HC Deb 26 November 1931 vol 260 c530W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that imports of coal from this country into France have been restricted under the decree issued in July last to 80 per cent. of the monthly averages in the three years 1928 to 1930, and that this restriction has now been supplemented by the enforcement, without any warning, of a new Sur-tax of 15 per cent., which represents 3s. per ton on coal imported from this country; and, as this will fall with peculiar hardship on the export trade of this country, especially South Wales, what steps, if any, the Government are taking to deal with the matter?


The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third part, His Majesty's Government have addressed representations to the French Government.


asked the Secretary for Mines what measures have been taken by Continental countries to protect their own coal industries and their coal export markets; what form the measures have taken; and the value per ton of any concession made by the Governments on the export of coal from those countries?


With regard to the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on Tuesday by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to the Noble Lord the Member for Lanark (Lord Dunglass). As regards the remainder of the question, preferential rates for the movement of coal consigned to contested markets are granted by the State railways in Poland, France, Belgium and Czechoslovakia, and by the railway company in Germany. In Czechoslovakia the coal tax is remitted on export coal. The coal industries in Poland and Germany also assist the sale of coal in contested markets, Poland by charging much lower pithead prices for coal for export than for coal for inland consumption, Germany by drawing on the proceeds of a levy on all coal sold. I regret that I have no data available by which to measure the value per ton of the Governmental concessions.

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