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Strategic Materials (Transhipment, Ussr)

Volume 478: debated on Monday 18 September 1950

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asked the President of the Board of Trade how 50 tons of molybdenum exported to this country by the United States was transhipped to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and whether he will make a statement.

With a very few exceptions goods may be transhipped in the United Kingdom (as in a number of other countries) without requirement of formal import or export licences and no question of infringing these regulations arose in this instance.The control of transhipments without prejudicing a large and legitimate transit trade with many countries throughout the world is a difficult problem, but we have had under consideration with the United States and other Governments concerned the question of imposing an effective control on the transhipment of strategic items. It has been agreed that the first responsibility must lie with the country of source which issues the original licence and a number of measures have been devised to make control at source as effective as possible. The whole question is, however, being reviewed, in order to ascertain whether further measures are practicable.