§ 37. Major PROCTER
asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if his attention has been called to the fact that specifications and terms of an important contract for the purchase of large quantities of textile machinery have been arranged between a Lancashire firm and the Union of Soviet Republics contingent upon a grant of export credit facilities; and has he received any report from the Export Credits Committee on the subject?
§ Mr. COLVILLE
I have heard that discussions have been taking place, but I am informed that no application has been received by the Export Credits Guarantee Department. While any application will be carefully considered, I am not able to say what, if any, further Government guarantees for credits for exports to Russia will be available.
§ Major PROCTER
Is my hon. Friend aware that this fund is now showing a profit of some £400,000, and that the textile machinery manufacturers have not received very much of this money? I hold in my hand—
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
In view of the fact that Lancashire is very depressed, will the hon. Gentleman take steps to see that this contract, which it is suggested should be placed in Lancashire, is given proper facilities?
§ Mr. COLVILLE
As I stated in my answer, no application has yet been made to the Export Credits Committee. If the hon. Member cares to see me about the matter, I shall be glad to see him. On the general question of credits for Russia, I have already explained that, if the guarantee of the British Government is to be used, it must be used with due caution and care after examination.