§ 2. Mr. HARRISON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any applications have been made by Arcos, Limited, or by Centrosoyus, Limited, for advances under the Trade Facilities Act and the Export Credit Scheme; if so, to what amount; and if any advances have been made or if it is contemplated to make any?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Guinness)
An application by Arcos, Limited, for a guarantee of £2,000,000 and an application by Centrosoyus, Limited, for a guarantee of £100,000 under the Trade Facilities Act were received in June, 1924: the Advisory Committee were unable to recommend either. No applications under the Export Credits Scheme have been received from Arcos, Limited, or from Centrosoyus, Limited.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Was the decision of the Advisory Committee made on the business merits of the proposition, or on the political prejudices attached to it?
I understand that it was entirely on the business merits. The matter never came before the Treasury.
I think that would be most undesirable. It is necessary, if this Committee is to perform its functions satisfactorily that it should be allowed to judge these matters on business grounds and apart from political considerations
§ Mr. MACKINDER
Are we to understand from that there is no possibility of getting to know the grounds for the refusal of these facilities; if so, how can the House form an opinion without such knowledge?
That has been the universal practice ever since the trade facilities scheme was introduced.
§ 6. Sir PHILIP RICHARDSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in considering any applications made by the Russian Soviet Government or its trading organisations in this country, such as Arcos, Limited, and 1631 Centrosoyus, for facilities under the Export Credits Scheme or the Trade Facilities Act, he will make the granting of such facilities dependent upon the Soviet Government satisfying the legitimate claims of British creditors in respect of nationalised property and repudiated loans owned by British subjects?
It is the policy of His Majesty's Government to refuse credit facilities to the Soviet Government or its agencies until the Soviet Government itself establishes such conditions in the treatment of debts or compensation for confiscated property as will restore confidence and command credit.
§ Mr. MACKINDER
Will it be possible now for the Governments to get together and see if they can establish that desired object?
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the extreme difficulty in which the Soviet Government finds itself in reaching that desirable state of affairs to which he has referred, because of the fact that they are compelled to pay 24 per cent. in the money market for the discount of their bills in London?
That is probably the price the money market exacts on account of their financial record.