HC Deb 22 February 1932 vol 262 c30
56. Mr. JOHN

(for Mr. THORNE) asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the date the French Government decided to operate the quota of British coal imported into France; whether any alteration of the quota system has been made recently; if so, can he state the details; and whether any recent negotiations have taken place between the two Governments on the subject of reducing the quota of coal exported to France?


France introduced the system of quota for imports of coal, coke and briquettes on the 1st August, 1931. The quota for August was fixed at 100 per cent. of the average imports for the three years 1928, 1929 and 1930. It was reduced to 80 per cent. from 1st September and to 72 per cent. from 1st December. From the 1st February, 1932, it has been 64 per cent., with an additional 6 per cent. if there is a demand for the coal. On Thursday last the French method of calculating the quota was under discussion with representatives of the British coalowners, and the possibilities of making representations to the French Government are now under consideration.


Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House whether now in point of fact the Surtax upon our coal has ceased to operate?


That is another question.