§ 12 and 13. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is aware that the French Government have made a statement that the reduction of tonnage of newsprint into France has been based upon a percentage of the tonnage supplied by each country in previous years, and that a quota of 500 tons has been allowed to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics when there has been no previous import into that country from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and whether he has made, or proposes to make, representations to France to secure a larger British quota;
(2) whether he is aware that under the French quota restrictions the quantity of newsprint of United Kingdom manufacture which will be allowed to enter France at the minimum rate of duty during the year 1936 has been reduced to 392 tons as compared with 1,200 tons for a period of 14 months from November, 1934, to December, 1935; whether any representations have been made by His Majesty's Government to the French Government with a view to securing a larger share of the French import quota of newsprint for United Kingdom mills; and, if no such representations have been 163 made, whether such representations will be made by His Majesty's Government in the immediate future?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The reduction of the United Kingdom share of the French quota for newsprint is due partly to the reduction of the total quota from 75,000 tons for the period November, 1934, to December, 1935, to 47,000 tons for 1936, and partly to the operation of the system adopted for dividing the quota among supplying countries. I am informed that the quota is divided roughly on the basis of the average imports during a period of three previous years, advancing the period one year each time; the division of the quota for November, 1934, to December, 1935, is based on imports in 1931–33, when the United Kingdom supplied 1.38 per cent. of the total, while the division of the 1936 quota is based on imports in 1932–34, when the United Kingdom supplied only 0.77 per cent. of the total. I regret that I do not see any ground on which the French Government could be requested to modify the basis of distribution of the quota. Moreover, under the present system of division the United Kingdom share would rise again to 1.28 per cent. in 1937. The allotment granted to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has not operated to reduce the United Kingdom allocation.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Do I understand from the right hon. Gentleman's answer that the share of the United Kingdom is increasing compared with the share that is allotted to other countries?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
It varies from time to time, but there is a rise for 1936. I do not know how that would compare with some of the others.