HC Deb 14 July 1992 vol 211 cc663-4W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has received for the release of blocked Iraqi funds for the purposes of funding trade in goods not embargoed under United Nations Security Council resolutions 706 and 712; and what advice his Department has given to United Kingdom firms on such trade.

Mr. Needham

[holding answer 13 July 1992]: I have received several inquiries concerning the release of Iraqi funds from restricted accounts in the United Kingdom to pay for the supply of humanitarian goods to Iraq.

Responsibility for administering restricted Iraqi accounts is delegated by Her Majesty's Treasury to the Bank of England.

When my Department considers whether to grant a licence to export humanitarian goods to Iraq, such as foodstuffs and medicines, the question of means of payment is not one of the criteria which is necessary for that decision. How the goods will be paid for is a matter for the exporter and the customer, bearing in mind the restrictions imposed by United Nations sanctions against Iraq.