HC Deb 25 November 1947 vol 444 cc1798-9
72. Mr. Austin

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will enumerate for the years 1946 and 1947 the identity of foreign trade delegations received in this country, together with an outline in each case of trading results achieved.

Mr. Belcher

With my hon. Friend's permission I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the official foreign trade delegations that have visited this country in 1946 and 1947, with an indication in each case of the scope of the discussions. Most of these discussions have been of a general character and the results in terms of trade cannot be assessed in quantitative terms.

Mr. Austin

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that facilities offered to these delegations are sufficient, or has he any further provisions in mind for improving such facilities?

Mr. Belcher

It has not been suggested to me that facilities are insufficient, but if my hon. Friend has any information on the matter, I shall be glad to receive it.

Following is the information:

Country. Nature of Delegation. Date of Discussions. Scope.
Delegation led by Dr. Nied-erle, Plenipotentiary of the Czechoslovak Government for Compensation. June to July 1947. Discussions were concerned with the compensation to be paid for British property in Czechoslovakia which has been nationalised. Considerable progress was made and agreement reached on a number of points. These discussions are to be resumed at a date to be agreed.
Denmark Official Delegation September and December 1946 and January 1947. Food contracts and expansion of exports to U. K.
September, 1947 Ministry of Food talks.
Finland Official Delegation March 1946 and, March, 1947 Mutual trade arrangements.
France Anglo - French Economic Committee. October 28th to November 4th, 1946. Review of Balance of Trade and Payments.
Anglo - French Economic Committee. February. 1947. Review of Balance of Trade and Payments.
French Zone of Germany. Delegation of Officials November, 1947 Examination of possibilities of trade between the French Zone and the sterling area.
Holland Official Delegation March, 1947 General trade and payments arrangements.
Hungary Official Delegation headed by Dr. Robert Hardi. November, 1946 Resumption of trade in foodstuffs and manufactured goods.
August, 1947 Follow up of food talks in November, 1946.
Italy Official Trade Delegation led by Signor Mascia of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. December, 1946 General review of Anglo-Italian Trade. Agreement to set up an Anglo-Italian Standing Committee of officials to review the course of trade as necessary.
Official Financial Delegation led by Signor Menichella, Vice-Governor of the Bank of Italy. March, 1947 Review of outstanding financial questions leading to the signature of the Financial Agreement. (Cmd. 7118).
Poland Official Trade Delegation led by Dr. Lychowski, Polish Ministry for Trade and Industry. March to June, 1947. Agreement was reached on a plan for the future development of Anglo-Polish trade. The plan is summarised in Sir Stafford Cripps' reply in the House on 8th May, 1947, to my hon. Friend the Member for Luton.
Russia November, 1946 Purchase of U. K. herrings.
Sweden March and September, 1946 and March and October, 1947. Mutual trade arrangements.
Yugoslavia Delegation led by M. Pet- rovic, Minister for Foreign Trade. February to June, 1946. Trade and payments; property and shipping agreements; debt settlement.
The debt settlement and shipping agreement were signed on 31st July, 1947.
Delegation led by M. Kopcok, Deputy Minister of Industry. Began 18th August, 1947 and still in progress. Trade and payments and settlement of British claims for compensation for property nationalised in Yugoslavia; property agreement.