HC Deb 20 March 1917 vol 92 cc50-1W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there are no offerings of raw leaf tobacco on the Liverpool and London markets owing to the stocks on sale being exhausted; that several firms of tobacco manufacturers of old standing have had to give up business in consequence, and that many others will have to do the same unless the situation is relieved; that the importers of raw tobacco in Liverpool and London are anxious to bring in further supplies but have no licences to import, those granted last year having long ago been utilised; that arrivals of raw tobacco for some time back have been under contract and special licence for the export trade and to supply His Majesty's forces, and have consequently not been available for the Home trade; and whether, under these circumstances, he can see his way to grant licences to importers for half to two-thirds of their imports of 1915 (the standard year), so that the threatened businesses may be saved from extinction?


I believe that the statements in the question are substantially correct, except that I have no knowledge that any firms have given up business for the reasons stated. The question of the amount of tobacco, if any, which will be admitted this year under licence is at present under consideration.