HC Deb 27 April 1936 vol 311 cc538-9
9. Mr. LEACH

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has made inquiry into the reasons for the considerable quantities of Italian textile goods lately coming into this country; and will he make a statement on the subject?


Since the coming into force of sanctions on 18th November, 1935, the Board of Trade have issued licences to import Italian textiles of a total value of £8 0s. 8d. These goods represented private purchases which the Board of Trade were satisfied had been fully paid for before 19th October, 1935. Consequently, they were exempted from the application of sanctions, in accordance with the terms of a decision of the Co-ordination Committee of 2nd November, 1935.


In view of the apparently crushing nature of the reply, may I ask whether the Foreign Secretary really is unaware that quite considerable quantities of Italian goods are coming into this country through the medium of other nations?


I am not aware of that. We are taking all possible steps to reduce to an absolute minimum illegal exports of Italian goods through a third country, and if the hon. Member has any information on the matter, I shall be grateful if he will let me have it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman apply to the Board of Trade, as Members of this House have brought this information to their notice? Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that tremendous quantities of goods are coming through Austria from Italy?


I am not aware of that. We and other countries have adopted the system of certificate of origin in this matter.