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Softwood Imports

Volume 436: debated on Thursday 24 April 1947

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asked the President of the Board of. Trade what increases are likely to be made in the near future in the imports of softwood timber from Scandinavia and Finland.

I anticipate that imports of softwood from Finland and Sweden will increase substantially through the 1947 season, following the conclusion of contracts at present under negotiation. Shipments will commence as soon as the Baltic ports are free of ice. A further statement will be made as soon as possible.

Is it not the case that the principal difficulty in Sweden is that the Swedes say they cannot send us the amount of wood they would like to send, and which we would like to receive, until they receive more coal, and is it part of the agreement that they should receive more coal?

It could not be part of a bilateral agreement between this country and Sweden that, as a result of the conclusion of such a contract, they would receive more coal, since their coal allocation is-determined by the European Coal Organisation.