26 MAY 1939, Page 55

RUBBER CHAIRMAN ON BARTER Rubber traders in Mincing Lane have

already expressed their doubts about the proposed barter deal by which large quantities of rubber and tin would be supplied to the U.S.A. against American cotton and perhaps American wheat. These doubts were underlined by Sir Francis Voules, chairman of Kepong Malay Rubber Estates, on Monday. He pointed out that the company has about 2,00o,00o lbs. of rubber on the estates not covered by export licences and that even at current prices the sale of this would increase their last year's profits by about £33,000. But taking the long view, he doubted the advisability of having a large stock outside the hands of the industry, for this would mean that directly or indirectly the control of the market would be in the hands of the U.S.A. In his view, so long as the exportable percentage remains below 75 any price under 91d. per lb. would not produce a reasonable return on the capital invested in the industry.