HC Deb 20 June 1939 vol 348 cc1984-5
15. Mr. Higgs

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that import licences for Chile are difficult to obtain, and that not only the Government but also the Exchange Control Commission prefer that business should be transacted with France, Germany, or Italy, which have compensation agreements; and does he intend to take steps to rectify the matter?

Mr. Stanley

The Government of Chile have stated that the find themselves compelled to restrict the issue of licences for United Kingdom goods because the amount of sterling available in Chile is unfortunately insufficient to meet the demand. The question of the steps to be taken to meet the situation is being considered carefully in all its aspects in consultation with the Government of Chile.

Mr. Higgs

Is the Minister aware that our exports to Chile have decreased by 75 percent. since 1927, while imports from Chile have practically remained constant?

Mr. Stanley

I do not think that that gives a true picture unless one looks at the detailed statement showing the description of exports and imports between the two countries. If the hon. Member does that, he will see that we have a favourable balance of trade with Chile taking account of the position as regards copper.

Mr. Benson

Have not the compensation agreements with other countries been sufficiently satisfactory to warrant their extension to Chile?

Mr. Stanley

It is not a question of compensation agreements, but of being able to take enough from Chile to provide them with the sterling to take our exports.

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