§ 29. Mr. Renton
asked the President of the Board of Trade what quantities of softwood and hardwood, respectively, were imported from Japan and Canada, respectively, during the last 12 months for which figures are available.
In the 12 months June, 1953, to May, 1954, imports from Japan and Canada of softwood, excluding mining timber were, respectively, 3 standards and 334,000 standards; and of mining timber were, respectively, nil and 55,000 piled cubic fathoms. Imports of hardwood from Japan and Canada were, respectively, 1,210,000 cubic feet and 1,650,000 cubic feet.
§ Mr. Renton
Is my right hon. Friend aware that Canada is anxious to sell much more timber to this country? Will he do all he can to see that Canada is enabled to sell more timber to this country, rather than that it should come from Japan?
We are very anxious to buy everything we can from Canada, to the limit of the dollars we have available.
§ Mr. Bottomley
Can the Minister say if we are purchasing this softwood from Japan on public or private account?
I think the right hon. Gentleman did not hear me correctly. There is practically no softwood purchased from Japan at all. It is hardwood, and I think mainly oak. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the only restriction on the import of hardwood is on that for which we have to pay dollars.
§ Mr. Porter
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the types of timber obtained from Canada and Japan are entirely different and are used for different purposes?
Is the Minister attempting to organise any barter arrangements with the Canadians, as we have with other nations?