HC Deb 21 May 1968 vol 765 cc285-6
Q3. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Prime Minister what further consultations he proposes with the leaders of the Trades Union Congress to encourage the nation's export drive.

The Prime Minister

The House will know of the series of meetings currently taking plce between Her Majesty's Government and the Economic Committee of the Trades Union Congress. It is planned to devote one of these meetings—at which my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and the President of the Board of Trade will represent the Government—specifically to export promotion and import saving. The last meeting of the series, under my chairmanship, will cover the whole field of economic policy.

Mr. Fraser

Will my right hon. Friend take the opportunity to discuss the very useful contributions in paragraphs 131–141 of the T.U.C. Economic Review, including the suggested British export corporation, and make it clear that there is no limit to growth in an export-based industry except the ability to sell overseas and to deliver on time?

The Prime Minister

The last point my hon. Friend made is the whole basis of our statements on the prospects of industrial expansion this year. I have already had one discussion with the T.U.C. on the relevant paragraphs. As to the export corporation, my hon. Friend will be aware that, following the Report of the Denman Committee, we now have a new element in our overseas trade drive, on the lines suggested by the T.U.C.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Would not this be a suitable subject on which the Prime Minister could break his silence and appear on television, as he appears to have gone on to a care and maintenance basis?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir—nothing of the kind. I discussed this on a number of regional industrial tours, and I discussed the same question with members of the export committees. I hope that the whole House will do what it can to further the appointment of export committees in these and other regions.