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Manufactures (Exports)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th April 1957.

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Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South 12:00 am, 16th April 1957

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the United Kingdom's share of the world's exports of manufactured goods in 1956; and what was the corresponding figure for 1937 or 1938.

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The United Kingdom's share of the world's exports of manufactures was 21·9 per cent. in 1937 and is provisionally estimated at 19·0 per cent. in 1956.

Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South

What does my right hon. Friend propose to do to remedy this continual decline in our share of world markets? Does he not think that our whole economic policy with reference to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade needs looking at, with a view to seeing whether this trade cannot be increased instead of being reduced?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

What matters, of course, is the balance of payments. I think chat my hon. Friend will also notice that the rest of the world is increasing in population rather faster than we are. Provided that we keep a share which results in a good balance of payments, I think that that is what we are after.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Does the right hon. Gentleman expect this percentage to go on falling?

Hon. Members:

Of course he does.