HC Deb 24 April 1968 vol 763 cc216-7
39 and 40. Mr. Moyle

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what study he has made of the potential market for exports of British agricultural machinery to the United States of America;

(2) what study he has made of the potential market for exports of British power generating machinery to the United States of America.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

Our commercial officers in the United States of America are continuously sending back a large volume of information about the market there for agricultural machinery and power generating machinery. The Board of Trade makes this available to the industries concerned through the Board of Trade Journal, the Export Service Bulletin and by direct contacts.

Mr. Moyle

Surely my hon. Friend can do better than that. Is she not aware that the Government studied all possible alternatives to the Common Market before applying to join? Therefore, can she not give me the figures which must have been in the national study on these subjects—or was no study made?

Mrs. Dunwoody

We would find it difficult to give exact figures at present, but my hon. Friend will know that there are many openings in the American markets for agricultural machinery and particularly for power generating machinery. Exports of the latter are about £46 million a year.

Sir C. Osborne

But since the Americans have sold to us in every year since the war goods worth over £100 million more than those which they have bought from us, and in some years have sold over £200 million worth more than they have bought, should not the Board of Trade examine this particular market to see whether the exports and imports cannot be better equalised?

Mrs. Dunwoody

We are anxious to correct our trade balances with many countries and we do all we can through export information centres to stimulate our manufacturers to enter these markets.