§ 2. Captain GARRO-JONES
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has given permission for the export to the Soviet Government of a number of new military aeroplanes to the value of £500,000; and whether British aircraft manufacturers are now at liberty to export
§ the British trade with Russia for the 12 months ended to the last convenient date, showing the principal items and giving the separate total values?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)
With the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table giving the information he desires.
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Imports, £21,500,000 in round figures; exports of United Kingdom produce and manufactures £2,700,000; re-exports, £2,084,000.
§ Following is the table:
§ civil or military aircraft to Russia, China, or any other foreign country.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Godfrey Locker-Lampson)
I have been asked to reply. I understand that negotiations have taken place between the Soviet Government and a British aircraft com- 85 pany with a view to the supply to Russia of a considerable number of aeroplanes. No licence is required to export aeroplanes from the United Kingdom. If, however, the aeroplanes are fitted with any armament, such as machine guns or machine gun mountings, a licence would be required before that armament could be exported. No application for a licence to export such material to the Soviet Government has been received recently. It is not the policy of His Majesty's Government to impose restrictions upon the export of civil aircraft to foreign countries.
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
Does what the right hon. Gentleman states with regard to the necessity of obtaining permission apply to the export of aeroplanes to China? Are we free to export aeroplanes to China now as well as to other countries?
§ Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is no doubt aware that in regard to China the arms embargo is still in force, and any action which came under that embargo would have to be considered.