HC Deb 04 July 1938 vol 338 cc36-7
60 and 61. Colonel Sandeman Allen

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that a Liverpool firm supplied a sample of African timber four months ago to an Italian firm and that, whilst the Italian Government sanctioned the payment in respect of this transaction on 30th May last, no money has yet been transferred, although the buyer paid the necessary money into the Bank of Italy; and whether he can arrange for this and other similar cases to be reviewed at an early date;

(2) whether his attention has been called to the difficulties of timber stockholders in the Liverpool district who are interested in the shipment of Candian and West African woods to Italy, arising from the unsatisfactory operation of the clearing machinery; and whether, in view of the fact that French stockholders are enabled as a result of the French-Italian agreement to get orders which formerly came to Great Britain, further representations can be made to the Italian Government to release money for goods supplied by British exporters as far back as 1935 and in respect of which money is available in the Bank of Italy and cannot be transferred to this country?

Mr. R. S. Hudson (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

I have no detailed information regarding the debts to which he refers, but, if he will send me full particulars, I shall be glad to look into the matter. I may add that the published text of the Franco-Italian Payments Agreement of 14th April, 1938, contains no reference to French re-exports of colonial produce.