HC Deb 17 February 1959 vol 600 cc21-2W
Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade why United Kingdom exports to Russia fell from £37 million in 1957 to £23 million in 1958; and, since Russian exports to the United Kingdom in 1958 were £59 million, whether he will review his policy with regard to import licences so as to encourage the spending of sterling earned in the United Kingdom on United Kingdom manufactures, thus providing more employment, instead of permitting the purchase of an undue proportion of raw materials from the sterling area.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

About half the decline was due to the falling off in orders for refined sugar. Our exports of ships, iron and steel and machinery also declined. This fall was offset by a substantial increase in re-exports. We issue a few licences for consumer goods usually against Russian orders for ours. There does not seem at present to be much scope for change in our import policies; but we are always seeking ways to expand our trade with Soviet Russia.