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Exports (Value)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the export figure in dollars or pounds sterling from the bizonal area of Germany for the latest convenient period; how this compares with the corresponding figure for 1946; and what is its relation to the target figure set for the whole of 1947.

The value of exports from the Bizonal Area for the year ending 31st December, 1947, amounted to approximately £55.6 million. The value of exports from the British and United States Zones for 1946 was £39.1 million. Exports in 1947 have thus risen by approximately £16,500,000. The target figure of £87.5 million mentioned during the discussions which preceded the signing of the Bizonal Fusion Agreement in Washington at the end of 1946 was a rough calculation intended only to indicate the task facing the British and American authorities. Exports for the whole of 1947, however, amounted to about 63 per cent. of this rough estimate.

In view of the large potential export trade of Germany, and in view of the new circumstances, will my right hon. Friend review the policy of dismantling, prohibiting and restricting the various industries which can contribute to the export trade, with a view to saving costs to British and American taxpayers?

It would be foolish for me to attempt to lecture my hon. Friend on this subject, but he does know that there is no dismantling taking place that really conflicts with the export trade, but only that within the prescribed limits.

I should think that the answer to that would be either bilateral or ambiguous.