§ 15. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now inform the House as to the action which has been taken by the British Government with reference to the importation into Great Britain of Russian timber under a fall clause and at prices with which it is impossible for Canadian timber to compete?
§ 18. Captain P. MACDONALD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to state the result of the negotiations between the Russian timber interests and Timber Distributors, Limited, with regard to the omission of the fall clause from the contract for the importation of Russian timber into this country?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I would refer my hon. Friends to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing) on the 14th March. I understand that Timber Distributors, Limited, and the White Sea Timber Trust have now started negotiations for a revised contract.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
May we have an assurance that in future no contracts with the Soviet Government containing 984 the fall clause will receive the sanction of the Board of Trade?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not the case that, with the exception of small quantities of costly timber, the prices of timber sold by Canada were lower than the prices charged for Russian timber?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I cannot express a general opinion on that subject, because, as the hon. Gentleman knows, there are so many different varieties and classes of timber. With regard to the inquiry made by my hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison), I can only say that, so far as this contract is concerned, it has fallen down on the fall clause.
§ Captain MACDONALD
While congratulating the right hon. Gentleman upon his effective action in this matter, will he see that the quantity of 400,000 standards is not exceeded this year, as it was last year, by some 10 per cent.?
§ Mr. THORNE
If the right hon. Gentleman is going to put an embargo on the importation of Russian soft timber, will he, if it is found that there is not sufficient soft timber for building purposes, persuade the Russian Government to send more timber?
§ Sir MURDOCH McKENZIE WOOD
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain the reason for his intervention in this contract?