HC Deb 07 February 1938 vol 331 cc662-3
41. Sir W. Davison

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what was the total value of British manufactured goods purchased by the Russian Soviet Government during the first nine months of last year or the latest available date, apart from re-exports, of metal, rubber, etc.; and what was the total value of British purchases from Russia during the same period?

Mr. Hudson

Information as to purchases is not available, but during the year 1937 the total declared value, of merchandise imported into the United Kingdom and consigned from the Soviet Union was £29,097,000, while exports of the produce and manufactures of the United Kingdom to the Soviet Union amounted to £3,083,000.

Sir W. Davison

In view of this very small purchase from Russia of our manufactured goods, does not the Overseas Trade Department think it desirable that some new trade agreement should be entered into, so that there should be more reciprocity?

Mr. Hudson

I understand there is actually a question on the Paper for tomorrow addressed to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade by the hon. Member for East Bradford (Mr. Hepworth), and perhaps my hon. Friend will be good enough to await the reply.

Mr. Alexander

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the figure of export which he gives does not absolutely exclude the exports from this country of British Colonial produce?

Mr. Hudson

I have said that they are the export of produce and manufactures of the United Kingdom to the Soviet Union. There are, of course, also re-exports from this country, the right hon. Gentleman will be aware, which do not find employment for hands in British factories.

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