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Imports And Exports

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 8 March 1962

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the facts that the adverse trade balance of the United Kingdom is as much due to the excess of imports as to a deficiency in exports, that a substantial proportion of the present goods and materials imported into this country is not essential, and that the import of agricultural produce often involves the Government in heavy losses because of subsidies, he will take steps to ensure that henceforward the same degree of publicity is given to the desirability of curbing unnecessary imports as to extending exports.

No. It would not be right to advocate simultaneously an expansion of our own exports and the restriction of imports from other countries, which are their exports. Our interest is best served by doing all we can to expand international trade and working for the removal of restrictions.