HC Deb 14 June 1927 vol 207 cc819-20

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that, consequent upon the activities of an international copper syndicate, British manufacturers of finished copper products have been placed at a considerable disadvantage, in the absence of a free market, in purchasing the supplies necessary for their trade requirements; and whether he will consider taking steps to encourage by any practicable means producers of copper in the British Empire, so that this country should not be at the mercy of foreign syndicates for its supplies of copper in the event of any national emergency?


I am aware that a large proportion of the producers of copper in the United States have formed a company to regulate the sale of raw copper outside that country, and that important European interests are also parties to the arrangement. I am further informed that since the formation of the company, the prices quoted to British consumers have frequently been higher than the equivalents of the prices quoted to American consumers. It is clearly of great importance that British users of copper should be able to obtain supplies on terms as favourable as those given to their competitors, and I should welcome the development of copper production and refining within the Empire.


Does not this arise from the fact that Britain has set up a monopoly in rubber, and this is the reply from America?


No, I do not think there is any possible connection or any similarity between tin two cases. The rubber price is common to the whole world. In this case there is a differentiation in price.

Commander BELLAIRS

Has Mr. Hoover's attention been drawn to the operations of this American syndicate?


I think he knows it.