HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 cc257-8W
Mr. Boothby

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (1) whether he is now in a position to make any statement on purchases of Turkish tobacco;

(2) whether, with a view to conserving our dollar resources, His Majesty's Government will apply the Import Licence Regulations in such a way as to curtail, so far as is practicable, the import of Amercan leaf tobacco, and to increase our imports of Empire, Turkish, and Balkan tobacco?

Major Lloyd George

The need for concentrating the available dollar resources of this country on the purchase of commodities essential to the prosecution of the war made it necessary to stop purchases of tobacco in the United States shortly after the outbreak of war.

As indicated by the Prime Minister on 16th January, arrangements have been made for the purchase of a substantial quantity of Turkish tobacco by His Majesty's Government. I am happy to say that the tobacco manufacturing companies have intimated that they are prepared to co-operate with His Majesty's Government in finding a suitable use for the tobacco in this country. The arrangements involve the despatch of a purchasing mission, which will leave for Turkey very shortly.