Import Restrictions (British Coal).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1931.

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Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Lanark

32.

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of countries which limit the amount of British coal to be imported and under what international agreements they do so?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

The only countries of substantial importance from the point of view of the United Kingdom coal trade which directly restrict the importation of coal are France, Belgium and Germany. There is no international agreement which limits the right of France and Belgium to impose such restrictions, and the right to apply import restrictions to coal was reserved by Germany under the Anglo-German Commercial Treaty of 1924. I should perhaps add that certain countries, notably Brazil and Spain, whilst not directly controlling importation, enforce requirements that industrial users of coal must consume certain proportions of native coal.

Photo of Sir Alec Douglas-Home Sir Alec Douglas-Home , Lanark

Has the right hon. Gentleman in mind the use of similar limitation to goods imported into this country to the prejudice of our agriculture?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

The Noble Lord will observe that the latter part of my answer referred to the quota system which is in operation in Brazil and Spain. The quota system is being considered here.