HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 cc69-70W
Mr. Neave

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether he will make a statement on the Financial Secretary to the Treasury's recent visit to Japan as Minister of State at the Board of Trade.

Mr. Heath

Yes. While in Japan, the former Minister of State had discussions with Japanese Ministers during which he emphasised the need to avoid a credit race. He discussed our arrangements for exchanging information about export credit guarantees with other major exporting countries except Japan, and suggested that it ought to be possible to have a similar arrangement with Japan. As a first step, he offered to invite officials to visit the Export Credits Guarantee Department to see how the exchange of information worked. His suggestion was welcomed and I hope that the visit will be made shortly.

The Minister also discussed the subject of export subsidies. He explained Her Majesty's Government's concern at a number of schemes in the field of taxation appearing to involve special advantages for exporters which were being canvassed in the Japanese press as substitutes for the present scheme of tax exemption for export income due to expire in March, 1964. He was assured that the Japanese Government were well aware of the international aspects of the matter. The Japanese Foreign Minister confirmed that the Japanese Government would not take any measures after the abolition of the present scheme which would be disapproved by the Contracting Parties to the G.A.T.T.