§ Sir J. D. REES
asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that makers of sugar machinery and other apparatus for tropical agriculture are for the most part not engaged on direct war work but are intermittently employed as sub-contractors to armament companies; that between the execution of such sub-contracts they are able to proceed with their ordinary business, which is desirable in the national interest; whether he is aware that the Ministry of Munitions granted permission for such manufactures provided they did not interfere with war work, and that the production of such machinery has therefore occupied three or four times as long as in normal conditions; that when an order has been completed a licence to export has been refused in some cases by the War Trade Department, possibly owing to some regulation which forbids export of some of the materials which enter into the construction of such machinery; whether, seeing that there is no possibility of extracting these materials from the completed machinery to advantage for war purposes and that valuable machinery thus lies idle instead of being exported, he will take action calculated to abate this grievance?
§ Captain Viscount WOLMER (representing the War Trade Department)
If my hon. Friend will kindly inform me of the case of refusal of licences referred to, I shall be glad to have the matter investigated.