HC Deb 16 December 1960 vol 632 cc92-3W
Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will set out in tabular form as percentages the United Kingdom's share of world trade in imports and exports, respectively, for the years 1850, 1906, 1913, 1924, 1954, and 1959, and the population at each census in the same years.

Mr. Barber

The table below gives the figures for the nearest available dates to those mentioned in the question. Comparisons over this long period are very uncertain. Apart from the greater difficulties of measurement in all the figures for the earlier years, there are special factors which affect the comparisons of the trade figures. The main causes of discontinuity are changes in national boundaries which affect world aggregates, variations in exchange rates and the fact that the figures up to 1924 omit goods which were imported and subsequently re-exported without being processed.

Period Exports Imports Percentage of world aggregates
1850 Not available Not available 2.5
1900 13(2) 19(2) 2.7
1913 13 15 2.5
1924 13 17½ 2.4(3)
1954 10 12 1.9
1959 9 1.8
(1) For 1850,1900 and 1913 the United Kingdom included Eire.
(2) 1901–5.
(3) 1925.