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Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 1 July 1924

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Trade Facilities Act


asked the President of the Board of Trade how many inquiries, and to what amount in money, have been received from British manufacturers for application of the Trade Facilities Act to transactions with Soviet Russia?

No applications for guarantees of loans under the Trade Facilities Acts for transactions with Soviet Russia have been made by British manufacturers.

Has any application been made under the Overseas Trade Facilities Act by British manufacturers?

I could not reply to that question without notice. That is another Department.

Royal Mint (Coinage)


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has authorised the Royal Mint to strike silver coins for the Russian Soviet Government, in large bulk, of a fineness of 80 per cent. pure silver to 20 per cent alloy; whether he proposes to continue to strike the British fractional currency of a fineness of only 50 per cent. pure silver; and whether any complaints have been received during the last four years as to this debased currency?

The "poltinnik" coins now being struck by the Royal Mint for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are 900 fine. No change in the present fineness of British token silver is contemplated. In the early stages some complaints were received, but none have been brought to my notice recently.

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider it dignified that the British Government should become the paid handicraftsmen of a foreign Government with which we have not yet been able to enter into any satisfactory relations?

Anglo-Soviet Conference


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any cost is chargeable to the State in connection with the Anglo-Russian Conference in London; and, if so, what is the estimated cost to date?

Apart from the expenditure referred to in the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon) on the 14th of May, and some minor expenditure on entertainment which falls on the Government Hospitality Fund, no extra cost if chargeable to the State up to date in connection with the Anglo-Russian Conference.

Will the hon. Gentleman say what, approximately, is the total cost involved to date?

Will the hon. Gentleman say that the money devoted to hospitality is received with greater approbation than the hospitality meted out by private Members?

Export Credits


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether the exports credit scheme has been extended to Russia; and, if so, upon what terms?

I may refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on the 25th June to a question on the same subject asked by the hon. and gallant Member for the Central Division of Hull (Lieut.-Commander Ken worthy).