Yes, Sir. The main purpose of my right hon. Friend's tour was to examine the possibilities for expanding our trade in the important dollar markets of Mexico and Venezuela. He took the opportunity of travelling first to Vancouver, where he found every intention of following up the recommendations made by the Canadian Trade Mission which visited this country last month. In San Francisco my right hon. Friend inaugurated a British-American Chamber of Commerce, whose purpose is to promote the sales of British goods in California.
In Mexico he had discussions with Ministers and leaders of industry and found that on both sides there are opportunities for increasing trade. Events in Venezuela unfortunately caused his visit to that country to be put off.
While I have no doubt that the President of the Board of Trade did some useful work in the countries he visited, was his absence from office really justifiable when there was a serious Cabinet crisis, bearing in mind that, after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he is the Cabinet Minister most concerned with economic matters?