HC Deb 17 November 1936 vol 317 cc1476-7

asked the Secretary for Mines the proportion of Italy's coal consumption which was supplied by Great Britain during the years 1930 to 1935; and the estimated proportion of Italy's coal consumption to be supplied by Great Britain under the commercial agreement recently entered into between Great Britain and Italy?


As the reply contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:

Italian official statistics do not distinguish coal alone, but only separate coke from other solid fuel. Information is also not available as to variations in stocks, but disregarding this factor, the approximate proportions of Italy's consumption of solid fuel (excluding coke) supplied by Great Britain were 53 per cent. in 1930, 52 per cent. in 1931, 59 per cent. in 1932, 50 per cent. in 1933 and 37 per cent. in 1934, and in the first nine months of 1935, about 30 per cent. No Italian trade accounts have been published since September, 1935, but in the last three months of that year exports from this country were almost negligible. The commercial agreement of 6th November provides that the Italian Government will authorise the importation of coal, coke and manufactured fuel from the United Kingdom up to a quarterly c.i.f. value of 43,500,000 lire. I cannot make any accurate estimate of future Italian consumption, and therefore I cannot say what proportion imports up to this value would bear to that consumption.