asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the selection of the personnel of the Central Committee of Export Groups, he has had consultation with local chambers of commerce and other representative trade organisations; whether Birmingham and the Midland area, with its exporting activity in normal times and its capacity for the production of competitive goods after the war, is represented on this committee; and whether he proposes to publish the terms of reference of the Board of Trade to the Central Committee of Export Groups?
The members of the Central Committee of Export Groups have been selected for their personal ability and their wide experience of industry and export trade, and not as representatives of particular industries. There was, therefore, no question of consulting trade organisations. The terms of reference of the Committee were stated in the reply which I gave on 19th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Govan (Mr. Neil Maclean).
Does not my right hon. Friend think that a large industrial area like the Midlands and Birmingham, where alone there are 1,200 separate industries, should have some representation?
If we considered one area, we should have to consider many others, and it was felt to be convenient in this case that the appropriate export groups should be the channel of communication. The Birmingham trades, like any others, will be able to make their views known through their industrial channels.