§ 52. Lieut. Colonel ARCHER-SHEE
asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the export trade of this country to Old Russia in 1913 amounted to £18,100,000 in value, whereas in 1920 it amounted, approximately, to £12,000,000, or two-thirds of the pre-War trade in value; that this export trade in 1913 formed an insignificant portion of our total export-trade, namely, approximately 3 per cent.; whether he is aware that our imports from Old Russia in 1913 were £38,100,000, and in 1920 £31,200,000; that these imports in 1913 only constituted slightly over 5 per cent. of our total import trade; and, in view of the fact that we are now exporting to those countries of Old Russia which are free from Soviet rule two-thirds of the amount we formerly exported to the whole of Russia, and that we are importing from these countries about four-fifths of the amount that we imported from Old Russia, if he can state in what manner, and to what extent, he anticipates that our trade with Soviet Russia will increase by giving their Government official recognition?
I do not think that the conclusions suggested in the question necessarily follow from the figures given. My hon. and gallant Friend appears to have overlooked the difference 1829 between the purchasing power of the £ in 1013 and in 1920 in respect of goods exported or goods imported.
§ Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that the political recognition of Russia-will increase our trade? Is he aware that, although we have refused to recognise Mexico, our trade with that country has gone up enormously?
These are questions which are matters for the Debate this afternoon rather than for answers to questions. With regard to the earlier part of the supplementary question, it would puzzle even my hon. and gallant Friend to derive that inference from anything I have said.