HC Deb 26 April 1932 vol 265 cc192-4
14. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any decision has yet been reached with regard to the action to be taken in connection with the new restrictions imposed by the German Government on the importation of British coal into Germany; and whether any representations are being made in regard to the new regulations that have-put further difficulties in the way of the importation of bunker coal in particular?


As regards the first part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question, I have nothing to add to the replies which I gave on this subject on 19th April to him and to my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon As regards the second part, I have seen reports in the Press that new regulations have been issued governing the amount of foreign exchange that may be made available for the purpose of paying for United Kingdom bunker coal at German ports. I am making inquiries into the matter.


What is the cause of the delay in the negotiations?


I am afraid it is entirely due to the fact that other Governments do not act as speedily as we do.


Will this Government act more speedily in pointing out that this is a decided breach of the treaty?


asked the President of the Board of Trade what countries, since 1st November, have instituted quotas on goods imported by them from this country; and what goods are affected?


Since 1st November, quota restrictions which apply to imports from the United Kingdom have been instituted in France, the Netherlands, Latvia, Switzerland and Turkey. In Turkey the quota system covers all goods except raw materials and certain goods, such as machinery, which are considered essential to Turkish industry. In the Netherlands, Latvia and Switzerland the range of goods covered is not so extensive, but still includes many kinds of goods of interest to United Kingdom trade. The case of France is the subject of another answer to-day. Full particulars of the restrictions are published in the "Board of Trade Journal" from time to time.


Does not this fact suggest that the result of the Abnormal Importations Act has not been to do away with tariffs, but to substitute a new form of injuring our trade?

8. Mr. WELLS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the French Government has introduced a quota system on any other imports from this country in addition to coal; and, if so, what imports?


Yes, Sir. The quota system has been applied to many kinds of goods. Complete particulars are published in the "Board of Trade Journal" immediately information is available. The goods of greatest interest to United Kingdom trade so far brought within the scope of the system are certain kinds of iron and steel manufactures, machine tools, electrical goods, cotton yarns, and fabrics and leather.


May I ask whether any action is being taken in this matter?


We are not entitled to take any action in respect of this matter except in cases of discrimination, and where there has been discrimination we have been in consultation with the Government concerned.