§ Mr. Atkins
asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the Government's policy towards trade with China; and why he has reimposed quotas to restrict certain imports from China.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to encourage trade and good relations generally with China. But when we took a major step last November in freeing dollar imports it became appropriate to bring our arrangements for China into line with those for other State trading countries, who cannot reciprocate our methods of allowing traders to import freely. But although this involved reimposing licensing control over certain imports from China, over three-quarters of our total imports from China are still admitted freely and quotas under the new arrangements have been fixed to allow for a substantial increase in trade. My Department will be ready to consider sympathetically with trade organisations and with the Chinese authorities any difficulties which may arise in practice.