asked the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made between the British Government and the representatives of the Russian Soviet Government to continue negotiations for the formal Treaty of Commerce and Navigation referred to in the Preamble of the temporary Commercial Agreement [Cmd. Paper 4513]?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the most definite assurances were given by the Foreign Office to the claimants whose property in Russia has been taken that, pending a definite settlement of their claims, any agreement arrived at must be considered as only of a temporary or transitional character; and does he not think therefore that it is desirable that some steps should be taken to deal with this matter?
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the interest taken by all parties in the House and having regard to the pledge given by the Government that the House would be given an opportunity of discussing the Russian temporary commercial agreement before ratification, he will give a day for the discussion of the agreement in such a way that this House may be able to express its opinion by voting directly on the matter?
As my hon. Friend knows, the choice of subjects to be raised on Alloted Supply Days rests, by custom, with the Opposition. The Opposition intimated their desire to Debate the Russian Trade Agreement on the item relating to the Board of Trade, contained in the Civil and Revenue Departments Vote on Account.
Surely there are other Members of the House besides the Opposition, and does the Prime Minister think it is a fair fulfilment of the pledge given that this very important trade agreement should be debated on a Vote of Account for £153,000,000 dealing with practically all the Government Departments, upon which any item may be raised?
As those acquainted with the procedure of the House know, on the occasion which I have in my mind it is the most common of all practices to select a subject for debate and to debate that subject.
Was not the whole object of the assurance given on behalf of the Government that the House would have an opportunity of expressing an opinion on this matter, and is it not a fact that it will not have such an opportunity?