§ 1. Mr. J. H. Osborn
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give his estimate of the value of world trade in 1969 compared with each of the previous three years; what has been the value, with export and import, and percentage of Great Britain's share in it; and what estimates have been made in respect of 1970 based on these trends.
§ The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Roy Mason)
With permission, I will circulate the latest available figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
I do not wish to venture precise forecasts of the out-turn for this year as a whole or for 1970. However, after its recent exceptionally rapid expansion, I expect that world trade may soon grow somewhat less strongly, and that this could have some effect on the growth of our exports. Imports are likely to show some increase as the economy expands.
|TOTAL EXPORTS (f.o.b.)||U.S.$thousand million|
|— per cent share||…||8.1||7.5||7.2||7.4||7.2|
|EXPORTS OF MANUFACTURES (d) (f.o.b.)|
|Main manufacturing countries (e)||…||92.6||99.1||114.2||54.3||64.0|
|— per cent share||…||12.9||11.9||11.1||11.5||11.0|
|TOTAL IMPORTS (c.i.f.)|
|— per cent share||…||8.7||8.8||8.4||8.7||8.2|
§ (a) Not seasonally adjusted.
§ (b) Preliminary estimates.
§ (c) Excluding the Sino-Soviet countries.
§ (d) Section 5 to 8 of the Standard International Trade Classification.
§ (e) U.K., U.S.A. Canada, Japan, E.E.C. countries, Sweden, Switzerland.392
§ extent to which a slowing down in the growth of world trade would affect our exports, and the extent to which our increased exports have been due to devaluation?
§ Mr. Mason
It is too soon to give an estimate regarding devaluation. One could give only a rough guess as to how world trade might move in the next year or so, but what is pleasing is that during the course of expansion in world trade we have this time managed to maintain our share whereas previously when world trade grew we actually fell back.
§ Mr. Cant
I appreciate that my right hon. Friend is too much of a gentleman to remind the Opposition that Britain's share of world trade fell from 25 to 17 per cent. from 1951 to 1964, but will he accept that this is no longer a proper yardstick and that exports per 1,000 of the population give a more accurate guide?
§ Mr. Higgins
The right hon. Gentleman has made the extraordinary statement that it is too soon after devaluation to make an estimate of what effect it has had. We ought to have a reasonable estimate by this stage of what the elasticities were in response to the change in relative prices of exports and imports, ought we not?
§ Following is the information: