HC Deb 15 November 1937 vol 329 cc11-2
21. Mr. Thurtle

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether or not the whole of the credit of 410,000,000 granted to Russia has yet been utilised?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Thurtle

Does not the hon. Gentleman regard that as satisfactory from the point of view of British trade?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, Sir, but it would be even more satisfactory if the Soviet Government used their available resources in purchasing British goods without the need of such credits.

Sir William Davison

Is it not the fact that under this credit the purchases from Russia have not materially increased as compared with the three preceding years?

Mr. Shinwell

Would it not materially assist in the direction the hon. Gentleman desires if Members of the Tory party would stop their anti-Russian and anti-Communist talk?

Mr. T. Johnston

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the Russian Government have met in full their obligations under these trade agreements and that they have paid very much higher rates of interest for these credits than any other nation?

Mr. Hudson

I think it is undoubtedly true that the Soviet Government have met all their obligations; all I wished to point out was that they had ample available resources of sterling which might be used for the purchase of British manufactured goods instead of, as at present, mainly for the purchase of British re-exports.