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Anglo-Portuguese Trade

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 26 April 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any further statement to make on the date by which Anglo-Portuguese trade will be fully restored.

As already announced in the Press, we have now made satisfactory arrangements with the Portuguese Government covering trade and payments during 1949, and the Portuguese authorities have resumed the grant of licences for United Kingdom goods. In view of internal measures taken by Portugal to improve her economic situation, Portugal could not agree to import United Kingdom goods in 1949 as freely as last year when our exports reached an exceptionally high level; imports of United Kingdom goods will now be regulated in accordance with quotas covering broad categories of goods.

Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer say by how much the overall figure of Anglo-Portuguese trade will he reduced by this modification?

It is difficult to say, but it is anticipated that it will be somewhere around £4 million, which means that it will be very much bigger than in 1947.

Can the Chancellor further say what steps he is taking to see that our favourable balance with Portugal is not offset by further sterling purchases?

I have taken no steps to try to defeat the objects of the sterling area.

Has not the Chancellor taken steps to see that in purchases in the sterling area Portugal is not to be paid by us in gold?