asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what respects facilities for credit for goods exported from this country are restricted by his foreign exchange control regulations; and if he will give an assurance that valuable trade is not being lost as a result of these restrictions.
Permission is needed if more than six months' credit is given for goods sent outside the sterling area. Longer terms are, of course, allowed for capital goods, and in this field the exporter's judgment is respected as far as reasonably possible. We are very careful to minimise the risk of losing valuable trade.
Is my hon. Friend aware that orders have been lost through too strict an adherence to this maximum period of six months' credit, although in one such case a suitable alternative was offered—half the payment immediately and the other half in 12 months' time—and would he look into this problem?
My impression is that it is very rare indeed for orders to be lost on those grounds, but if my hon. Friend has any particular cases in mind, I shall be glad to look at them.