§ 6. Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department the facts which have led His Majesty's Government to the conclusion that the setting up of a clearing house to deal with Russian purchases and sales transactions would be impracticable?
§ Mr. GILLETT
Apart from the great practical difficulties involved in the running of a system of the kind contemplated by the hon. Member, it would be impossible to institute it without having recourse to discrimination in regard to imported goods of Soviet origin. This, as explained by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade in the Debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill on 25th March last, would be incompatible with our obligations under the Temporary Trade Agreement of 16th April, 1930.
§ Mr. de ROTHSCHILD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the balance of trade at the present time is very much in favour of the Soviet Union, and will he confer with the Soviet Union in order to establish some system of this sort; or failing this, will he press on this Government when the present agreement lapses—it is a temporary agreement—to come to a different agreement which will consider this matter in the light of this question?
§ Mr. GILLETT
I am aware of the facts stated by the hon. Member. The matter is constantly under consideration.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not the case that the majority of the goods imported from Russia are raw materials, and that the majority of goods exported to Russia are manufactured goods?