HC Deb 09 November 1920 vol 134 cc970-1
6. Mr. REMER

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to the complete stoppage of exports from the United Kingdom to Australia through the inability of Australasian banks to discount British drafts even when endorsed by English banks; and whether, in view of the serious effect this stoppage must have on our foreign exchanges and on employment, he will take steps to remedy this state of affairs?

Mr. KELLAWAY (Secretary, Department of Overseas Trade)

While I cannot accept the statement that there has been a complete stoppage of exports from the United Kingdom to Australia, my attention has been drawn to the difficulty referred to by my hon. Friend. I have been in consultation with the Treasury, and I am advised that there is no action which His Majesty's Government could usefully take. I understand that the difficulty is engaging the attention of the Commonwealth Government.


Would not the obvious method of meeting this difficulty be to suggest to the London branches of the Australasian banks that they should offer bettor terms for funds in London?


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether his attention has been called to other parts of the world besides Australia where these difficulties have arisen, and has he taken any action thereon?


Wherever action can be properly taken by my Department it is taken. This is a case where there is no power in my Department to take action. Representations of the kind suggested are hardly necessary, they are obvious.

EXPORTS of Cotton Piece Goods, the Produce and Manufacture of the United Kingdom, registered during the first nine months of each of the years 1913, 1914 and 1920.
Cotton Piece Goods. Quantities. Value—Thousand £.
1913—Million Yards. 1914—Million Yards. 1920—Million Sq. Yards. 1913. 1914. 1920.
Grey or unbleached 1,790 1,647 810 20,715 18,856 42,875
Bleached 1,546 1,416 1,117 20,400 18,686 67,196
Printed 944 792 701 12,839 10,792 48,043
Dyed or manufactured of dyed yarn. 1,070 927 912 19,705 17,813 84,618
All kinds 5,350 4,782 3,540 73,659 66,147 242,732
Note.—The figures as to quantities for the first nine months of 1913 and 1914 are not directly comparable with those for the first nice months of 1920. Particulars of quantities were required in terms of linear yards prior to 1920, and in terms of square yards from 1st January, 1920. The average width of the various descriptions of piece goods has not been ascertained.