HC Deb 05 July 1937 vol 326 cc14-5
15. Sir W. Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, seeing that the temporary commercial agreement between Great Britain and the Russian Soviet Government of 16th February, 1934, has proved in many ways unsatisfactory, and that the supplementary agreement for a financial credit of £10,000,000 in connection with trade between Great Britain and Russia will terminate on 30th September next, notice will now be given to abrogate the temporary agreement with the object of entering into a permanent treaty of commerce and navigation in which proper provision could be made for settling all outstanding differences which at present retard the growth of trade between the two countries, including the question of claims of British nationals and the granting of a long-term loan for the purchase of British manufactures over a period of years, in place of any renewal of the short-term financial credit agreement?

Mr. Eden

His Majesty's Government are fully alive to the desirability of concluding a permanent treaty as soon as there is any prospect of the conditions laid down for its conclusion being satisfied. Among these conditions, as has frequently been stated, His Majesty's Government attach great importance to a satisfactory solution of the claims of British creditors. I can assure my hon. Friend that the whole position will be kept carefully under review.

Sir W. Davison

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, do the Government recognise that a series of temporary agreements extending over a period of years is something in the nature of a permanent agreement, which it was promised by the British Government would not be entered into until these debts, to Britain have been dealt with?

Mr. Eden

I see the point of my hon. Friend's contention, but I would not like to deal at Question Time with the difference between the temporary and permanent character of these agreements.