HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1710-1
67. Sir Granville Gibson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether in view of the fact that our imports from Spain in 1937 amounted to £8,627,000, while our exports were only £2,423,000, he will make arrangements to allocate part of the large balance of payments in favour of Spain to the liquidation of the debts due to our exporters?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

The balance in favour of Spain becomes very much less than would appear from the figures quoted by my hon. Friend if account is taken of re-exports and of the very considerable deductions from the United Kingdom import figure necessary in respect of freights and other charges. The position, however, is being closely watched.

Sir G. Gibson

In view of the fact that there is a very large balance of trade in favour of Spain with this country, cannot the Department evolve some scheme whereby assistance might be given to many of our exporters who, as the right hon. and gallant Gentleman knows, are very seriously financially embarrassed at this time?

Sir Archibald Sinclair

Might it not help if the Government were to export some munitions of war to the Spanish Government?