Oral Answers to Questions — Strategic Materials (Export)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th January 1951.

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Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth 12:00 am, 29th January 1951

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that on 9th December, 1950, the United States Department of Commerce placed an embargo, to take effect immediately, on all United States ships transporting or discharging cargoes of strategic materials to ports in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Russian satellite countries in Europe, and the mainland of China; and how far His Majesty's Government are proposing to take similar action with regard to British ships.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

His Majesty's Government are fully aware of the policy of the United States Administration in controlling the export and shipment of strategic materials to undesirable destinations. Similar action has not been considered necessary in the case of British ships, but the export of strategic materials from the United Kingdom to all destinations other than the Commonwealth, the Colonies and the United States of America is subject to export licensing.

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

Would the hon. Gentleman say to what extent the exports of rubber to China have increased in the last few months?

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

That does not quite arise out of this Question and I cannot give a detailed answer in that respect.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether there is a limit to the extent to which this country can benefit from taking markets which have been abandoned by the United States of America under this policy for what they regard as national security reasons?

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

I think the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. We are imposing restrictions on the export of strategic materials at present. [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubber?"] Including rubber.*

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

Does the Government refuse export licences for the same list of materials as is included in the United States ban on shipment?

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

I would want notice of that question.

* See Columns 732–733, 30th January, 1951.