HC Deb 07 March 1940 vol 358 cc572-3
79. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Economic Warfare whether the statistical section of his Department is engaged in collecting material regarding foreign trade of neutral countries before and during the war; and whether he will obtain from the records of Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, figures concerning the re-export trade of these countries to Germany during the last four months of 1938?

Mr. Cross

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, complete figures of re-export trade analysed by countries of destination are not published on a monthly basis by the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway or Sweden. In the case of the Belgo-Luxemburg Economic Union, figures are available for the last four months of 1938. But as these figures need some explanation, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT with an explanatory note.

Following is the explanation:

September December, 1938.
Quantity. Value.
metric tons. million francs.
Goods sent from the Belgo-Luxemburg Economic Union in transit (direct or indirect):
Germany (Old Reich). 888,560 1,739.9
Austria 1,055 19.2
Czechoslovakia 9,158 23.8
Poland 18,761 85.4
Total 917,534 1,868.3

The above figures cover both "indirect transit" (i.e. goods re-exported from warehouses) and "direct transit" but they do not include any "naturalised produce"—that is, goods re-exported from the free internal circulation after having paid any duties to which they may have been subject. Such exports are counted in the Belgian returns as Belgian exports ("special trade") and now shown separately from exports of Belgian production or manufacture.