§ 27 Mr. ELLIS SMITH
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he has found any estimate of the effect on British trade of the policy that is being carried out by the German department of war economics;
(2) whether his attention has been directed to the policy of settling debts by the clearing marks method; and will he, when arranging future trade agreements, take steps to ensure the mutual benefit of both signatories;
(3) whether it is proposed to take counter measures to offset the effects of Dr. Schacht's mission to Vienna, Belgrade, Athens, and Sofia, and institute special exchange clearing arrangements in the case of any country that yields to pressure, so that free sterling shall not be used by such a country to aid trade for war material or to assist its economic position?
§ Captain WALLACE
It is not possible to give any estimate of the general effect on United Kingdom trade as a whole of the clearing agreements and similar arrangements made between Germany and other countries. In any case where it appears that these countries are, in consequence, discriminating against the trade of the United Kingdom, diplomatic representations will be made. His Majesty's Government have already made trade and payments agreements with a number of countries with the object which the hon. Member suggests, and it is doubtful whether this object would be attained, in present circumstances, by the establishment of the special exchange clearing arrangements to which the hon. Member refers.