HC Deb 09 November 1936 vol 317 cc492-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the profit, estimated at approximately £1,500,000, which will be made by the Export Credits Department of the Board of Trade in connection with the recent financial agreement with the Russian Soviet Government for a credit of £10,000,000, and in view of the repeated pledges to creditors of Russia that no further loans or guarantees would be given to the Soviet Government pending some arrangement for the settlement of their claims, he will see that any profits made in connection with the above guarantee shall be paid into a special fund for the benefit of such creditors, especially as the high rate of interest obtainable by the British Government in the matter is due to the default of the Russian Government in paying her debts to such creditors?


The Export Credits Guarantee Department, in this as in other cases, charge a premium at a. rate appropriate to the liabilities which they incur. Any net loss falls upon the Exchequer, and any net profit is payable to the Exchequer.


Do I understand that, notwithstanding repeated pledges to these creditors, this loan has been given to Soviet Russia without any negotiations with Russia; and is not my right hon. Friend aware that the Russian Government were quite prepared to consider something of this kind if proper arrangements had been made and does he not think the time has come to deal with the matter?


I am afraid that I cannot accept the statement made by my hon. Friend.