HC Deb 22 November 1955 vol 546 cc95-6W
62. Mr. Chapman

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the purchase by Czechoslovakia of 1,000 passenger cars from France; which British motor manufacturers were refused by his Department the opportunity to negotiate a similar deal; whether he will take steps to enable British manufacturers to compete on equal terms with their competitors; and what was the nature of the advice and assistance given by his Department to British manufacturers involved in these transactions.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The information is as follows:

Mr. Low

I am aware that the Czechoslovak authorities have been negotiating for the sale of certain goods to the United Kingdom in exchange for motor cars. But licences for the import of these goods from Czechoslovakia have been withheld for the reasons given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 19th July. Such a deal would not be attractive to Her Majesty's Government pending a satisfactory trade and payments agreement including provision for the settlement of outstanding debts and claims. We still await the reply of the Czechoslovak Government about the resumption of trade and debt talks and, in the circumstances, it would not be desirable that I should comment in public on matters that may arise in these talks.