§ 39. Mr. Anthony Greenwood
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the latest trade returns.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
Yes. As the Trade and Navigation Accounts for September published two days ago show, the value of exports has been about 3 per cent. less, and the value of imports about 7 per cent. less, in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year. Our deficit on visible trade has in consequence been reduced by £89 million between the two periods. That reduction is encouraging; but, although the volume of our exports has been rising slowly since the beginning of this year, we must clearly make still greater efforts if we are to achieve, in the face of growing competition from other countries, the further expansion we need in our exports.