42. Captain RAMSAY
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many million pounds this country has paid over to the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in the last two years in respect of oil produced from wells in equity British-owned but confiscated at the end of the war?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Hore-Belisha)
The imports of oil from the Soviet Union during the years 1930 and 1931 were of a declared value of£5,691,709 and £4,099,740 respectively. It is impracticable to say how much of this oil was produced from properties formerly British owned.
As it is beyond question that a very large proportion of this oil was actually and is in equity British-owned, is it not possible for the British Government to take some steps to put a stop to the scandal of the British having to buy their own oil month after month?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA:
There are no means of identifying the particular wells from which the oil comes.
Surely there are other means of taking steps to collect money from a debtor who refuses to pay his debts and who has commodities?