§ 37. Major Rayner
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that imports from foreign countries in the first quarter of 1938 are £13,500,000 higher than in the corresponding quarter of 1937, whilst the exports of British goods to foreign countries are nearly £4,000,000 lower, and re-exports to foreign countries £3,000,000 lower; and whether, in view of the adverse balance of trade at the end of the year 1937, he will take some steps to rectify this position?
Though there was an increase in the excess of imports over exports of merchandise for the first quarter of this year compared with a year earlier, a decline was recorded in each of the subsequent two months. The latter improvement in the adverse balance applied to both British and foreign countries. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer to the answer which I gave on 24th May to my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams).