HC Deb 23 November 1937 vol 329 c1056W
Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that difficulties have been experienced in securing supplies of anthracite coal for shipment to Canada this year and that those difficulties have been due in part to coal normally shipped to Canada being diverted to the Italian market, which offered larger prices and greater profits; and whether, in view of the fact that this Italian demand is temporary in character and that supplies to Italy had to he stopped some time ago because payments for coal supplied had not been made, he will take steps to prevent the permanent and valuable market for anthracite coal in the Dominion being sacrificed for the Italian market?

Captain Crookshank

I cannot accept the suggestion that the resumption of shipments of anthracite to the Italian market has led to a reduction in supplies to Canada, and I would point out to the hon. Member that the increase in total exports of anthracite this year exceeds the increase in shipments to Italy. It is not the case that there has been any cessation of shipments to Italy since the conclusion of the Payments Agreement of 6th November, 1936. For many years past Italy has been an important purchaser of United Kingdom anthracite, and I think it most desirable in the interests of the country and the mining industry, that we should miss no opportunity of recovering that market.