§ 2.37 p.m.
My Lords, I beg to ask the first Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in relation to exports of non-strategic materials to China, the undertaking given by Western Germany and 66 other countries represented at the meetings of C.O.C.O.M. in Paris, not to license for export to China goods which would not be licensed by Her Majesty's Government, includes an undertaking not to revalidate any licences which were issued prior to the foregoing understanding reached at C.O.C.O.M.]
THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN OFFICE (THE MARQUESS OF READING)
My Lords, the Consultative Group is not concerned with exports of non-strategic materials, but as I informed the noble Viscount on November 10, its purpose is to co-ordinate and to unify such security controls on the export of strategic commodities to certain countries as are necessary to safeguard the interests and resources of its members. Although in special circumstances a country represented on the Consultative Group may feel obliged to honour outstanding agreements in regard to exports to China of goods which it has subsequently agreed to be of strategic importance. I understand that, in general, licences are not revalidated by member countries of the Group once they have decided not to license the export to China of the type of goods concerned.
§ LORD BOYD-ORR
My Lords, arising out of the noble Marquess's reply, may I ask whether Japan is represented in C.O.C.O.M.?
THE MARQUESS OF READING
I think the position of Japan is that, although not a member of the general body, she is represented on the China Committee, and of course her interest is chiefly in the China trade.*