HC Deb 22 December 1915 vol 77 cc483-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the continued leakage through neutral States of kernels, nuts, seeds, oils, and fats into enemy countries, he will consult with the Secretaries for the Colonies and India with a view of prohibiting the export of these commodities from British Oversea Dominions except to this country and our Allies; and also prohibit the export of these articles from the United Kingdom to all neutral countries contiguous to Germany and Austria?


The exportation from the United Kingdom of animal and vegetable oils and fats and of oleaginous nuts, seeds, and kernels, is already prohibited to all destinations other than British Possessions and Protectorates, and they can, therefore, only be consigned to neutral countries or even to Allied countries under licence. A similar prohibition has been imposed on the exportation of these commodities from some of the self-governing Dominions and Colonies, but the practice is not uniform, and in the rest of our Possessions the prohibition relates only to foreign countries in Europe other than Allied countries and Spain and Portugal. My hon. Friend will, therefore, see that the steps he suggests have already been taken. He will also realise that the enforcement of absolute prohibition by the refusal of all licences might increase direct shipments to neutral countries from sources of supply outside the British Empire. The whole question of oils and fats is being vigilantly watched.

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