Skip to main content


Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 27 February 1962

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


No, Sir. The President of the Board of Trade has primary responsibility for the promotion of exports, and he is assisted by a Minister of State who gives special attention to this and to the problems of overseas trade generally.

But would not the Prime Minister agree that the failure of exports to rise adequately is the greatest of the Government's many failings in the economic field? Would not he at least have an immediate official inquiry into our export arrangements, and will he remember that the last time this matter was inquired into was at the time of the MacMillan Committee in 1930?

Yes, Sir; but these were inquiries into various methods of helping exports, and we have done, and are doing a great deal. This is a question of the organisation of Government, and I repeat that I do not think that the proposal is a valuable one.

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the appointment of another Minister will not help to sell British goods abroad if they are too dear and the quality is not good enough, and that he has to get it over to the nation that we have to keep our quality up and prices down to increase exports?

The economic side is one aspect, and then there is the promotion side. On the latter, which I think the hon. Gentleman chiefly has in mind, I think that the present organisation is working well.