HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 cc132-3W
Mr. Thornton

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that for the period January-October, 1961, United Kingdom statistics show the United Kingdom to have an adverse trade balance with Hong Kong of £3.8 million, whereas the Hong Kong statistics show the United Kingdom to have a favourable balance of £7.3 million, and that similar figures for January-October 1962 are given as £7.6 million in favour of the United Kingdom by United Kingdom statistics and £0.3 million by Hong Kong statistics; how much of these discrepancies is accounted for by the fact that in both cases the valuation of imports includes insurance and freight, whereas the valuation of exports covers costs only to the point of shipment; and what other factors make for these discrepancies.

Mr. Fisher

I cannot accept the figures quoted in the Question. In any case no useful comparisons of trade balances can be made for such short periods as ten months. I understand that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is writing to the hon. Member explaining the position.