§ Mr. A. Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, in view of the facts that one of the major reasons for high prices and the high cost of living is the high first cost charge made by a number of manufacturers for their products, and that the Monopolies Commission have supplied evidence to this effect, if, before introducing legislation to abolish resale price maintenance, he will take legislative action to control manufacturers' prices.
§ Mr. A. Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, in view of the facts that in the first quarter of 1963 imports were running ahead of exports at the rate of £36 million per month, by the second quarter this had increased to £47 million, the third quarter to £53 million and by the final quarter the deficit was averaging £60 million per month, and that the trade deficit for 1963 was £588 million compared with £538 million in 1962, what action he proposes to take to reverse this trend.204W
§ Mr. du Cann
A sharp rise in exports is to be expected during a period of rapid economic expansion. The important point is that exports should continue to rise steadily so that over a period the trade account contributes to maintaining the balance of payments in equilibrium. The Government's policies are designed to secure this. The deficit quoted by the hon. Member is, of course, vastly greater than the visible trade deficit in the balance of payments, which amounted to £28 million in the first nine months of last year.