HC Deb 31 December 1916 vol 88 cc1588-9
6. Mr. PETO

asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the increased imports of maize and linseed into Holland from North America, Argentina, and other countries; whether he state, the comparative quantities imported from 1st July to date as compared with a similar period in 1913; whether this surplus import goes into Germany from Holland largely in the form of beef, pork, and linseed oil; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to prevent these additional supplies reaching the enemy?


There has been, so far as His Majesty's Government are aware, no increased importation into Holland of maize or of linseed. Maize imports from 1st July to 30th November were 339,973 tons, as compared with an average import of 358,960 tons for five months during the years 1911–1913. Imports of linseed in the above-mentioned period have been 68,958 tons, as compared with a five-monthly average importation in 1911–1913 of 90,975 tons. The imports of both these commodities are limited to a fixed amount agreed upon with His Majesty's Government. The disposal of a surplus import does not, therefore, arise.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the figures given are subject to any deduction; whether it is for home production only, or whether any other calculations have been made, as the figures do not agree with the figures that have been published?


I am afraid the figures we have very often do not agree with the figures that are published. I will talk over the matter with my non. Friend. It is rather difficult to deal with this subject by question and answer.

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