HC Deb 12 May 1964 vol 695 c208
17. Mr. Warbey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer which Government Department is responsible for the forward planning of external economic policy.

Mr. Maudling

This responsibility rests with the Treasury, in consultation with other Departments concerned.

Mr. Warbey

Can the right hon. Gentleman say, in particular, how the Foreign Office is drawn into the picture and who is responsible for carrying out policy and for negotiating with foreign Governments at international economic conferences such as G.A.T.T. and the Geneva Conference on Trade and Development? Who is responsible for bringing the foreign policy of this country towards countries like China in line with external economic policy?

Mr. Maudling

Obviously it varies in different cases. Primary responsibility for the forward planning of external economic policy rests with the Treasury, but of course the Foreign Office, the Board of Trade and others are consulted. Responsibilities for conducting negotiations also vary. For example, in G.A.T.T. they normally rest with the Board of Trade, and in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund they rest with the Treasury. It depends upon the nature of the negotiations.