HC Deb 22 June 1937 vol 325 cc988-90
2. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of exports of British manufactures to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the nine months July, 1936, to March, 1937; and how these figures compare with the value of similar exports in the period July, 1935, to March, 1936?

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

During the nine months ended March, 1937, exports of the produce and manufactures of the United Kingdom registered as consigned to the Soviet Union were valued at£2,415,000 as compared with£2,487,000 for the nine months ended March, 1936.

Sir A. Knox

Are we to understand from the reply that there has been practically no result from the£10,000,000 guarantee which was announced last July?

Mr. Stanley

Not necessarily. The effect of that on exports would not be apparent.

Sir A. Knox

Up to date has there been any result from it?

Mr. Stanley

This is a credit which is used in the ordinary way of trade.

6. Sir William Davison

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is intended to renew the£10,000,000 financial credit agreement of July, 1936, between the Export Credits Department and the Russian Soviet trade representative which terminates on 30th September next; and whether, owing to the recent changed conditions in Soviet trade, negotiations will be renewed prior to the termination of the said agreement with reference to the settlement of private debts?

Mr. Stanley

The Agreement referred to by my hon. Friend provides facilities for the purchase by the Soviet Government of goods from United Kingdom manufacturers up to a limit of£10,000,000 on condition that the orders are placed by 30th September, 1937. The question of entering into another agreement of this nature is not at present under consideration by His Majesty's Government, nor has any such proposal so far been made by either party to the present Agreement. As regards the latter part of the question, I can add nothing to the reply given to my hon. Friend yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Sir W. Davison

What is the object of this semi-permanent temporary agreement when the Russian Government would be glad to have something in the nature of a permanent agreement, and that in order to get that permanent agreement for the purchase of British goods would be prepared to consider a scaled down figure for these private debts? Will the right hon Gentleman undertake to start negotiations with the Russian Government to see if that is not so?

Mr. Stanley

I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs would be very glad to get information from the hon. Member as to the intentions of the Soviet Government.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that up to now it is the heavy industries which have bene-

Steam and motor ships of 100 tons gross and over shown in the returns of the Registrar-General of Shipping as having been built in Germany and registered in the United Kingdom, since March, 1935.
Month when registered. Vessel. When built. Gross tonnage. Owners in whose name registered.
March M.V. "Alexia" 1935 8,016 Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co., Ltd., London.
July S.S. "Else Rykens" (fishing vessel). 1935 266 Aberdeen Steam Trawling & Fishing Co., Ltd. Aberdeen.
July S.S. "Paul Rykens" (fishing vessel). 1935 266
August S.S. "Neil Mackay" (fishing vessel). 1935 266
August S.S. "Peter Hendriks" (fishing vessel). 1935 266
August M.V. "Eketian" 1935 1,005 United Africa Co., Ltd., London.
September S.S. "Andino" 1935 4,569 Lago Shipping Co., Ltd., London.

fited? Will he use his influence so that light industries may benefit in a similar way?

Sir A. Knox

Is it not true that no British workman has benefited at all from the agreement?

Mr. Stanley

That is quite wrong. Something like£5,000,000 worth of orders has already been placed.