HC Deb 13 February 1934 vol 285 cc1736-8

asked the Secretary for Mines what were the increased quantities of British coal expected to be exported to Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and other countries as the result of the recent trade agreements; and what has been the increase in exports up to the present time in each case?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

As the reply is mainly statistical I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

The increases in exports of British coal which were expected to result from the operation of the coal provisions of the Trade Agreements with Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, as compared with the exports in 1931, together with the actual increase of coal exports to those countries in 1933 as compared with 1931, are given in the following Table. With regard to the actual increases last year, it should be noted that the various agreements in no case operated for the full year, the actual dates of operation being Denmark and Iceland 1st July, 1933; Norway and Sweden 1st August, 1933; Finland 1st December, 1933.

Country. Estimated annual increase as compared with 1931. Increase in actual exports in 1933 as compared with 1931.
Statute Tons.
Denmark 1,315,000 1,266,787
Iceland 20,000 69,734
Norway 523,000 335,663
Sweden 1,045,000 909,830
Finland 394,000 216,342
Total 3,297,000 2,798,356

With regard to Germany, comparison is made between the years 1933 and 1932 as the quota (for coal and coke imports into the German Customs area, i.e., excluding coal and coke for the Free Harbour areas and for use as bunkers at German ports which remain free) was reduced to 100,000 (metric) tons a month on 1st April, 1932, and increased under the Agreement of 8th May, 1933, by a minimum of 80,000 (metric) tons a month.

The increase in actual exports of coal and coke to Germany in the eight months commencing 1st May, 1933, as compared with the corresponding period in 1932, is 424,617 statute tons.


asked the Secretary for Mines whether he will state the figures of coal imports to Denmark provided for in the Danish Trade Agreement; whether the deliveries up to date have been maintained at the level anticipated in that agreement; and whether there has been any delay or diminution in the supply arising from the operation of the quotas fixed for coal production in this country or from any other cause?


The Anglo-Danish Trade Agreement provides that not less than 80 per cent. of the total coal imports into Denmark shall be imported from the United Kingdom. During the first five months' operation of the agreement, which is the latest period for which statistics are available, the deliveries of coal to Denmark were slightly in excess of that percentage. So far as I am aware no difficulties with regard to supplies have arisen as a result of the quota system, but I understand that in certain instances there have been delays in shipment from Blyth arising from other causes. I have urged on the interests concerned the necessity for obviating these delays.


Will the hon. Gentleman inform the House what were the other causes?


There has been some trouble in respet of delays in loading. My hon. Friend will understand that there has been a heavy concentration of orders from Scandinavian countries at this port, and for that reason some congestion was probably inevitable.