HC Deb 23 July 1941 vol 373 c881
41 Mr. Gallacher

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) the figures for the exports of iron-ore from Malaya to Japan for 1940 and to the last convenient date in 1941;

(2) whether, in view of the fact that the whole production of bauxite in Johore in 1939, to the extent of 84,387 tons, was sold to Japan, these exports of bauxite continue; and what were the figures for 1941 to the last convenient date?

Mr. Shakespeare

His Majesty's Government have decided that it is prejudicial to the public interest to publish statistics of the exports of raw materials of war importance from the Colonial Empire, and I regret, therefore, that I cannot give the statistical information desired. The answer to the first part of the second Question is in the affirmative.

Mr. Gallacher

Am I to understand from that answer that His Majesty's Government are still exporting essential war materials to Japan?

Mr. Shakespeare

The governing factor is that we satisfy our own requirements in respect of all these materials. The general policy is that such export is limited to a peace-time standard.

Mr. Mander

Surely the Minister ought to be in a position to say that none of these materials is being exported?

Mr. Mathers

Is it not more prejudicial to the public interest to make these exports than to talk about them?

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not a fact that there has been an increase in these exports during the past year?