HC Deb 13 March 1928 vol 214 cc1723-4
51. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what restrictions on the export of arms from this country are in force; whether a licence is required to export arms and munitions; who is responsible for the issue of such licences; and whether any arms have been exported from this country to Ibn Saud, King of the Hejaz and of Nejd, or his feudatories, since the present Government took office?


I have been asked to reply. The export of all arms and ammunition from this country, except under licence issued by the Board of Trade, is prohibited by the Arms Export Prohibition Order, 1921. As regards the last part of the question, I am having a search made through the registers and will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT within the next few days particulars of any licences that may have been issued for exportation to the destinations in question. Licences for these destinations are only issued after consultation with the Foreign Office and Service Departments.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that since the present Government came into office permission has been granted for the export of several thousand machine guns, and will he tell me what safeguards are sought before such permission is given, in order to ensure that these weapons will not come into the hands of the enemies, or potential enemies of this country?


I cannot accept the hon. Gentleman's statement. If he desires to ask me a further question, I should be glad if he would put it down.