HC Deb 29 July 1965 vol 717 cc678-9
38. Mr. Wall

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the present imbalance of British trade with Denmark; and what is being done to step up British exports, particularly of coal.

Mr. Jay

The figures for our trade with Denmark can be obtained from Table IV of the Overseas Trade Accounts. A wide range of Government services is available to help British exporters to Denmark, as to other markets. The excellent results of last autumn's British Week are being energetically followed up by British exporters with the assistance of the Board of Trade and the Export Council for Europe. We are giving vigorous support to the National Coal Board's efforts to improve coal exports, and are in close touch with the Danish Government on this subject.

Mr. Wall

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether these measures will lead to a balance of trade between this country and Denmark, and, if so, how long it will take?

Mr. Jay

We are trying to achieve that result. At the moment our exports to Denmark are increasing.

Mr. Woodburn

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a great many of the highly efficient firms in this country are too small to maintain export organisations in foreign countries? Would it be possible for the Board of Trade to set up a collective selling organisation so that small firms could be enlisted in the export drive?

Mr. Jay

Yes, Sir. As my right hon. Friend knows, we are investigating that, and we hope to have a report sooner or later.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the excessive quantities of cheap Danish poultry meat which are coming to this country—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. We had better get on with exporting.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Would not the stopping of these imports be a great help in correcting our imbalance of trade with Denmark? [Interruption.]

Mr. Jay

While welcoming the right hon. Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath), I must say that I do not see any specially good reason for resisting these poultry imports more than any other type of imports.