HC Deb 03 December 1941 vol 376 cc1128-9
41. Sir George Broadbridge

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the tax on tin ore exported from British Malaya is the reason why tin miners in that Colony are denied the right of exporting their ore to the United States' Government smelter, and thereby are prevented from competing with other tin-mining countries; and whether he will consider advising the Malayan Government to have the tax repealed?

Mr. George Hall

The primary consideration in war-time is the most economical use of shipping space and packing materials. Smelted tin is practically pure, stows most economically and requires no packing. Malayan tin ore contains about 40 per cent. of impurities, takes up proportionately even greater space than this figure suggests and has to be packed in bags. In these circumstances my Noble Friend considers that it would be contrary to the public interest to permit the export of tin ore from Malaya at the present time.

Sir G. Broadbridge

Is it not the fact that of all commodities, tin produces the largest volume of dollars for the British Exchange, and if this is so, is it not advisable to abolish all duties which prevent the free export of tin or tin ore to America?

Mr. Hall

We are obtaining substantial dollar exchange as a result of consulting the United States Government, and there has been no representation at all by that Government to my Noble Friend for a reconsideration of this duty, and action has not been taken.