asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether, in view of the crisis, it is proposed to make any changes in the granting of export credits; what are the total export credits granted his year for Soviet Russian orders; what is the maximum length of time for these credits; and the maximum percentage of the value of the order?
Sir HILTON YOUNG (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department):
The question of what changes, if any, in the exercise of the Board of Trade's powers under the Overseas Trade Acts, 1920–1930, may be necessitated by the present crisis has not yet been considered. The total amounts of credits which the Export Credits Guarantee Department had contracted to guarantee in connection with exports to Russia, from the beginning of January to the 5th September last amounted to £3,644,677. The maximum period of credit covered by such contracts was 30 months from the date of order, and the maximum proportion of risk assumed by the Export Credits Guarantee Department was 75 per cent.
Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that this matter was being reconsidered, and, if so, in view of the alarm and lack of confidence reconsideration may cause, shall we be able to have a statement in the House as to Government policy?