There is no reason to think that there will be any appreciable increase in imports of cheap goods from Japan into the sterling area in the near future because it will be necessary for balance of payments reasons to restrict imports from Japan for at least the next year. Nevertheless, I recognise to the full the anxiety which certain of our industries naturally feel about the eventual re-emergence of low cost Japanese exports on a large scale. I shall watch this matter closely and I regard it as of considerable importance that in announcing the abolition of the system of minimum export prices last week, General MacArthur's Headquarters made it clear that "dumping" would be prevented.
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether these cuts were made or known about before the present trade negotiations had been concluded, or, indeed, if they have been concluded?
I should want notice of that question. We were informed of the proposed changes a short time before they took place, but we had no opportunity, nor indeed any locus in commenting on them.
Has my right hon. Friend seen a report which was given great prominence in last Sunday's Press, to the effect that the Japanese had undercut us in a £10 million contract for Siam for the supply of locomotives and rolling stock?