HC Deb 23 July 1964 vol 699 cc680-1
28. Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development whether he will make a statement on the results obtained from the recent British trade fair in Madrid.

Mr. Heath

A British industrial exhibition was organised by British Overseas Fairs Ltd. in Barcelona—not Madrid, as my hon. Friend states—in April this year. British firms and their Spanish agents were in general well satisfied with the results but precise information is not yet available.

Mr. Hastings

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that much of the good effect of this trade fair has been jeopardised by the Leader of the Opposition? While exports from this country to Spain have trebled over the last five years, are we not now meeting increasing competition from the Germans, French and Americans and increased consumer resistance overall to our products since the order for the Spanish frigates was suspended? Can my right hon. Friend now say to the House what he thinks that the Leader of the Opposition should do to try to mitigate some of the damage which he has done to our trade in this way?

Mr. Speaker

The last part of that cannot be in order. The multiple responsibilities of the Minister do not include that activity.

Mr. Heath

I agree, Mr. Speaker, that it is not for me to tell the Leader of the Opposition what he ought to do. As to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, I was at the exhibition myself and there was no doubt about the great impression which was made on Spanish industrialists and possible purchasers by the very high quality of the engineering and other goods shown at the exhibition. I hope, therefore, that considerable orders will be coming to British firms.

Mr. Wigg

Will the Secretary of State use his great influence with the Prime Minister to get a White Paper published showing the amount of equipment which the Government have refused to supply to the Indian Government?