§ 19. Major HUNT
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether they have lately released cargoes of fertilisers for Holland; and, if so, whether, in view of the fact that our farmers are much in want of fertilisers and do not send their potato flour to Germany, as is the case with Holland, he could see his way to stopping the supply of fertilisers to Holland?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of BLOCKADE (Commander Leverton Harris)
Instructions have been given to allow certain cargoes of fertilisers which are consigned to the Netherlands Government from abroad, to proceed to their destination conditional upon guarantees being given regarding their distribution. Holland has imported fertilisers in quantities far below the normal figures of pre-war years. Thus 157,000 tons were imported in 1916, as against an average of 1,301,000 tons a year in the three years 1911-13, or 556,000 tons a year after allowing for all exports to other countries.
May I inquire whether the time has not arrived when we cannot afford to export fertilisers to Holland or anyone else?
They have been imported into this country on the hypothesis that we need them: is not that so?