HC Deb 17 March 1938 vol 333 cc616-7W
Mr. Garro Jones

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is an increasing import of Russian canned salmon into this country, amounting last year to over £1,000,000, accompanied by a severe diminution in the amount of herring taken by Russia; and whether, as these imports adversely affect Home consumption of herring, he will utilise the relative trade position of these two commodities to induce the Russian Government to make larger purchases of British herring?

Mr. Stanley

According to the United Kingdom trade returns, imports of canned salmon consigned from the Soviet Union amounted to £1,520,486 in 1934, £1,049,304 in 1935, £1,013,901 in 1936, and £1,074,635 in 1937. Exports of herring from the United Kingdom to Soviet Russia were valued at £93,941 in 1934, £110,733 in 1935, £64,675 in 1936, and £6,615 in 1937.

With regard to the last part of the question, the bulk of the imports of canned salmon shown in the United Kingdom trade returns as consigned from the Soviet Union are of Japanese origin, and allowance is made for this fact in arriving at the balance of payments for which provision is made in the Temporary Commercial Agreement of 1934. The balance of payments defined in the Agreement takes account only of the total volume of trade between this country and the Soviet Union, and it is not possible to make a special balancing arrangement for individual commodities entering into that trade.

I understand that the demand for herring in the Soviet Union is now being met to a considerable extent by the Soviet herring fleet; but no suitable opportunity is overlooked of improving the position as regards United Kingdom exports to that country. I would add that I have no evidence that imports of canned salmon adversely affect the consumption of herring in this country.

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