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Japanese Goods (Purchases)

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1947

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether agreement has yet been reached with the U.S.A. regarding the financing of purchases by this country of Japanese products.

Since the Board of Trade appears to be negotiating with the United States Commercial Corporation, and the Far Eastern Commission is also concerned in this matter, will the Chancellor say where the final decision will be made, or where the final authority resides in this matter?

That is a question on the elementary principles of Cabinet Government. Ministers co-operate harmoniously, except on very rare occasions, when the Cabinet settles the matter. So far, no disharmony has arisen between my right hon. and learned Friend and myself.

Is the Chancellor aware that there is almost a complete iron curtain so far as information about Japanese economic and commercial affairs is concerned, and will he indicate to the House whether there is likely to be an early settlement of the international exchange rate for the yen? Also, could he place at the disposal of the House some documentation of the activities of this United States Commercial Corporation?

I must have notice of these questions, which do not arise directly out of the Question I have answered.