HC Deb 23 July 1953 vol 518 cc57-8W
61. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what recent action has been taken, or is intended, to develop Commonwealth economic co-operation, to remove import restrictions, and in the preparation of a long-term understanding for the provision of capital equipment.

Mr. J. Foster

There has in recent years been close and continuous cooperation in economic matters between all Governments of the Commonwealth. The communiqué at the end of the recent Prime Ministers' meeting recorded that particular attention was given to the need for stimulating economic development, for expanding exports and, consistently with the maintenance of adequate reserves, for removing progressively restrictions on trade over as wide an area as possible and especially within the Commonwealth and the sterling area.

Her Majesty's Government recognise the contribution which United Kingdom industry is making to the economic development of the Commonwealth and is anxious to encourage this. The hon. Member will be aware of the formation of the Commonwealth Development Finance Company and of the offer by the United Kingdom Government to make sterling available for lending by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for projects designed to improve the sterling area's balance of payments.