HL Deb 15 March 1955 vol 191 cc1053-4

My Lords, I beg to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether having regard to the facts (1) that the United Nations resolution of May, 1951, relating to the embargo on the export of strategic materials to China, was adopted in order to provide additional measures to be employed to meet aggression in Korea, and that its scope has never since been widened so as to cause it to become operative in relation to hostilities in any territories outside Korea or Korean waters; (2) that, in the opinion of representatives of important British business firms who quite recently visited Peking, China offers an expanding market for British engineering and other manufactured goods; (3) that it appears that China is finding sources of supply other than the U.S.S.R. for some commodities in which British firms cannot trade owing to the aforesaid embargo; (4) that as a result of the embargo, according to the Governor of Hong Kong on March 2nd, the exports from Hong Kong to China have shown a heavy fall of more than $1,000m. (Hong Kong) against 1950; and (5) that it is held to be unlikely that hostilities will break out afresh in Korea; they will now consider the advisability of initiating discussions in the United Nations with a view to bringing the 1951 embargo to an end.]


My Lords, there is little that I can add to the reply I gave the noble Viscount when he raised this topic on October 21. Any change in the security controls would have to be considered in the light of all prevailing circumstances, including the necessity of taking parallel action with our partners in the Consultative Group, and the situation in the Far East generally.


My Lords, I beg to thank the noble Marquess for his Answer. Arising out of it, may I ask him, in relation to the embargo on the export of strategic materials to China, whether he will be good enough to take note of the fact that British traders have adhered strictly to the terms of the 1951 United Nations resolution as operated through the organisation known as C.O.C.O.M., which sits in Paris?


My Lords, I will take note of what the noble Viscount has said, which I believe accurately represents the situation.


I thank the noble Marquess.