HC Deb 01 June 1938 vol 336 cc2041-2
54. Mr. Moreing

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the decision of the Australian Government to prohibit the export of iron-ore from Western Australia to Japan, he has consulted with the Government of Malaya with a view to a similar prohibition being applied to exports from Malaya for Japan?

Mr. M. MacDonald

No, Sir. I understand that the action of the Australian Government was prompted by the industrial requirements of the Commonwealth; no parallel need exists in the case of Malaya.

Mr. Moreing

Is there any exportation of iron ore at the present time from Malaya to Japan? Is my right hon. Friend aware that Western Australia would be very upset if they were deprived of a market which is being supplied from a Colony which is more or less directly under the control of the Government of the United Kingdom?

Mr. MacDonald

I understand that such exports are taking place, but the reasons for the Australian action were domestic to Australia, and were taken in the interests of Australia.

Mr. Benn

Are we to understand that the Government decline to take action to deprive Japan of the means of making more guns?