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British Trade Fair, Moscow

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 9 May 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how many firms taking part in the forthcoming British Exhibition in Moscow intend to exhibit goods which are subject to the strategic embargo; whether the Committee on Strategic Exports to the Soviet bloc has given its permission for the export of these items; and what conditions have been stipulated in this respect.

Export licences have been issued to eight firms to export, for exhibition at Moscow, goods subject to embargo. The licences were given on the understanding that the goods would be returned at the end of the Fair, and that confirmation of return would be made to the Board of Trade. This procedure is in line with that observed by our allies.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the Soviet proposal for a public discussion of Anglo-Soviet trade prospects with representatives of British industry during the forthcoming British Exhibition in Moscow; and whether he will ensure that Her Majesty's Government's views are represented at such talks.

I am aware of a Soviet proposal that a meeting should be held to mark the British Trade Fair in Moscow between the Soviet All-Union Chamber of Commerce and a number of British Chambers of Commerce. I understand that representatives of the latter will be ready to attend such a meeting. Chambers of Commerce in this country are private organisations, and it would not be appropriate for a representative of Her Majesty's Government to be present.