§ 14. Brigadier - General CLIFTON BROWN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the tanks and armed vehicles for which he gave licences for exportation to Russia in 1930 were of our latest Army pattern; whether they were exported by private firms or by a War Office Department; and whether any other similar weapons of war were exported to other countries in 1930–31?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
The tanks and light armoured vehicles for Soviet Russia are 1751 being built to designs of the private manufacturers to whom the export licences were issued and by whom the material is being exported. With regard to the last part of the question, these articles are not separately classified in the trade accounts but are included under the heading of military, naval and ordnance stores and appliances. I am therefore unable to say what tanks and armoured vehicles have actually been exported, but since the beginning of 1930, 31 licences have been issued for the export of such articles and parts to the following foreign countries, besides Soviet Russia: The Argentine Republic, Belgium, Bolivia, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Siam and the United States of America.
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that it is best in the public interest that our latest designs should go abroad?
§ 24. Sir JOSEPH LAMB
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has taken or will take steps to ascertain the cost of production of butter in Soviet Russia and the price at which it is being retailed in that country; and if he will state the cost of packing and transportation to this country and the price at which Russian butter is being retailed in Great Britain?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
As regards the first part of the question I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department on 26th January last to a question put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ealing (Sir H. Nield). I have no information as to the cost of packing this article and transporting it to this country. As regards retail price in this country, I understand that the great bulk of Russian butter is blended with other butter and is not sold separately as such.
§ Sir J. LAMB
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the answer to the first question did give the price at which the butter was sold?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I am not quite clear on that point. I am afraid that I must refer my hon. Friend to the very elaborate table which was given on the 26th January.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
Is it not a fact that this butter is sent here at well under the cost of production price?
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Can the right hon. Gentleman say under what conditions this butter is produced?
§ 59. Sir K. WOOD
asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he has now received any reply from the commercial counsellor at Moscow as to the report on the organisation of the administrative machinery of foreign trade in the Soviet Union; and when the report may be expected?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. W. R. Smith)
In a despatch dated 27th April, the Commercial Counsellor to His Majesty's Embassy at Moscow reported that he had now received the promised material regarding the foreign trade machinery of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As, however, further inquiry will be necessary on many points, he considers that it will probably take three weeks more to finish the report.