HC Deb 25 January 1944 vol 396 c516
16. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power what were the exports of coal in the month of December; and to what destinations.

Major Lloyd George

My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that it would not be in the public interest to give this information, but I can assure him that we are not exporting any more coal than is necessary for the prosecution of the war.

Sir A. Knox

Is it necessary to export any coal to neutral nations, in view of the difficulty of getting sufficient coal for consumers in this country?

Major Lloyd George

It depends for what purpose. We get a lot of benefit in other commodities from neutral nations, and it may be necessary to see that they do not suffer.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not important to know to what extent we are exporting coal to certain countries, like Spain and Portugal, which are in fact assisting the enemy with material which would be of great value to us?

Major Lloyd George

Obviously, in the national interest I would not give details.