HC Deb 27 January 1930 vol 234 cc599-601

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether any applications have been made to the advisory committee for Export Credit Facilities for the exportation of cured herrings to Russia during the last six months?


One proposal has been made to the Export Credits Guarantee Department in connection with the export of herrings to Russia since the extension of the scheme to that country on the 1st August last. The proposal was approved by the Advisory Committee but the first did not proceed with the business.


May I ask how much is involved in the proposal?


It is not usual to announce the amount.

39. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether the British Government is now proportionately liable in case of default of bills of the Soviet Government's delegation guaranteed in whole or part under the Export Credits Scheme?

40. Captain EDEN

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what is the reason for the discrimination in the working of the Exports Credits Scheme whereby, upon the failure of the Soviet Government to pay for any goods exported to Russia from this country, the British exporter is no; paid his percentage of risk guaranteed by the Export Credits Guarantee Department?


As there have been several questions on this subject recently and as some misunderstanding appears to exist, I propose to take this opportunity of stating the position fully so as to remove any possibility of misapprehension. Under the Export Credits Guarantee Scheme the guarantee of the British Government is given to British exporters in respect of certain of their exports to countries overseas, including Russia, which was brought within the scope of the scheme as from the 1st August, 1929. The scheme provides that in the event of default on bills so guaranteed, the Department shall pay to the exporter the guaranteed percentage of the amount of the bills. This provision applies to bills guaranteed in connection with exports to Russia in exactly the same way as to bills guaranteed in respect of exports to other countries.

Captain EDEN

Is the hon. Member aware that his reply is a flat contradiction of the statement of the Foreign Secretary last Wednesday, and will he therefore give his right hon. Friend a copy of the reply?


A question I understand has already been put to my right hon. Friend. Some misunderstanding has arisen in regard to an answer I gave myself, and therefore I have taken this opportunity of stating fully on paper the exact position in regard to this export credit scheme.


Before the hon. Member leaves that point, will he tell us what he meant on the 21st January when he told us that the export credit scheme is going to guarantee the goods. Are the goods guaranteed as to value or as to volume?


What I meant was a guarantee of payment.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Are we to understand that if the Soviet Government defaults the British Government pays?


The British Government pays for anything they have guaranteed whoever may default.


May I ask whether my hon. Friend has recently had any representations expressing dissatisfaction with the present operation of the export credit scheme from reputable British manufacturers?