HC Deb 01 December 1930 vol 245 cc1768-9
36. Mr. HANNON

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department the value of the imports from the British Empire and foreign countries into the Tanganyika territory in the year 1929; whether foreign trade with that territory has been increasing during the past six years; and if any effort is being made to secure as large a share as possible of this market for British goods?


As the answer is a long one, I propose to have it circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


This is a most important point. Is the Department of the hon. Gentleman fully alive to the great importance of securing the continued increase of our trade in this part of our Colonies and of not allowing trade to fade away as has been the case during the past few years?


We are aware of that fact, but, if the hon. Member has any special information, I shall be very glad to receive it.

Following is the answer:

In the year 1929 imports of merchandise into Tanganyika from the British Empire were valued at £2,353,804, and from foreign countries at £1,932,148. The corresponding figures for 1925 were £1,846,967 and £1,016,950 respectively. Comparable figures for 1924 are not available.

As regards the last part of the question, the decline in the United Kingdom's share of the import trade of Tanganyika has for some time received the attention of my Department. For example, in the Annual Reports of His Majesty's Trade Commissioner in British East Africa, special reference is made to the trade position in that area and to the reasons for the encroachment of foreign competitors. In their discussions with commercial interests in the United Kingdom, also, officers of my Department use every endeavour to explain the position of and to develop active interest in the Tanganyika market.

In addition to the provision of more general information regarding the market such as that referred to above, investigation has been made as regards the export to Nyasaland of particular classes of manufactured goods. In the case of textiles, for instance, which form by far the most important item in the import trade of Tanganyika, detailed reports, together with samples of foreign competitive goods, were submitted by the Department's oversea, officers in 1928 to manufacturing and trading interests in this country, and the position has been reviewed each year since.