HC Deb 06 March 1940 vol 358 cc372-3
39. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the restriction of the tin quota to 80 per cent. by the International Tin Committee is opposed by a large number of Malayan tin producers; and what he proposes to do to meet the views of these producers?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I am aware that certain tin producers in Malaya are opposed to the International Tin Agreement and the measures taken under it, but I believe that their views are contrary to those of the great majority of producers in that country.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware that this restriction, in effect, means that a considerable quantity of tin has to be purchased by this country from foreign sources and that there is great concern about this matter, having regard to the interest of the Tin Controller in foreign tin companies?

Mr. MacDonald

I am aware that in some quarters there has been some criticism about the decisions taken, but all considerations which are relevant, including those mentioned by the hon. Member, were taken into account by the International Tin Committee, and I am satisfied that their decisions have been welcomed by the great majority of producers.

Mr. Thorne

Is the Minister aware that if there is a shortage of tin for this country, it may have a serious effect on the tinplate trade in South Wales?

Mr. MacDonald

I am quite certain that if there was a shortage of tin in this country, I should have straight away received representations from one of my colleagues.

42. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the representative of the consumers on the International Tin Committee was consulted before the recent restriction in production to 80 per cent. was announced; and whether he agreed to that restriction?

Mr. MacDonald

The proceedings of the International Tin Committee are strictly confidential, and I am not at liberty to report upon them.

Mr. Stokes

Is it not true that the consumers' representative on the committee strongly protested against this restriction?

Mr. MacDonald

If that is the information the hon. Gentleman asks for, I refuse to give it.

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