HC Deb 30 September 1915 vol 74 cc981-3
2 and 3. Mr. WING

asked whether Ger man manufacturers are being allowed free access to foreign markets provided that the goods were ordered previous to 1st March; and (2) is there any limit to the output from Germany to foreign countries, provided that a statement is made that goods were ordered before 1st March?


No concessions are being, or have been, granted to German manufacturers. In stopping German exports our object is not to injure neutrals, but to diminish German resources. Where, therefore, goods of German origin were both ordered and paid for by a neutral purchaser before 1st March, their delivery is not interfered with. So, too, goods of enemy origin shipped from neutral ports are not interferred with where it is proved to our satisfaction that the goods were genuinely ordered by, or for, the account of subjects of neutral States before the 1st March, 1915, and that by the terms of the contract under which they were ordered the purchaser is bound to take delivery of the goods on or before shipment, and is, therefore, bound to pay for them, whether they reach the hands of the purchaser or not.

In such cases it is obvious that to stop the export of the goods imposes no disadvantage on Germany and inflicts hardship and injury on the neutral purchaser. It thus fails entirely to effect the object we have in view and succeeds only in doing what we wish to avoid.


Can the Noble Lord say whether this means that goods manufactured in Germany since the out-break of War are allowed to go to neutral countries?


It means exactly what I have said—that, under the circumstances which I have described it will not interfere with goods that are the subject of the contracts which I have already mentioned.


In addition to the goods referred to, are not a considerable quantity allowed to be exported which have not been paid for?


Not except under the conditions which I have already described in my answer.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that the financial interests of German manufacturers and American banks which are under German control are able to bring about a set of circumstances that can evade the conditions laid down?


No, Sir, I do not think any evasion is possible, because it must all have happened before the 1st of March.