§ 79. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he can provide further details about the undertakings which have been given to Count Sforza with regard to British coal exports to Italy; and whether there is any possibility of Italian miners coming to this country to assist in the production of Italy's coal requirements.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
As regards the first part of the Question, I have nothing at present to add to the statement issued by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary following his recent talks with Count Sforza. He stated that the export of coal by the United Kingdom was discussed and attention was drawn to the statement in the Report of the Committee of European Economic Co-operation that the United Kingdom would resume exports of coal after April, 1948, assuming that the programme contemplated in that Report was realised. In that case Italy would receive a share of such exports. With regard to the last part of the Question, I am informed by my right hon. Friend that the possibility of Italian miners coming to this country was mentioned in the course of these talks and that he is awaiting definite proposals from the Italian Government. Any such proposals would, of course, be carefully considered by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service in consultation with the National Coal Board and the National Union of Mineworkers.