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Egypt (Good-Will Mission)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 12 November 1945

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asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what special steps he is taking to promote trade with Egypt in view of our close and friendly relations with that country; and the great opportunities for trade expansion afforded by the Egyptian market.

:I am very conscious of the importance of the Egyptian market and of the desire of the Egyptian Government, which His Majesty's Government warmly share, to increase and extend our mutual trade relations. Towards that end my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, after consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has invited Mr. Hanbury Williams, who is managing director of Courtaulds and a director of the Bank of England, to lead a good-will mission to Egypt, and I am glad to be able to inform the House that he has accepted this invitation. The mission is being sponsored by my Department, and I hope soon to be able to announce the names of the other members of the mission, which is expected to leave for Egypt before the end of this month.

May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether this applies to trade in general or only to particular interests?

To trade in general. This is described as a good-will mission. The other members of the mission will cover a wider variety of interests.

Will the Minister consider taking the same action with regard to Allied countries, such as China?

Yes, we hope to send more missions of this kind as soon as we can gather the personnel together.