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Commonwealth Countries

Volume 650: debated on Friday 1 December 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the proportions of British imports obtained from Commonwealth countries and of British exports sold to Commonwealth countries as listed in Part IV of the Trade and Navigation Accounts, have declined during the first 10 months of 1961 to 37·8 per cent. and 38·9 per cent. of total imports and exports, respectively; and what steps he proposes to take to reverse this trend.

Yes. Although our imports from and exports to the Commonwealth have on the whole been rising in recent years, our trade with other countries has been rising faster. We can best contribute to the expansion of trade in both directions with the Commonwealth by continuing our policies of maintaining a high level of activity at home and developing and putting to the fullest use the many methods of trade promotion in which Governments co-operate closely with the efforts of private business.