HC Deb 24 March 1927 vol 204 cc592-3W

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many companies and private firms and individuals carrying on business in the United Kingdom are allowed under licence to sell armaments of any description for export abroad; will he inform the House what amount of war material was exported from this country during the years 1912, 1913 and 1914, and the years 1924, 1925 and 1926; to which ports such material was consigned; and will he give a description of the war material exported?


Before a firm can sell arms (other than shotguns) or ammunition there for it must be registered with the police under the Firearms Act, 1920, and any such firm may apply to the Board of Trade for the licence which is required before such arms can be exported to any destination. Licences to export war material to foreign countries were issued to 26 such firms in 1926.

In answer to the second part of the question, the total value of arms, ammunition and military and naval stores of United Kingdom manufacture exported was as follows:

1912 3,877,256
1913 4,706,546
1914 4,800,937
1924 3,703,222
1925 4,405,372
1926 3,820,966
The above exports include sporting arms and ammunition, industrial explosives, etc.,, many of which cannot be distinguished from war material.

Full particulars of the exports of the various descriptions of these goods to individual countries for the years 1912 to 1914 are given on pages 272 to 282 of Volume I of the Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom for 1914, and for the years 1924 and 1925 on pages 459 to 472 of Volume III of the Annual Statement of the Trade of the United Kingdom for 1925. Similar details for the year 1926 are not yet available.