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Essential Goods (Export)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that there is an overwhelming handicap to production costs by the shortage of many essential goods throughout the country, the Government would temporarily suspend the export drive with a view to enabling industry throughout the country to obtain the essentials for a permanent recovery.

No, Sir, I am not aware of any such overwhelming handicap but I shall always look carefully into any cases in which it can be shown that essential requirements of our own manufacturers for particular types of goods are not being met because those goods are being exported.

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman appreciate that a nation cannot double its exports unless it is allowed to get into its stride, and that this nation has not been allowed to get into its stride? Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman further realise that men cannot go on working ceaselessly turning out goods for export, when those goods are urgently required in their own country?

No, Sir, I am not aware of that. I am aware that people in this country want goods as well as do people abroad.