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Malayan Tin And Rubber (Dollar Earnings)

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the Secretary or State for the Colonies if he will give an indication of the amount of dollars earned by the exports of tin and rubber, respectively, from the Malayan Union since the liberation of that territory; and what are the plans of his Department for increasing this dollar-earning capacity as rapidly as possible during the current year.

It is not possible to give an absolutely accurate answer to the first part of this Question, since not all trade between the Malayan Union and the Western Hemisphere passes direct I am, however, informed that tin to the value of rather over 8 million dollars has been shipped to the United States, and to the value of rather under 4½ miilion dollars to Canada, since the liberation of Malaya, and a further 1 million dollars' worth is in process of being shipped to the United States. His Majesty's Government have sold nearly 35 million dollars' worth of Malayan rubber to the United States and rather over 2 million dollars' worth to Canada. In addition private sales have been made to an amount which I cannot at present calculate. As regards the second part of the Question, every effort is being made to bring more Malayan tin mines hack into production. So far as rubber is concerned, there is no shortage of supplies of rubber and, as I have already stated in the House, His Majesty's Government hope that the United States will buy increasing quantities of Malayan rubber in future. As the trade, however, is entirely in private bands, there is very little that His Majesty's Government can do in the matter.