Oral Answers to Questions — French North Africa (United States Shipments).

– in the House of Commons on 23rd June 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare why he has allowed the traffic of foodships between the United States of America and North Africa to be resumed; and whether he will ensure that this importation will not release further exports for Metropolitan France?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

The traffic between the United States and French North Africa has been suspended since the middle of February. But, as hon. Members will have seen in the Press, the United States Government have announced their intention to resume these shipments. The reasons for our concurrence in this policy remain the same as those stated by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 2nd July of last year. As regards the last part of the Question, it is a condition of all such shipments that neither the goods themselves nor any similar goods shall be exported from North Africa.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

Is it not desirable that those French Colonies which have rallied to Free France should be entitled to receive imports, but those under Vichy should be blockaded?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

This Question does not refer to Free French Colonies, and I do not think it is possible to compare shipments to such Colonies with American shipments to North Africa. These shipments are for a special purpose.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

How does the Department ensure that these goods will not be released for Metropolitan France? What precautions are taken? What check is operating?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

The check is kept by United States consular officers in North Africa.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

But are His Majesty's Government satisfied that the check is effective?

Photo of Mr Dingle Foot Mr Dingle Foot , Dundee

We have no reason to be dissatisfied with the way in which those officers carry out their duties.