HC Deb 17 July 1941 vol 373 cc754-5W
Mr. Emery

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department the nature of the political work, other than that of a confidential type, upon which his Department is engaged; whether it includes personal visits to various chambers of commerce in the industrial North for the purposes of guiding them on export trade matters; and which are the chambers he has offered to address for that purpose during the past year?

Mr. Johnstone

The work of the Department of Overseas Trade is commercial rather than political, and in general the Department's function is at present to assist exporters to overcome the many difficulties with which they are confronted in carrying on export trade. As to the second and third parts of the Question, chambers of commerce and, in particular, Export Groups are in constant touch with the Department, and the specific problems which arise are best dealt with by discussion rather than by a series of addresses. If, however, particular chambers of commerce wish to receive a visit either from myself or from officials of my Department, I shall always be prepared to consider such requests. None has so far been received.