§ The Under-Secretary of State for Trade (Mr. Reginald Eyre)
About two dozen representations have concentrated on the effect the exchange rate has on trade.
§ Mr. Knox
Does my hon. Friend agree that the current unrealistically high level of the exchange rate is pricing some British manufacturers out of export markets? Does he not think that the Government should do something to bring about a decrease in the exchange rate? 821 Does he agree that if that does not happen there is a danger that the demand for import controls will become irresistible?
§ Mr. Anthony Grant
I appreciate the overriding need to contain inflation, but is my hon. Friend aware that the present exchange rate and interest rates are increasingly oppressing a great number of exporters? Will he and his Department, since they are responsible for exports, be urging the Treasury not to be dogmatic but to seek lower interest rates at the earliest possible moment?
§ Mr. John Fraser
To what extent is the high exchange rate due to the high level of interest rates? Do not the two high rates impose a double penalty? Is it not implicit in the Minister's reply that the only reason why he is not to act upon the exchange rate is that he has made such a mess of inflation?