14. Mr. PRICE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the copy sent to him of the Report on Trade with Russia, adopted by the executive council of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, which urges that an arrangement should be made with Russia to trade on a reciprocal basis on certain specified conditions; and whether he proposes to take steps by means of a trade agreement with the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics to carry out these recommendations?
§ 16. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the President of the Board of of Trade whether he has considered the copy sent to him of the report issued by the executive council of the Association of British Chamber of Commerce, in which it is pointed out that the present unequal trade balance between Russia and this country is used by Russia to purchase machinery and tools from Foreign countries who are England's competitors; and whether the Government will see that arrangements are made with Russia so that trade with that country may be on a reciprocal basis, as has been done in the case of other Foreign Powers?
§ 17. Mr. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has examined the copy sent to him of the survey of Anglo-Russian trade issued by the Association of British Chambers of Commerce on 7th December; and whether he will act on the suggestion in paragraph 15 that, as the Russian credit balance on British trade is used to pay for goods purchased by Russia 2223 from England's competitors, the Government should follow the example of Italy and France and place Anglo-Russian sales and purchases on a reciprocal basis by setting up a clearing house for that purpose?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I have seen the report in question and will give it careful consideration. As has already been stated in reply to previous questions, however, it would be premature to make any statement on the special question of our commercial relations with the Soviet Union while the wider question of our trade balance is under consideration.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Now that the Chambers of Commerce of Great Britain have definitely expressed the opinion that this large trade balance in favour of Russia is directly injurious to our own trade, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it is high time to consider the advisability of the termination of export credits to Russia, which quite clearly are injuring our trade?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is in existence under the Board of Trade a clearing office for Hungarian debts at Cornwall House, and that it could, without any difficulty, be made to function for the purposes of Anglo-Russian trade?