HC Deb 21 December 1915 vol 77 cc174-5

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether he is aware that, so long as leaf tobacco was on the contraband list, Germany was restricted to the use of tobacco grown in the Dutch Colonies, with the result that these tobaccos increased over 100 per cent. in price, and that the consequence of placing leaf tobacco on the free list is to reduce enormously the German payment for imports of tobacco; whether he is further aware that, in consequence of the removal of tobacco from the contraband list, the demand for freights from America is rapidly increasing the price of such freights, and inducement is being offered to the Holland-America line too give preference to neutral shipments, with the result that British importers will have to pay greatly enhanced prices or wait for their material until Germany has been fully supplied; and if he will explain, having regard to the circumstances above mentioned, why tobacco has been removed from the list of contraband?


Tobacco has never been on the contraband list and it is therefore difficult to reply seriatim to the hon. Member's questions. If, however, he has any constructive suggestions to make with regard to the tobacco trade, I shall be very glad to confer with him on the subject.