HC Deb 12 December 1939 vol 355 c1054W
Mr. Liddall

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will now reconstitute the economic committee so as to develop export trade and select those with life-long experience of processing goods and finding buyers for them in export markets in place of statistical or economic experts or university professors without merchant training or personal experience in manufacturing goods for sale in the overseas markets, where personal knowledge of local conditions and contact with the buyers are essential?

Sir J. Simon

The object of His Majesty's Government is to create the conditions in which the export trade may, in the greatest degree attainable in the midst of war, be developed by those whose business it is, and, as my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has stated, the figures for November show a rapid recovery from the initial dislocation. The co-ordinating organisation created to deal with this and other economic problems includes the Ministerial Committee of which I am Chairman, the survey conducted by Lord Stamp and the economists assisting him, and the official Committee of Permanent Heads of Departments under Lord Stamp's Presidency.

The Board of Trade maintains constant liaison with other Departments concerned in this matter and close contact with representative business organisations. My right hon. Friend the President is always ready to receive representations from trade interests and a special section of the Department of Overseas Trade has been established to enable exporters to obtain, so far as possible through one channel, information on the problems which arise under war conditions. I do not think these arrangements would be improved by the adoption of my hon. Friend's suggestion.