HC Deb 08 July 1969 vol 786 c1152
31. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the scale of the continuing West German payments surplus on current account, he will initiate discussions with the Federal German Government with a view to international agreement on quantitative limitations on German exports to countries in payments deficit.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

No, Sir.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that the German Government are as much in need of external encouragement and assistance in correcting a persistent surplus position as the British Government are in correcting a persistent deficit position? Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the suggestion in the Question would be infinitely preferable to a generalised slide into protectionism which might follow from failure to correct these underlying imbalances?

Mr. Jenkins

Whether or not I agree with the hon. Gentleman's premises, I do not think that a scheme of highly doubtful practicability, which would not commend anything approaching international agreement, would be the right way to deal with this problem.