HL Deb 20 July 1954 vol 188 cc1174-5

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In so doing, I should like, with the indulgence of the House, to apologise for an error. On reference to Canada House, I learn that the figure of 800 million dollars in my Question should have been 1,800 million dollars, that being the amount of exports of metal products from the United States to Canada. This country at present gets only a small share of metal exports to Canada.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the visit to Canada by the President of the Board of Trade, they can announce any action or plans to help expand exports of metal products to Canada to replace in part the present approximate 80 per cent. or some 800 million dollars in such categories imported annually from the United States of America; and further, what proportion of the Canadian home market it is thought reasonable should be retained for their own producers.]


My Lords, as my noble friend will appreciate, the industries of this country are free and they make and announce their own plans. United Kingdom metal products range from heavy capital equipment to light consumer goods. Our opportunities in the Canadian market are many; the field is wide open to us; and, indeed, our engineering industries are most active in that market. There are, of course, certain difficulties but many of these can be solved by persistent salesmanship and by careful study of the requirements of the Canadian market on the part of our exporters, assisted by the growing awareness on the part of Canadians that it is in their own interests to increase their purchases from the United Kingdom. My right honourable friend the President of the Board of Trade lost no opportunity to stress this during his recent visit, and I can assure my noble friend that, for their part, Her Majesty's Government are giving all the advice and help they can to exporters in overcoming any difficulties as they arise. With regard to the second part of the Question, I should not think it appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to say what proportion of the Canadian market should be retained for Canadian producers.