Exports to South Africa

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1964.

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Photo of Sir Harwood Harrison Sir Harwood Harrison , Eye 12:00 am, 3rd December 1964

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will shortly make a visit to South Africa, in order to increase British exports to that country.

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

My right hon. Friend has no plans for such a visit.

Photo of Sir Harwood Harrison Sir Harwood Harrison , Eye

Is the Minister of State aware that that reply will cause a great deal of dismay to a large number of workpeople in this country who depend for their jobs upon the large volume of exports we have to South Africa? Will the hon. Gentleman tell his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade that, in view of the large export trade we have with South Africa, as head of our Trade Department he should pay a visit to South Africa and help to increase our exports?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

Present circumstances do not indicate any urgent need for such a visit as the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggests.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Will the hon. Gentleman ensure that the Government do nothing which will reduce exports to South Africa, particularly of oil and other matters?

Photo of Mr Edward Redhead Mr Edward Redhead , Walthamstow West

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the clear statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 25th November that the Government believe that, except in war or near war conditions, one does not use trade as a means of expressing one's detestation of particular policies."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th November, 1964; Vol. 702, c. 1282.] Arms are a separate matter. But this remains the considered view of the Government.

Photo of Mr Ioan Evans Mr Ioan Evans , Birmingham, Yardley

Will my hon. Friend consider making a world tour, because what we may lose on the South African swings we are likely to gain on the world roundabouts?