§ 30. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore
asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether, in view of public anxiety, he can make any statement on the trade-barter agreement with Japan; and why it is regarded by His Majesty's Government as necessary?
§ Mr. Foot
No general barter arrangement, nor anything inconsistent with the strict enforcement of the freezing Order, has ever been contemplated. The use of frozen funds for new exports to Japan is not permitted. If it should be found desirable exceptionally to license any particular imports from Japan, it would be a matter for consideration what exports should be allowed against such imports and how payments should be effected. It is probable that this would best be done by setting up a separate clearing account, if and when the need for it should arise. At present, however, no such imports have been licensed and consequently no question of payments arises.
§ Sir T. Moore
As Japan is a partner in the Axis, would not such a proposal be almost equivalent to trading with the enemy? Would it not be unwise for the Government to be a party in any way to a transaction with Japan?