War Material (Export).

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence. – in the House of Commons on 6th May 1936.

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Photo of Mr Stuart Russell Mr Stuart Russell , Darwen

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence whether the Government are still granting licences to the recognised armament firms of this country to manufacture and export armaments, munitions, and war equipment, other than warships, for the benefit of foreign nations; if so, how many licences have in fact been granted during the last six months; and whether, in view of the present small and inadequate productive capacity of our own firms, the Government will abstain from issuing any further licences, except for warships, until such time as the defence services of this country are adequately supplied and equipped?

Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Fareham

Licences for the manufacture of war material are not required. Licences for the export of war material to foreign destinations are granted in proper cases, and in the six months ended 31st March last 225 licences were granted for that purpose. As regards the last part of the question, each application for a licence is now considered on its merits with reference to its possible repercussions on the defence plans of the Government.

Photo of Mr Stuart Russell Mr Stuart Russell , Darwen

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance to the House that His Majesty's Government in future will not grant any further licences to export armaments and war equipment in respect of which there is insufficiency at the moment for defence services in this country, and whether these insufficiencies would not be more readily repaired if the licences were not granted?

Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Fareham

There are a great many considerations to be borne in mind, and those mentioned by the hon. Member are among those I will remember.

Mr. V. ADAMS:

Can the right hon. Gentleman state how many licences were refused during the period specified?

Photo of Mr Thomas Inskip Mr Thomas Inskip , Fareham

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question down.