§ 48. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Prime Minister what the Rhineland High Commission have decided as to the consignment of oxide of tin bought and paid for by an English firm and held up at Emmerich by the French?
His Majesty's High Commissioner at Coblenz has not yet reported with regard to this consignment.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
As this has been going on for over a week now with great loss to the British importer, can any steps be taken to accelerate a settlement of this very important question?
The Government are quite aware of the seriousness of the question and we have been doing all we can to accelerate it. But it involves a good deal of difficult and intricate negotiation. I do not think any time has avoidably been lost.
§ 49. Mr. RILEY
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the hindrances which are being placed upon the Yorkshire woollen and worsted trade in the Ruhr by the French administrators in that part of Germany; whether his attention has been called to the recent statement of Sir Henry Whitehead, the president of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, to the effect which the French occupation of the Ruhr is having upon the Yorkshire woollen trade; and if he can have representations made to the French Government with a view to removing these hindrances to trade?
§ Sir P. LLOYD-GREAME
I have been asked to reply. I am fully aware of the difficulties of trading with occupied Germany in present circumstances. If British traders whose interests are adversely affected by the application of the existing regulations to contracts entered into before the recent occupation of the Ruhr will send particulars of their difficulties to the Board of Trade, with full details of the goods affected, steps will be taken to bring their cases to the notice of the French and Belgian authorities in the occupied areas with a view to facilities being accorded to them.
§ Mr. RILEY
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that before the occupation of the Ruhr a very good trade was gradually being resumed between the West Riding manufacturers and the South-West part of Germany and that since the occupation difficulties have been placed in the way of that trade which are making it impossible for it to be carried on?
§ Sir P. LLOYD-GREAME
I think difficulties are placed in the way of many trades. As regards existing contracts, which stand on a peculiar footing, we are trying to make special arrangements which will enable these contracts to be dealt with.