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Russia (Trade Negotiations)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will consider sending a trade delegation to the Soviet Union, particularly in view of our urgent requirements of timber for housing.

I am in close and constant touch with the Soviet Trade Delegation in London and do not feel that there would be any advantage in sending a trade mission to Russia for the moment. The Soviet authorities fully understand our urgent requirements of timber.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will initiate conversations with the Soviet Trade Delegation in order to make a large-scale barter agreement providing for the import of Russian raw materials, such as timber, and the export of British manufactured goods, such as machine-tools and motor engines.

The Soviet authorities are aware of our requirements from Russia, of which timber is the most important, and they will no doubt wish to obtain some of their requirements from this country. But I see no advantage in linking the two together in a barter transaction.