HC Deb 14 March 1935 vol 299 cc557-8
50. Mr. MACLAY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that Russia is one of the few markets anxious to import goods but unable to do so to the fullest extent on account of credit difficulties, he will cause an investigation to be made into the possibility and desirability of arranging a loan to Russia to be used immediately and exclusively for the purchase of such goods desired by Russia as could be produced in the distressed areas, either by private enterprise or, in case of need, by new State- encouraged enterprise?


British exports to Russia have been facilitated by the trade agreement and by the operation of the Export Credits Guarantee Department, and, while I am desirous to obtain further orders, particularly for the special areas. I do not think the hon. Member's proposal is a practicable means of achieving this end.


Has the right hon. Gentleman kept fully in mind the importance of foreign lending in the past to our industrial exports; and does he really think that our unemployment question, especially in the depressed areas, can possibly be solved unless some form of foreign lending is started again?


Will the right hon. Gentleman extend no further facilities to Russia until they have paid their debts to British nationals?


If my right hon. Friend is going to consider any question of granting facilities for loans in any countries, will he keep in mind first the British Empire?