HC Deb 17 April 1923 vol 162 cc1846-7

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the value of goods imported into the country from the occupied area of Germany since the 5th January last; whether he is aware that it is part of the policy of the French authorities to prevent exports from this area; and whether he has received representations from the British representatives in the occupied area as to the injury resulting to British trading from this policy?

Viscount WOLMER

No statistics are available with regard to the imports into this country from the occupied area, but I have reason to believe they are very small. It is no part of the policy of the occupying authorities to prevent exports from the area to this country. Indeed, they have taken steps to facilitate them, but exportation is rendered practically impossible by the attitude of the German Government in refusing to allow firms to deliver goods under licences issued by the constituted licensing authorities. I have had representations from British exporters in the area as well as from firms in this country as to the injury to British firms resulting from the present situation.


Has the Noble Lord seen the statement in the Press to-day that British traders in Cologne take an entirely different view?


Does the Noble Lord consult the British officials in Cologne before answering questions in this House?

Viscount WOLMER

Yee. We are in the closest touch with our officials.


Is the Noble Lord not aware that British officials in Cologne make statements very different from that of the Noble Lord?

Viscount WOLMER

No, Sir.