HC Deb 18 April 1939 vol 346 cc196-7W
Sir J. Leech

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will ask his economic advisers to examine a method by which the large excess of British purchases from Argentina over purchases of British manufactured goods by Argentina may be liquidated by a barter or compensation system similar to that known as the Aski method?

Mr. Stanley

I do not consider that a scheme of the kind suggested by my hon. Friend is necessary or desirable. I would remind my hon. Friend that under the existing Trade Agreement the Argentine Government make available sterling exchange, for the purpose of remittances to the United Kingdom, up to the value of Argentine exports to this country.

Mr. Dobbie

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can inform the House as to the number of British tramp ships lying in harbour in the Argentine for the last three months or more unable to get a cargo and the reason for this; and the number of ships of other countries and their nationalities who have taken cargoes of wheat from the Argentine during the same period; and whether he has any information as to the amount of wheat bought by Germany from the Argentine in that period and what ships are carrying the cargo?

Mr. Stanley

So far as can be ascertained about 10 British tramp ships have been waiting in the Argentine for cargo for three months or more. I am informed that six of these have now secured cargoes. Delays in the Argentine have not been confined to British ships, the tonnage there having been considerably in excess of requirements.

Between 1st January and 15th March last some 45British ships and 70 foreign ships (mainly Greek, Dutch, Norwegian and Belgian) have taken cargoes from the Argentine to the United Kingdom and Continent. I regret that the rest of the information asked for is not available.