§ 8. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement to the House as to an agreement having been arrived at between the Russian Soviet Government and Lena Goldfields, Limited, and as to the nature of the same?
§ Lieut.-Colonel J. COLVILLE (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)
Yes, Sir; an agreement was signed at Moscow on the 4th November by the representatives of the company and of the, Soviet Government. I understand that it is 1499 subject to ratification by the company's shareholders, and provides for the payment by the Soviet Government of £3,000,000 over a period of 20 years. £50,000 will be paid down on ratification, and there will be 20 instalments of £92,500, followed by a further 20 of £55,000 to be paid at six-monthly intervals beginning on the 1st May next.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Do I understand that this British company has been obliged, on the recommendation of the British Government, to settle for a sum of £3,000,000, which is to be paid over 20 years, in lieu of an arbitral award of £13,000,000?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say exactly how much of that £3,000,000 will go to Germany and the United States and how much to Great Britain?
§ Lieut.-Commander AGNEW
Did my hon. and gallant Friend say that this agreement is subject to ratification by the Soviet Government?
§ Lieut.-Colonel COLVILLE
As regards the first supplementary question, the company recognise that the prospects of any settlement at all without the assistance they received from His Majesty's Government would have been slight.
§ Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
Can my hon. and gallant Friend say what is the present value of this payment by instalments?