HC Deb 20 November 1951 vol 494 cc26-7W
83. Mr. Hamilton

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he intends to take to increase trade with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the countries of Eastern Europe.

Mr. Hopkinson

Except in the case of Hungary where special considerations are involved, we are buying all we can afford from the Soviet countries in Europe, including considerable supplies of feedingstuffs, timber, and foodstuffs such as bacon. Strategic considerations, shortages of raw materials and the demands of our re-armament programme would make any increase in our exports difficult unless these countries were willing to take some of the wide range of consumer goods which we have available for export. Of such willingness there is at present little sign.