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Middle East Markets (Personal Visits)

Volume 529: debated on Tuesday 29 June 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to encourage the implementation of paragraph 86 of the Report of the United Kingdom Trade Mission to Iraq, Kuwait, the Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, which states that directors and senior officers of companies should pay extended visits to Middle Eastern countries in order to secure the confidence of the people who matter.

In his foreword to the Mission's Report, my right hon. Friend invited special attention to the recommendation that in the markets of the Middle East there is no substitute for knowledge acquired by personal visits. He feels confident that firms interested in these markets will bear in mind the importance of visits by their directors or other senior executives.

There is the closest cooperation between my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade in all good causes.

Is there the slightest evidence that any of these visits to the Middle East, in order to bump up exports, are in any way stopped by the Inland Revenue officials?

Will the Minister say whom he regards, in the terms of the Question, as the "people who matter?"