HC Deb 20 April 1937 vol 322 cc1574-5
35. Mr. Lyons

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs the value of tobacco imported from Southern Rhodesia into this country for the year ended 31st March, 1937, or nearest convenient date; and whether he will consider the introduction of a tobacco quota to implement inter-Empire trade?

Mr. M. MacDonald

The value of un-manufactured tobacco, stripped and un-stripped, imported into the United Kingdom from Southern Rhodesia in the 12 months ended 31st March, 1937, was £602,831. I should see great difficulty as regards the suggestion made in the second part of my hon. and learned Friend's question. I would remind him that tobacco grown within the Empire receives a preference of over 2s. per lb. on importation into the United Kingdom.

Mr. Lunn

In view of the preference given to Empire tobacco, is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps to see that the quality is improved?

Mr. MacDonald

I think the best tribute that can be paid to the quality of Empire tobacco is the fact that during the last dozen years the consumption of it has gone up by more than three times.