HC Deb 01 April 1958 vol 585 c128W
Mr. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that, unless a trade agreement with East Germany is signed within the next few weeks, the East Germans will divert their cotton yarn business to countries with which they have trade agreements, and that they will expand their own industry for making yarns; and, as this will adversely affect the already under-employed British textile industry, what action he proposes to take to expedite the signing of this trade agreement;

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the Federation of British Industries regarding trade with Eastern Germany.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Cotton yarn is exported to Eastern Germany under barter deals. I have no information to suggest that the East Germans intend to stop these deals. The informal trade talks to which the hon. Member refers are in the hands of the Federation of British Industries, and their officials are of course in regular contact with the Board of Trade.