and that is why I thought it was an opportune moment for the exhibition to be held.

Sir H. Harrison

Whilst we may welcome this trade, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that these goods will be paid for?

Mr. Jay

Oh, yes. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend realise that two years ago there were orders for aircraft from China? In view of the possibilities of an expanding market for aircraft in China and the plight of the aircraft industry in this country, does he not think that this could be developed?

Mr. Jay

This is a point which we have not overlooked.