HC Deb 05 March 1940 vol 358 c188
32. Mr. Mander

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether he is aware that as a result of the Government's recent refusal to buy Bulgarian tobacco, the Bulgarian Government decided to increase considerably the volume of trade between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union; and whether, in view of the far-reaching political implications of that decision, he will, in future, reconsider his attitude towards the purchase of Bulgarian tobacco?

Mr. Cross

I do not accept the implication in the first part of the Question. As regards the second part, I am unable to undertake any commitment.

Mr. Mander

Is it not the case that the Government have been unwilling to purchase Bulgarian tobacco and that Bulgaria has to some extent been thrown into the arms of Russia?

Mr. Cross

I have already said that I do not accept the implication in the first part of the hon. Member's Question. In view of the fact that the Soviet purchase amounted to only 2,000 tons of tobacco, or 7 per cent. of the normal Bulgarian tobacco crop, I think it is clear that it has not the importance that the hon. Member is attributing to it.