§ 34. Mr. SUGDEN
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether, in view of the fact that commercial representatives from the United States of America (of every section of manufacture) are selling goods without licence in Scandinavia, he will take the necessary steps to either cancel the Order for licences now required by British manufacturers and merchants for the sale of goods in Scandinavia or remedy the delay which frequently obtains in the granting of such licences?
I have been asked to reply to this question. I have no evidence that commercial representatives from the United States are selling goods without licence in Scandinavia. If the hon. Member can substantiate his allegation with any specific instances, I shall, of course, be ready to make inquiries.
With regard to the necessity for obtaining licences to export goods to Scandinavia, I must explain that the export of goods from this country may be prohibited for one or both of two reasons, namely, the necessity for conserving home supplies and the necessity for regulating imports into neutral countries contiguous with Germany Presumably the hon. Member is not referring to the former of these categories. With regard to the latter, I would refer him to the Debate of the 10th instant in this House. I am unable at present to add anything to what was said on that occasion, and to what I said on the 20th instant in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Rusholme with regard to the general policy of His Majesty's Government towards the blockade. As regards the alleged delay in obtaining export licences, the hon. Member is doubtless aware that the War Trade Department—and not the Foreign Office—are responsible for the issue of licences to export goods from this country. I am calling the attention of the former Department to this allegation.