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Madagascar (Trading Arrangements)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Trade why no import licences are issued for the United Kingdom business houses in connection with the importation of such goods as waxes, mica, cloves and chillies from Madagascar; and whether there is any arrangement under which such commodities are consigned to the United States of America which precludes the United Kingdom Commercial Corporation participating?

His Majesty's Government and the United States Government have agreed with the French authorities that, at present, Government purchase is the best way of organising the export of beeswax, mica and certain other products from Madagascar. All imports of beeswax and mica into this country from Madagascar are, therefore, made by the Ministry of Supply. These arrangements do not apply to cloves and chillies. But the Ministry of Food have not recommended import licences as supplies are available from more convenient sources, such as West Africa. As regards the United Kingdom Commercial Corporation, there is no arrangement such as my hon. Friend suggests.