HC Deb 10 December 1919 vol 122 c1309

asked the Prime Minister how many ships are at present employed in bringing grain from the southern ports of the United States, and the tonnage of those ships; and whether, in view of the much longer voyage to the above ports, and the adverse exchange depreciating the value of such exports on the outward voyage as it may be possible to sell to the States, it is advisable to employ these vessels in trading with the Black Sea ports, whose inhabitants and those of the hinterland urgently require British exports, and have a practically unlimited supply of grain to exchange therefor at a favourable, rate of exchange?


Before answering this question I would like to say to the House that M. Clemenceau is coming over to-morrow morning. He will be here for a few days only. It will be impossible for the Prime Minister, who must keep himself available for the discussions with M. Clemenceau, to be here to-morrow. If any hon. Member wishes questions answered by the Prime Minister, and will postpone them till Monday, the Prime Minister will come both on Monday and Thursday next week.

In reply to my hon. Friend, liners only have recently been employed in bringing grain to the United Kingdom from the Southern ports of the United States of America. The number so employed during November was twelve, and the quantity of grain and flour carried on Government account was approximately 30,000 tons. Efforts will be made to export grain from the Black Sea as soon as circumstances permit.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. NORTON GRIFFITHS

If in order, I would like to ask whether it would be possible for this House to receive M. Clemenceau in this Chamber.


indicated dissent.