Tobacco Exports

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1947.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Erroll Mr Frederick Erroll , Altrincham and Sale 12:00 am, 29th April 1947

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent he intends to restrict the re-export of tobacco and cigarettes made in this country from imported U.S. leaf; and what proportion of these exports will be going to soft- and hard-currency countries.

Photo of Mr John Belcher Mr John Belcher , Sowerby

It is not intended to restrict exports of tobacco and cigarettes manufactured in this country, since this would merely force sterling area countries, to which the bulk of our exports go, to buy instead from the U.S.A. with dollars supplied in the main by the United Kingdom. Moreover, they would presumably have to buy manufactured tobacco and cigarettes, costing 2½ times as many dollars as an equal quantity of tobacco and cigarettes made in the United Kingdom from imported American leaf. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield (Mr. Ernest Davies).

Photo of Mr Frederick Erroll Mr Frederick Erroll , Altrincham and Sale

Will the Minister say whether the sterling area countries to which we are exporting cigarettes are taking steps to restrict consumption in the same way as we are?

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield

Is my hon. Friend aware that a large proportion of these cigarettes exported to British Empire countries such as Gibraltar and Malta find their way into the black markets of neighbouring countries such as Spain and Italy?

Photo of Mr John Belcher Mr John Belcher , Sowerby

I am certainly not aware of that, but it is a matter which lies outside my control.

Photo of Mr James Harrison Mr James Harrison , Nottingham East

Does my hon. Friend realise that the tobacco traders of this country will be very pleased with the reply he has given?