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Greek Tobacco (Government Purchase)

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 13 May 1947

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asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether, in view of the loss of £750,000 made by His Majesty's Government in the purchase of tobacco to assist the Greek Government, he will publish in the Official Report a list of commodities purchased from other countries in similar circumstances together with the resulting loss or profit.

The purchase of tobacco was a special one which was made in response to a pressing appeal from the Greek Government for assistance in the rehabilitation of the Greek economy. There have been no comparable purchases from other countries.

Would it not have been better to send a gift of £750,000 instead of acting in this roundabout way by purchasing tobacco?

I should hardly think so. I should have thought that from this country's point of view it was far better to buy something than to give something away and to get nothing in return.