Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th October 1952.
Imports from these countries have fallen mainly because the goods we would have wanted to buy were not available, were dearer than elsewhere or because our stocks were already high. The sterling earnings of these countries have consequently been lower and they have in turn cut down their imports of United Kingdom goods.
While Her Majesty's Government are fully conscious of the desirability of increasing our trade with these countries, I would remind the hon. Member that if these countries make available adequate supplies of goods we need at the right price, our imports will increase and they will be able to earn more sterling with which they can, according to the circumstances, either pay back arrears of debt for goods already delivered or increase their imports from this country.