HC Deb 25 February 1970 vol 796 cc1195-6
49. Mr. Farr

asked the President of the Board of Trade how British exports to the Commonwealth in 1969 compared with 1968.

Mr. Mason

They increased by 11 per cent. in value.

Mr. Farr

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, but will he bear in mind that, despite our negotiations with the E.E.C., our Commonwealth trade is of vital importance and that it is essential to see that we do not neglect that market in future?

Mr. Mason

It would not be wise for a world trading nation like ourselves to neglect any part of the world, especially such a large market as the Commonwealth.

Mr. Henig

Should it not be put on record that in the last few years this country has done extremely well in exporting to all parts of the world? Is my right hon. Friend aware that some of us are sick and tired of the constant carping by the jealous hon. Members opposite at the magnitude of this achievement?

Mr. Mason

My hon. Friend is quite right. Success in exporting and a brighter image on the face of the Government are causing concern on the images and faces of hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Doughty

While Commonwealth trade may be very important to us, does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that to some Commonwealth nations it is vital? I hope that their interests will not be sacrificed to ours.

Mr. Mason

The hon. and learned Gentleman is right; no doubt he has New Zealand in mind.