HC Deb 09 September 1941 vol 374 cc26-7
41. Mr. Moelwyn Hughes

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether he has any further statement to make on supplies to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?

The Minister of Economic Warfare (Mr. Dalton)

Yes, Sir, I am glad to say that considerable progress has been made in providing our Russian Allies with economic assistance. As I informed the House on 5th August, the Soviet Government furnished us with a list of their requirements. Most of the commodities on that list can be obtained from Allied sources, and substantial shipments have already taken place, including supplies of rubber, tin, wool, lead, jute and shellac. The House will appreciate that there are difficulties of transport but we are doing our best to meet the Russian requests in full. The remaining commodities which we are unable fully to supply from Empire or Allied sources are now the subject of discussion in Washington, and this discussion will continue at the forthcoming Moscow Conference. As hon. Members will have seen in the Press, a Payments Agreement was signed in Moscow on 16th August. This provides for the exchange of goods on credit, and for a Clearing Ac count between the two Governments.

Mr. Shinwell

Will my right hon. Friend say to what extent these supplies are being delivered?

Mr. Dalton

To a very considerable extent.

Mr. Arthur Henderson

May we take it that the forthcoming Moscow Conference will not be too long delayed?

Mr. Dalton

That is not within my departmental competence. The Answer relates only to non-military supplies.