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Trade Agreement (Japan)

Volume 467: debated on Wednesday 13 July 1949

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58.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what instruction he has issued to the British Military Governor in Western Germany with regard to the proposed £5 million trade agreement between Western Germany and Japan.

A trade and payments agreement between Western Germany and Japan is being negotiated by means of exchange of correspondence between the control authorities in the respective territories through the medium of the United States Army Department in Washington. It is not anticipated that these negotiations will be concluded until some time in August. So far it has not been considered necessary to issue any special instructions to the British Military Governor in Western Germany with regard to these negotiations. I understand that the volume of trade will amount to approximately £3 million each way.

Could the Minister tell us what kinds of goods are to be sent from Japan into Europe, and what sort of goods are to be exported from Germany to Japan?

I understand it is contemplated that textiles, textile machinery and some other machinery will be offered from Japan in exchange primarily for heavier machinery of a specialised kind which Germany is traditionally adapted to manufacture.

Is it anticipated that when this agreement is functioning our financial liability for Western Germany will be reduced?