Spain ("Leander" Class Frigates)

Oral Answers to Questions — Industry, Trade and Regional Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North 12:00 am, 23rd July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if he will give a list of the firms which have requested his assistance in the signing of a trade agreement with Spain for the supply of warships; and what assistance he offered to these firms by way of credit or other means.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

No, Sir; because to do so would be a breach of commercial confidence.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

Can we have some frank talking or speaking, whatever the Prime Minister's phrase may be? If the right hon. Gentleman were to speak in accordance with what he knows to be the facts, would he not say that there have been no agreements and no approaches for credit? Will the right hon. Gentleman come clean and make that clear?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence have both dealt with this matter very clearly. What is required is not more frank speaking but clearer and more sensible thinking by hon. and right hon. Members opposite.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

As the right hon. Gentleman told the House just now that the Cocom restrictions on strategic exports applied to Fascist as well as Communist countries, may I ask to which countries the Government apply restrictions on strategic exports?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

If the right hon. Gentleman wants a full answer perhaps he will put down a Question and I will let him have the complete information. It involves, as he knows, other countries. It is not the Cocom restrictions that apply to exports to other countries as far as nuclear reactors are concerned. I was referring to that item specifically and not to the Cocom restrictions.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Do these restrictions on strategic exports apply to South Africa, Indonesia, Cuba and Spain?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

The right hon. Gentleman knows that for certain articles they apply to some of these countries, but if he wants specific answers about all of these countries he should put down a Question.