HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 cc1245-6
7. Major HUNT

asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that in 1916 the Dutch only sent to us 3,000 tons of potatoes whilst they sent to Germany 122,000 tons, that they sent to us 773 tons of potato flour and to Germany 58,000 tons, and of butter to us 2,194 tons and to Germany 31,000 tons, of cheese to us 7,000 tons and to Germany 76,000 tons, and of coffee to Germany 59,000 tons and to us none at all, he can see his way to allow our Navy to stop these supplies being passed on for the benefit of Germany and compel Holland to rely on her own admittedly large supplies of necessaries, especially in view of the fact that our people are asked to put themselves on half rations because neutral countries are allowed to import far more than they require for themselves in order to send their surplus to Germany?


The exports for which the figures are given were made principally during the first six months of last year, and the figures do not, therefore, give a correct impression of the present situation. Apart from very small quantities of butter used for the manufacture of margarine, and re-exported to this country, or consumed in Holland, and the coffee, none of the commodities mentioned were imported into Holland or came under the control of the Navy. The imports of coffee have been severely curtailed, and have for some months past been less than the average pre-war imports less all exports. A very large quantity of Dutch home products have now been diverted from Germany to this country, and we are at present getting, roughly, our pre-war percentage.


Has the right hon. Gentleman not received a copy like other Members of this House?


No, I have not.