HC Deb 20 February 1958 vol 582 cc173-4W
72. Mr. Bottomley

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will make a statement about the proposed Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference to be held this year.

Mr. Alport

The United Kingdom Government warmly welcomed the initiative of the Canadian Government in inviting all the Commonwealth Governments to participate in a Commonwealth Trade and Economic Conference beginning in Montreal on 15th September. We look forward keenly to the Conference and will do all that we can to contribute to the proceedings and help to ensure a constructive and positive outcome. Preparatory talks have already been held between officials, designated by each of the Commonwealth Governments, at a meeting in London from 11th to 13th February. This meeting discussed a provisional agenda for the Conference, and recommendations for this are being made to Governments. Considerable preparatory work must be undertaken in coming months, and arrangements have been set in train for it to be shared between all the Governments. This work is to be reviewed at a further meeting of officials to be held in London early in June.