LONDON (May. 30)
The British Government has revoked restrictions on commercial credits to Israel importers, opening the possibility of large-scale exports to Israel from this country. Trading on a cash basis, which increased during the first three months of 1957 as compared with the previous year, has never been restricted. But credit deals between British firms and Israel importers have been suspended since Israel engaged in the Sinai campaign last fall.
Today, a spokesman for the government’s Export Credits Guarantee Department told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “We confirm that, in addition to our cover-on-letter-of-credit business with Israel, which has been maintained throughout the recent Middle East disturbance, the Department is now prepared to cover business on appropriate credit terms.” Each transaction, it is understood, will be dealt with on its own merits, but it is believed that the new credit guarantees will facilitate such large-scale Israeli purchases as the pending deal for four Bristol Brittania turbo prop aircraft, which will cost a total of about four million pounds sterling (approximately $11, 600, 000).
British imports from, Israel during the first quarter of this year rose to 6,460, 000 pounds sterling (app. $16, 088, 000) from last year’s first quarter total of 5, 315, 000 pounds sterling (app. $14, 872, 000). Exports from this country to Israel from January to March this year aggregated a value of 2, 970, 000 pounds sterling (app. $8, 316, 000) as compared with the corresponding quarter in 1956 when exports to Israel totalled 2, 866, 000 pounds sterling (slightly over $8, 000, 000).