§ 41. Mr. TAYLOR
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has any statistics showing whether the Soviet Government has fulfilled its commercial obligations or otherwise; and will he lay them upon the Table of the House?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
If the hon. Member's question refers to commercial contracts made by the Soviet Government, I am not aware of any breaches of such contracts.
Sir W. LANE MITCHELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman say if the Soviet Government have paid one penny of recompense for the private property belonging to foreign or British subjects which was confiscated?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
So far as I am aware they have not compensated anyone for the property which has been confiscated. It is for that reason that in answering the question I, expressly confined myself to commercial contracts.
§ 45. Mr. TAYLOR
asked the Prime Minister whether he has now considered the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the Alexandra Palace on 19th June; and whether the Chancellor's warning to British traders engaged in Anglo-Russian trade represents the paint of view of the Cabinet as a whole?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
Yes, Sir. Since the hon. Member last questioned me upon the subject I have referred to the speech of my right 1328 hon. Friend. I find that he gave a warning, peculiarly appropriate to present conditions in Russia but of general application, that whilst His Majesty's Government will always do their best to protect British nationals, foreign trade and foreign investments must be at the risk of those who undertake them, and if their enterprises prove for any reason unsuccessful they cannot have recourse to the taxpayer for compensation, though they may be assured of all the diplomatic support which His Majesty's Government can properly give. This is the rule now followed by all British Governments.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Does the Prime Minister agree with the Chancellor of the Exchequer's observation that the situation is precarious?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Assuming that the Chancellor of the Exchequer made similar statements with regard to any other European nation, would the right hon. Gentleman agree with him?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
. That is hypothetical, but I think the statement is one of general application, and true in all cases.
§ Mr. PALING
In view of the answer given to Question 41 by the President of the Board of Trade, does the right hon. Gentleman think it desirable that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should make speeches of this description?
§ Mr. TAYLOR
May I ask the Prime Minister whether he considers it right that in answer to a question by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) he should say that the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer represented the opinion of the Cabinet, when later on he admitted that he had not read the speech. Would it not be in the interests of the country—