HC Deb 20 November 1947 vol 444 cc1312-3
17. Major Beamish

asked the President of the Board of Trade what approaches have been made to the Roumanian Government with a view to the resumption of normal trade relations; what progress has been made; and on what date the first such approach was made.

Mr. H. Wilson

Wartime restrictions on trade in goods with Roumania were removed in April last. As to the possibilities of a fuller resumption of trade, I would ask the hon. and gallant Member to await the reply which my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Food, proposes to give to him today to a related Question.

Major Beamish

To what extent is the Minister working in conjunction with the Minister of Food?

Mr. Wilson

In very close conjunction. As the hon. and gallant Gentleman no doubt knows, a visit from a Ministry of Food representative disclosed the fact that there was a quantity of grain available for export to certain countries, but this export was made conditional on the supply of particular goods from whichever country was to receive the grain, and we are still awaiting a reply from the Roumanian Government who were requested for a list of the goods which they make a condition of agreement.

Lieut.-Colonel Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

Can the Minister say whether anything has been arranged to try to get some of their surplus timber?

Mr. Wilson

We have made a number of inquiries of them, but we cannot make any purchases or trade negotiations with them until we know the goods which they are making a condition of agreement.