HC Deb 15 November 1932 vol 270 cc925-6
13. Mr. MARTIN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether negotiations are now being carried on with foreign countries with a view to increasing the sale of British coal abroad; and whether the Ottawa Agreements have been used as a bargaining weapon in such negotiations?


The desirability of increasing the sale abroad of coal from the United Kingdom will certainly not be overlooked in connection with negotiations with foreign countries. The Ottawa Agreements have no bearing on this particular problem.


Is it not possible for the hon. Gentleman, when negotiating these agreements, to use the Ottawa Agreements to some extent as a bargaining weapon?

36. Miss WARD

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware of any orders being recently placed by foreign countries with firms on the North-East Coast?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

My Department does not collect information about specific contracts, but I have seen recently in the technical and daily Press, and no doubt the hon. Member has also seen, reports of orders from foreign consumers of coal, placed with suppliers on the North-East Coast.


asked the Secretary for Mines if his attention has been called to the serious decline in exports of coal from this country to Germany; and whether he wilt state the Government's policy in connection therewith?


Yes, Sir. Steps are being taken with a view to an early discussion of this matter in Berlin between representatives of the two Governments.

56. Mr. TINKER

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the heavy fall in exports of coal to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, as shown by the annual figures from 1913 to 1931, he will state what action the Government propose to deal with the situation?


The hon. Member may rest assured that the Government will keep coal in the forefront of the forthcoming commercial negotiations with Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.


Are negotiations taking place at the present time with those countries?


The first stage of the negotiations with Sweden has already been reached by the exchange on 8th November of statements showing the Swedish and British points of view. A similar exchange of statements was made this morning with Norway.


Has the Parliamentary Secretary any evidence of substantial orders being lost in the export trade of this country owing to the operation of Part 1 of the Coal Mines Act?


No, Sir.