HC Deb 12 February 1947 vol 433 cc352-3
24. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at what price per ton steel ingots made in the British zone of Germany are sold; and how this compares with the corresponding price per ton of steel ingots made in Britain

Mr. J. Hynd

The value of ingots steel in the British zone of Germany is about 86 RMs. a ton, and the corresponding value of British ingots is, I understand, in the region of £10 a ton. In the absence of a recognised rate of exchange no effective comparison can be made between these two values.

Mr. Stokes

As the Secretary of State for War repeatedly tells the House that the official rate is 15RMs to the pound, why is the steel not sold at 150RMs a ton? Surely firms are making unnecessary losses owing to the bogus rate of exchange?

Mr. Hynd

It is true that at the moment the firms are not making a profit on this, but the fact has been repeatedly stated by me in this House that there is no exchange rate for the mark, and it is impossible to compare the mark rates with British pound rates.

Mr. Nigel Birch

Is it not a fact that the Germans are able to sell steel ingots at this price because they get their coal at 15RMs a ton whereas it cost 30RMs to produce?

Mr. Hynd

The price to which I have referred is the price for internal sale in Germany; it is not the export price.

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