§ 89. Sir George Mitcheson
asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether he is aware that the exports from the United States of America in the four months, September to December, 1939, to the United Kingdom and France combined only increased by 22,000,000 dollars as compared with the same period of 1938, while the exports to areas bordering Germany, that is, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Italy, and the Soviet Union, increased by 328 110,000,000 dollars, thus off-setting the reduced exports of 56,000,000 dollars to Germany by 54,000,000 dollars; and what steps are being taken to stop the leaks in the blockade shown by these figures?
§ The Minister of Economic Warfare (Mr. Cross)
In reply to the first part of my hon. Friend's Question, I agree that the value of exports from the United States of America in the four months, September to December, 1939, to the United Kingdom and France, showed an increase of 22,000,000 dollars, as compared with the same period of 1938; but, according to my information, the value of exports to the neutral countries enumerated in the Question increased by only 68,000,000 dollars, and not 110,000,000 dollars, during the period under review. With regard to the second part of the Question, the statistical position of imports into contiguous neutral countries is under constant review, but it cannot be assumed that an increase in exports from any one exporting country to a series of contiguous neutral countries over a short period necessarily implies that a leak in the blockade has taken place.
§ Sir H. Williams
Where is all this stuff going that passes into neutral countries, and that used not to go there before the war?
§ Mr. Cross
I cannot accept the suggestion of my hon. Friend that these countries used not to receive the import of these materials before the war. The only thing we can do is to make a comparison of their imports from all sources in peace-time with their imports from all sources during a period of war.
§ Sir H. Williams
Would my hon. Friend be kind enough to circulate the statement so that we may have the information?