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Coal Exports

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 31 May 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount of foreign currency accruing to this country in the last financial year through the sale of coal overseas.

Sales of coal to countries outside the scheduled territories in the last financial year amounted to about £37 million.

As this most welcome addition to our resources has been achieved by selling coal at the maximum price possible, is it to be assumed from the Chancellor's answer that he agrees with that, or does he want the National Coal Board to do the same as private enterprise—cut down profits?

There is nothing to be assumed from my answer except that the figure was £37 million.

Could the right hon. and learned Gentleman say how much of that £37 million was hard currency?

Does the right hon. Gentleman think the amount received for that tonnage sold was frightfully high or not?

As the price received was the highest possible, does not that mean that the Chancellor thinks it is the duty of exporters to get whatever they can for their exports?

I have always stated that it was advantageous to earn as much foreign currency as we could.