§ Mr. Shepherd
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultations with the industries concerned took place before the issue of the export targets.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Export targets have been set, and kept under regular review with industry, since the outset of the export drive in 1945. These were normally expressed as a percentage of total output. The revised targets issued on the 12th September, which, however, were expressed in terms of value, were not, in general, discussed with individual industries before publication, but were related for the most part to percentage targets which had either already been agreed with industry or were under discussion at the time. As I explained when the revised schedule was issued, the targets represented the Government's estimate of what export task could realistically be placed upon the different industries and could not in the nature of things be rigid but would stand until superseded by arrangement between the Government and any particular industry. Since the publication of the revised schedule the Production Departments have been discussing the new targets with the various industries concerned.