The answer to the first part of the question is "Yes, Sir." As my honourable Friend is aware, an agreement was recently signed in Washington between the Governments of the United States of America, the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom, confirming arrangements already in force for the supply to the Soviet Union of military equipment, munitions and raw materials in accordance with their needs.
Can the hon. Gentleman say that there is no truth in the rumour which is going right through the length and breadth of Britain, in the shipbuilding and engineering industries, that we have fallen behind in our supplies to Russia during the last few months?
The undertakings relate to quantities delivered at British ports, but we have undertaken, in so far as Soviet ships are not available, to lift these supplies, to provide the necessary British ships.
Am I right in thinking from my hon. Friend's reply that we are under no formal obligation to replace those munitions which may be lost between British and Russian ports, and that those losses can in no way be regarded as a failure on our part to fulfil our obligations?
I do not think I can answer that question offhand, but certainly the loss of these ships could not be regarded as in any way a failure on our part to fulfil our obligations.