§ Mr. D. Price
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the wide disparity between the figures for visible trade quoted in the balance of payments and those quoted in the Trade and Navigation Accounts, and in view of the explanation given on pages 36 to 38 of Command Paper No. 9585, he will state which figures provide the more accurate statement of the United Kingdom's physical trade gap; and what was the physical trade gap for 1955.
§ Mr. H. Macmillan
The figures given in the Trade and Navigation Accounts measure the value of imports and exports on arrival and departure; and for many purposes this is the more useful series. It does however include certain elements of freight and insurance paid to residents of the United Kingdom, which are excluded from the balance of payments figures. For this reason, and because of110W the other differences set out on pages 36 to 38 of Cmd. 9585, the balance of payments figures are a better measure of the flow of overseas payments and receipts in respect of visible trade. I regret that the figures for 1955 as a whole are not yet available. They will be published, with the other balance of payments estimates in about six weeks time.