HC Deb 24 March 1964 vol 692 c68W
Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development, in view of the fact that Great Britain's exports to Europe are falling off, and that there is a need for an intensive drive for exports to the Commonwealth, what action he proposes to take along these lines; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Heath

Our exports to Western Europe as a whole rose from £1,192 million in 1961 to £1,520 million in 1963; and I have every reason to expect that this upward trend will continue. Exports to the E.F.T.A. have recently been rising particularly strongly. Those to the E.E.C. have flattened out in the past few months after their earlier rapid rise; but I am sure that our exporters will find it well worth their while to intensify their efforts in this market.

The expansion of our exports will depend mainly on the efforts of British industry. The Government provides support in many ways, for example through the services of Trade Commissions and the Commercial Departments of Embassies overseas, through the Export Services Branch of the Board of Trade and through the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

So far as trade with the Commonwealth is concerned, I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks in the debate in this House on 6th February last.