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Volume 974: debated on Monday 19 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the increase of imports, deflated by the appropriate price index and exports, respectively, over the last 10 years.

Between 1968 and 1978 the volume of United Kingdom imports rose by 46 per cent. and the volume of exports by 75 per cent.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade when he expects the United Kingdom to become a net importer of manufactured goods, given the continuation of present trends; and if he will give the trends for the years since 1970.

Figures of our visible trade balance in manufactures are available from table 2.2 of the 1979 edition of "United Kingdom Balance of Payments"—the "Pink" book—a copy of which is in the Library of the House. I prefer not to make predictions, particularly about events which, in an uncertain world, may never happen.