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Trade With Russia

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1922

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his atten- tion has been called to the frequent assertion that the British Government prefers to pay out unemployment donation rather than to pay the money for work done in producing the articles Russia needs; whether any orders are now being placed by Russia in this country; if so, whether on credit or against cash payment; what is the trading method of the Russian Government generally in purchasing goods; and whether, if Russia is prepared with actual cash, there is any bar to her obtaining at the present time practically all her requirements?

As regards the first part of the question, my right hon. Friend's attention has been drawn from time to time to such statements. As my hon. Friend is aware, the Government have spared no effort to secure conditions under which a wider resumption of trade with Russia will be possible. I am informed that some orders are being placed by Russia in this country, usually, I understand, upon a cash basis. The practice of the Russian Government is to purchase its foreign requirements through the Commissariat for Foreign Trade or through agencies set up on its behalf. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.