HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 cc256-7W
Sir R. Clarry

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade whether, in view of the vital necessity of maintaining export trade at the highest possible level and in order to give further help and guidance to firms engaged in export at a time when they are necessarily encountering many difficulties, he will devise machinery for establishing closer contact with manufacturers and exporters throughout the country?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

As was announced during the Debate in the House on 7th December, a special Division has been created in the Department of Overseas Trade to which exporters can refer problems which they may encounter in their export activities. I am anxious, however, to try any further measure which will establish still closer contact with exporting interests. I have therefore appointed a committee consisting of senior officers of chambers of commerce in a number of the most important industrial centres, and of the Federation of British Industries, together with the Secretary of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce.

This committee, which will meet regularly and frequently at the Department, will provide a useful and convenient channel for the investigation of difficulties and the encouragement of effort in our export trade. The committee will also, I hope, be able to provide me with an appreciation of the industrial capacity from time to time available for export. Details of the constitution of the committee follow:

The presidents of the following chambers of commerce have very kindly nominated officers to serve on the committee:

  • The Association of British Chambers of Commerce.
  • The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Bradford Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Leicester Chamber of Commerce.
  • The London Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

The President of the Federation of British Industries has also kindly nominated two officers. Mr. W. M. Hill, of the Department of Overseas Trade, will act as secretary of the committee.