HC Deb 04 April 1939 vol 345 cc2596-7
19. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now make a statement on the proposed trade mission to Rumania?

20. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can now say when the dispatch of a British trade mission to Rumania is contemplated?

Mr. Stanley

Sir Frederick Leith-Ross, the Chief Economic Adviser to His Majesty's Government, will lead the mission to Rumania. He will be accompanied by officials of the Departments concerned and the mission will leave in about a fortnight. The purpose of the mission will be to consult with the Rumanian authorities for the purpose of devising means to promote trade between our two countries.

Mr. Henderson

Is the House to understand from the reply, that this mission will have no power to enter into a trade agreement, but is merely to discuss the grounds upon which a trade agreement may be entered into?

Mr. Stanley

That is not quite the position. It is true that no new trade agreement will be negotiated, but it is felt that an agreement will be reached in principle on certain special matters which might help each country.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a case where the Government are fiddling while Hitler is operating?

Mr. Stanley

No, Sir. The mission will serve a very useful purpose.

Mr. Tomlinson

Will there be any representative of the textile trade on the mission?

Mr. Stanley

I am in communication with the spinners at the moment with regard to any assistance they can give from a technical point of view.

Mr. Boothby

Will the operation of clearing come under the review of the mission?

Mr. Stanley

One of the officials who will accompany the mission is an official who is specially charged with dealing with matters connected with that.

Mr. Bellenger

Will the mission include the possibility of some financial arrangement with Rumania by way of a loan?

Mr. Stanley

Another of the officials who will be included is a man who is a representative of the Export Guarantees Department.

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