HC Deb 22 July 1970 vol 804 cc526-7
26. Mr. Judd

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards trade with Africa.

Mr. Noble

Our policy is to expand our trade with Africa.

Mr. Judd

Will not the President of the Board of Trade agree that there is very welcome evidence that our trade with Africa, other than with the Republic of South Africa, is doing increasingly well? Will he not also agree that there are many opportunities, north of the Zambesi in particular, still to be exploited which are not yet being exploited by Britain but which are being exploited by our competitors? In view of this, would he not agree that it would be lunacy to jeopardise these opportunities by totally unnecessary policies towards the Republic of South Africa which can only be regarded as hostile by the rest of the continent?

Mr. Noble

The figures of trade between countries north and south of the Zambesi come into a later Question, but I can at this stage tell the hon. Member that both sets of figures have been increasing at almost exactly the same rate.

Mr. Waddington

Will my right hon. Friend ensure that political considerations are not allowed to interfere with trade with any country?

Mr. Noble

I should like to be able to believe that politics and trade never interfered with each other, but I think that this is asking the House too much.

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