HC Deb 14 March 1944 vol 398 cc16-7
26. Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he has any information to show how many of the 40,000 persons in Canada, 30,000 in Australia and 393,000 in the Union of South Africa stated by him, on 11th March, 1941, to be engaged in the production of gold are still engaged in that occupation.

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Emrys-Evans)

I regret that the information for which the hon. Member asks is not available.

Mr. Stokes

Am I to understand that the number has increased and not gone down; and will the hon. Gentleman say that these people would not be more usefully engaged digging for coal, rather than gold, which, after all, is a perfectly useless pursuit?

Sir Afred Beit

Is it not a fact that Russia is the second largest producer of gold and does not seem to share the hon. Member's views?

Mr. Kirkwood

Arising from the question regarding 40,000 persons in Canada, 30,000 in Australia—hundreds of thousands of people—producing gold, will the hon. Gentleman tell us where all this gold is going? Is it going to America? Is it the case that all we get is paper while America gets the gold?

Mr. Stokes

Am I to understand from the question put by the hon. Member for South-East St. Pancras (Sir A. Beit) that the Young Tories accept the view that what Russia says is so?

Mr. Kirkwood

Russia gets the gold, and we get the paper.