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Cargo Shipments (Export Licences)

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he is aware that commercial cargo to be shipped under export licences is in many cases delayed by countermanding orders issued by other Departments of his Ministry; and whether, to avoid this delay and expense, often resulting in loss of markets, he will ensure closer collaboration between the Departments of his Ministry and the Department of the Board of Trade responsible for export licences?

I am glad to assure my hon. Friend that there is already close collaboration between my Department and the Export Licence Department of the Board of Trade. The priority in shipping space accorded to particular classes of goods for particular countries is not, however, determined by the export licence but is generally decided by the importing country, in the light of its own needs. I have had no information about cases of avoidable delay caused by the action of my Department, but if my hon. Friend will send me particulars, I will make inquiries.