§ The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. J. K. Vaughan-Morgan)
I cannot add to the Answer which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) on 12th March.
§ Mr. Lewis
That was no Answer. Is the Minister aware of the fact that only yesterday the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance informed me that we are now paying £64 million a year in National Insurance unemployment benefits and National Assistance grants to men who are unemployed in this country? Would not it be better to make a large financial credit to the Russians and put these people to work? Is it not better to have them working than to pay £50 million or £60 million in dole?
§ Mr. Vaughan-Morgan
If the hon. Gentleman will refer to the answer to the supplementary question on the earlier occasion, he will see that my right hon. Friend said:This is a difficult question but one which is well worth while investigating. We are trying to obtain more information from the Russians on the subject."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th March, 1959; Vol. 601, c. 1436.]
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
While it is desirable to increase trade with Soviet Russia, would not my hon. Friend agree that if there are applications for long-term trade credits, priority should be given to Commonwealth countries?