HC Deb 27 February 1951 vol 484 cc1910-1
52. Brigadier Clarke

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is in debt to this country; and what arrangements His Majesty's Government have made for the repayment of this money.

Mr. Gaitskell

Including substantial private claims approximately £1,100 million, almost all of which dates from before 1917. The Soviet Government are in process of repaying the amounts due to His Majestys Government in respect of civil supplies provided under the Agreement of 1941; £36 million is at present outstanding. They have, however, refused to recognise the pre-1917 debts and successive Governments have been unable to make any arrangements about these.

Brigadier Clarke

Will the Minister admit that it was not very clever to send jet engines to the Russians when they could not pay the debt they now owe us?