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Japanese Trade Mission (Central And South America)

Volume 462: debated on Monday 7 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Japanese trade delegation to South America has gone there on the instructions of General MacArthur or of the Far Eastern Commission; and whether the British delegate approved or was consulted.

I understand that although General MacArthur is considering sending a trade mission to Central and South America no final decision has yet been taken.

Can the right hen. Gentleman give us any information about this mission? Is it likely to take part in agreements that may be damaging to the export trade of this country, for instance?

I could not do so, because this is at the planning level so far, although, to be frank, I understand it is contemplated that the mission should survey trade relationships between Japan and the countries of Central and South America.

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is the gravest anxiety in Lancashire, not about the development of Japanese trade, because they know they can meet any fair competition, but about the conditions of sale, and, in particular, allowing prices to fall below the level of world prices, which would be unfair competition which Lancashire could not be expected to stand?

The Government are aware of that, and will continue to keep that point of view in mind. Perhaps if my hon. Friend has any detailed information, he would address it to another Minister?