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Imports And Exports (Spain)

Volume 440: debated on Tuesday 22 July 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what were the amounts of imports into this country from Spain during 1946 and, as far as possible, during the first half of 1947; what were the types of goods; and what we are exporting to Spain at present

The value of imports from pain during the year 1946 was £12,725,000, and during the period January to May, 1947, £6,372,000 The principal commodities imported were oranges, iron ore, wine, potassium chloride, cork manufactures and sardines. The principal kinds of goods now being exported from the United Kingdom to Spain are vehicles, chemical products, machinery and electrical goods.

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary consider that the great importance of these imports, and of our exports to Spain, could possibly be very considerably increased if we spent a little less time on diplomacy by insult to that country, and if more trouble was taken to try to encourage Spanish trading relations?

I am afraid that the reply must be that I am not responsible for diplomacy, by insult or otherwise, in connection with Spain.

In view of the volume of trade between the two countries revealed in the answer of the hon. Gentleman, is it not time that a more sensible and constructive view was taken of our relations with Spain than hitherto?

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put that question to the appropriate Minister.

Is it not time to deny ourselves luxuries to help to remove the tyrannical Government in Spain?