asked the President of the Board of Trade what indications he has given as to the overseas countries to which exporters should especially direct their attention.
As our needs of most overseas currencies are great, it is not at present necessary to concentrate on some export markets to the exclusion of others. Our objective is to build up stable markets from which there is likely to be a continuing demand for British goods. Apart, therefore, from exports of certain essential goods in very short supply, it is left to exporters themselves to distribute their exports over the markets most likely to prove of long term value. This policy has been fully explained to exporters in the course of discussions with my Department. We shall watch carefully the detailed development of our trade with every oversea market and will give guidance and advice to exporters whenever that seems to be desirable.
Surely the Board of Trade must give some general indication to the exporting community in this country of the markets which are available to receive our goods?
The position is that all markets are available, and we ask exporters to choose those which are likely to persist after this period of shortage of supplies.
Is it not a fact that exporters do not know to what countries they can export until their licences are granted or refused?
A great number of goods are now freed from export licences.