HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 cc1980-1
10. Mr. M. Philips Price

asked the President of the Board of Trade what quantity of industrial goods and equipment have already been shipped to U.S.S.R. under the Anglo-Soviet Agreement and for what portion of those goods and equipment, specified in the Agreement, have orders already been placed.

18. Mr. Piratin

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on the progress of the execution of the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement insofar as Soviet orders to manufacturers are concerned; and what is the value of the orders placed so far and their proportion to the total as set out in the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement.

Mr. H. Wilson

Five thousand tons of rails with the necessary accessories have already been shipped, and a further 3,350 tons are being loaded at the present moment. As regards the equipment covered by the Schedules to the Agreement, the items for which tenders have been submitted to the Soviet Trade Delegation by United Kingdom manufacturers already represent three-quarters by value of the total. I hope that these tenders will provide a basis on which the Soviet Trade Delegation will be able to conclude satisfactory contracts with the manufacturers.

Mr. Philips Price

Is there any truth in the report that there are difficulties in placing the balance of these orders for goods for Russia in this country?

Mr. Wilson

I have already said that our manufacturers have put in tenders for something like three-quarters of the items. I am not aware of any difficulties, but, naturally, when there have to be negotiations on price one side or the other will say that the other side's terms are unreasonable.

Mt. Erroll

Were the rails referred to broad gauge rails or light rails.

Mr. Wilson

They were light rails.