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Russia (Export Credits)

Volume 236: debated on Monday 10 March 1930

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43.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he will state how many applications have been received under the Export Credits Guarantee Scheme for facilities in respect to exports to Soviet Russia; how many of these applications have been acceded to; and the total amount of money involved in those approved for guarantee?

55.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he can state the total amount applied for under the Exports Credit Scheme for trade with Russia; what are the amounts which have been granted; and why applicants who desire credit for more than 12 months are being refused?

The hon. Members will realise that a number of inquiries, which may or may not crystallise into definite proposals, are discussed with the Export Credits Guarantee Department. Moreover many inquiries and proposals relate to the same business. It is impossible, therefore, to give any reliable figures as to the number or amount of applications received. 144 definite proposals in respect of exports to Russia, involving £3,142,090, had been approved up to 4th February. It is not the practice to give reasons for the refusal of facilities.

54.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he has received representations from the Leeds Chamber of Commerce Journal to the effect that since 1st January engineering contracts to the value of £3,500,000, which could have been secured from Russia had credits been available, have been turned over to foreign competitors against British firms; and whether he proposes to take any action in increased credit facilities to meet such cases?

Though I have seen the statement in the "Leeds Chamber of Commerce Journal" to which my hon. Friend refers, I have received no representations from the Chamber itself on the matter. Under the Export Credits Guarantee Scheme, guarantees are given on the recommendation of the advisory committee to whom applications for facilities are referred. I do not propose to interfere with their discretion in the consideration of such applications.

Does my hon. Friend notice the very strong contrast drawn by Mr. Metcalfe, who was one of the delegation to Russia last year, between the British and the North American methods of dealing with this business?

Yes, Sir. I have had an interview with Mr. Metcalfe, and he has given me all the information on the matter.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is still a large unfilled market for British goods in Russia, and will he give ample notice of the date when he expects to hear of our having received those orders which the Socialist party told us were going to put unemployment right?

Is it not a fact that Russia has a large credit balance in this country to-day?