HC Deb 21 January 1937 vol 319 cc341-2
50. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the shipments of Welsh anthracite coal to the Dominion of Canada during the shipment season of 1936 showed a reduction of 113,217 tons as compared with 1935 and of 172,317 as compared with 1934; that during the same period the shipment of coal from Germany to the Dominion increased from 31,000 tons in 1934 to 266,913 tons in 1936; and, in view of the fear that next year there will be a further serious reduction of shipments in consequence of the agreement between the Governments of the Dominion of Canada and of Russia to permit of the importation of 250,000 tons of Russian anthracite coal to Canada, what steps he proposes to take to protect the Welsh anthracite coal trade, which depends for regular working during the summer months on the trade with Canada, and to protect the livelihood of thousands of Welsh anthracite coal miners?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Dr. Burgin)

I have been asked to reply. My hon. and gallant Friend is aware of the position to which the hon. Member calls attention, and recognises its effect upon the Welsh anthracite trade. As regards the second part of the question, he would refer the hon. Member to the full statement which he made on 12th November in reply to a question by the hon. Member for East Cardiff (Mr. T. Morris). The Government are continuing their efforts to safeguard the position so far as possible.

Mr. Griffiths

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that the policy of the Government of the Dominion of Canada is a breach of the much-boosted Ottawa Agreement, and has his attention and that of the Department been called to the importation into Canada of coal from Germany, Indo-China and Belgium, which is arranged because of the greater profit made by the importers; will he also call attention to the fact that they are supporting other industries and letting their own workmen down?

Dr. Burgin

I will refer all these matters to my hon. and gallant Friend, but they are different from anything that the hon. Gentleman is asking in his question.