HC Deb 26 March 1964 vol 692 cc151-2W
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 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.