HC Deb 05 April 1927 vol 204 cc1857-8
9. Mr. KELLY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that representatives of the Russian textile syndicate recently visited this country with a view to purchasing textile machinery; and whether his Department took any steps to assist the Russian textile syndicate in placing orders for textile machinery in this country?


I presume the hon. Member has in mind the mission to this country about 18 months ago of certain representatives of the textile syndicate. The Department of Overseas Trade on that occasion communicated to manufacturers advance information of the impending visit.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of a delegation visiting this country much more recently than 18 months ago, and have the Board of Trade taken any steps to assist the engineering trade in securing those orders?


I do not think the engineering trade requires any very direct assistance from the Board of Trade. If the engineering trade is invited to tender for orders, it is very competent to do so.


Are the same courtesies extended to Russian commercial missions in this country as to other commercial missions by the right hon. Gentleman's Department?


Yes. The Russians have the fullest possible facilities for placing orders in this country, and I only regret that they do not avail themselves more of those facilities.

Commander WILLIAMS

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it is that these people are supposed to be incapable of carrying out ordinary business transactions?


Is it not a fact that it is customary for the right hon. Gentleman's Department to extend certain courtesies and help to foreign commercial missions visiting this country, and will he say whether those facilities to encourage business are put at the disposal of the Russians?


I have already said so. Of course, the hon. Gentleman puts his question in such a general manner that I am uncertain as to what he refers, but I repeat emphatically that the Russian Government have the fullest possible facilities for placing orders in this country.