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Imports And Exports

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether commodities originating in hard currency countries and imported into Nigeria directly from sterling or soft currency areas are set against Nigeria's hard currency allocations; and whether this method is the same as that adopted for the Gold Coast and other African colonial territories.

Goods of the kind mentioned, when imported into Nigeria, are normally treated for import-licensing purposes as if they were imported direct from hard-currency sources. The same method is adopted in other Colonial Territories.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many controls are still in force requiring licences for the import of commodities into Nigeria.

Licences are required for the import from all sources of commodities under international allocation and for a short list of particularly scarce goods. For other commodities, licences are required only for imports from sources outside the United Kingdom Colonies group.

Will the hon. Gentleman review this position and see whether he cannot make a bonfire of some of these controls that are now unnecessary? May I have an answer?

The answer is that some of these items are internationally allocated, and therefore must naturally be controlled. In other cases, they are scarce articles, which must also have an element of control.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the export of adire cloth, beans, guinea fowl, eggs and groundnut oil from Nigeria to the Gold Coast and Sierra Leone is still prohibited, except under licence; and whether he will now lift these war-time controls.

I have asked the Governor for information and will communicate with the hon. Member when I receive it.

Is the Minister aware, meanwhile, that these controls are particularly vexatious to the African trader, far more than to the European trader, and will he look at that aspect of the matter?

I should doubt it. The object of most controls is to ensure that only a proper amount of these materials leaves the Colony and that a sufficient amount is retained in the Colony for the use of the local people.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I raised this matter two years ago, when I obtained a promise that it would be looked into, and that nothing has been done since?