§ 46. Mr. A. Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether he is aware that, taking the three-month period of December 1963–February 1964, including the favourable figures for the 152W last-mentioned month, imports have been rising three times as fast as exports, and that the trade gap has been averaging £85 million a month for the first three months in 1964 compared with £36 million a month in the similar period for 1963; and what action he proposes to take to deal with this adverse situation.
§ Mr. du Cann
The figures which the hon. Member quotes for the trade gap are much greater than the visible trade deficit in the balance of payments, which is estimated at £33 million a month over the past three months. A marked rise in imports is to be expected during a period of rapid economic expansion. The Government's policies are designed to secure that the expansion of the economy goes forward on a sustainable basis.