§ 20. Sir C. Osborne
asked the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the facts that imports from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for 1964 were maintained at £90 million but exports and re-exports fell from £63 million in 1963 to only £39 million in 1964, what are the reasons for this fall in exports; what new action he now proposes to take to increase substantially United Kingdom 1512 exports, especially of consumer goods which provide good employment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jay
I do not know why the Soviet state trading corporations cut their purchases from us in 1964; but as I told the hon. Member on 10th December, I have already emphasised to the Soviet Government the importance attached by Her Majesty's Government to the Soviet undertaking to continue to take the necessary measures to achieve a much closer balance in Anglo-Soviet trade. I hope to see this reflected in increased exports of United Kingdom goods in 1965.
§ Sir C. Osborn
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is not enough for him to say that he has emphasised the difference? In view of the rapidly rising standards in Moscow and the Soviet Union generally, cannot we demand a fairer share of the consumer industry's exports to go into that market? Will the right hon. Gentleman promise to do something about it at once?
§ Sir C. Osborne
On a point of order. I heard hon. Gentlemen opposite shout across the Floor to me to declare my interest in what I have done. May I say that I have steadily refused to take orders from Russia precisely to stop things like that being said by hon. Gentlemen opposite? Surely I am entitled to some protection.
§ Mr. Speaker
There seems to be some misapprehension. There is no obligation in the House to declare an interest in relation to Questions.