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asked the President of the Board of Trade why the sterling facilities to Poland have been reduced from the £50 million asked for to £5 million; what British manufactures which the Polish Government are proposing to buy will now not be available; what further steps he proposes to take to increase Anglo-Polish trade; and if he will make a statement.
Exporters to Poland have arranged credits privately and no doubt will continue to do so. The Exports Credits Guarantee Department is ready to underwrite such credits in suitable cases. No figure of £5 million has been fixed as a limit. The position has been explained in previous Answers, and I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on 16th April in reply to the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Mikardo).
Is not my right hon. Friend aware that the Economist, which gave this figure of £5 million last week, is usually a reliable newspaper on these issues? Is there any hope of giving greater facilities for this trade in the near future?