§ 24. Sir A. Knox
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare what proportion of her annual supply of steel it is estimated that Germany now obtains from Sweden, of wolfram from Portugal, of wolfram and tin from Spain and of chromium from Turkey; and what steps are being taken to reduce this assistance to the enemy afforded by our Allies or neutral countries.
§ Mr. Foot
In 1943, in addition to small quantities of special steels, Germany imported from Sweden approximately twenty per cent. of her total consumption of iron in ore. The House will, however, have observed from recent announcements in the Press that Swedish deliveries of iron ore will be substantially lower in 1944. In 1943 Germany obtained from Portugal about fifty per cent. of her total consumption of wolfram, from Spain about forty per cent. of her wolfram and an insignificant quantity of tin, and from Turkey in terms of chromic oxide content about thirty per cent. of her chrome. 15 As regards the second part of the Question, the House is already aware that steps are taken to pre-empt wolfram in the Iberian Peninsula and chrome in Turkey. It would not be in the public interest to announce what other steps His Majesty's Government are taking, or contemplate taking in the future, but as regards Portuguese wolfram I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs during the Debate on the Address of 15th December.
§ Mr. Shinwell
What beneficial effects have been derived as the result of the steps taken by the Government in the matter of the exportation of wolfram from Portugal and Spain to Germany? Has there been any reduction?
§ Mr. G. Strauss
Does it not follow from the answer that has been given, that 90 per cent. of Germany's wolfram to-day comes from the Iberian Peninsula and that if it were cut off, Germany's war industries would be entirely crippled?
§ Mr. Shinwell
If the reply is in the affirmative and this matter is so important, is it not time that we informed both Portugal and Spain, particularly Portugal, which is an old Ally and pretends still to be an Ally, that we are not going to stand for this much longer?