§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
moved the omission of the word "foreign" from line 15. He was astonished at having to make such a Motion. He could not but think that the word had crept in by mistake. It the right hon. Gentleman would at once accept the Amendment he would not develop his argument; otherwise there might be a long discussion on the point. Let the House realise the position. They were providing that direct and indirect bounties should be abolished; and under this section, by the use of the word "foreign," they were fixing the penalties which should be imposed by this country on any country which granted a bounty—direct or indirect. Let the Government remember the grounds on which the bounties had been abolished. They had been told that the bounties were immoral and subversive of free trade, and that every good principle of sound economics demanded their abolition. Yet they were forcing through the House that which allowed these nefarious practices to be carried on in the British Empire. That was the meaning, of the clause. We had a world-wide Empire, and sugar was one of its most prominent products. As the Bill stood we abolished a bad practice in foreign countries. We swept Germany, France, and Holland clean, but in every colony and every British possession bounties—direct and indirect—were to be allowed to continue. That was the meaning of the clause unless the Amendment was accepted, and it was monstrous that such a proposal should ever have been submitted to the House of Commons. If bounties were bad for trade, if they 1594 were unfair, they ought to be struck out, so as to secure their abolition everywhere—wherever they existed. There was a curious history connected with the inclusion of the word "foreign" in the Bill. The noble Lord the Member for Greenwich on the previous night pressed the right hon. Gentleman to say why the policy of countervailing duties originally presented to Parliament had been abandoned. The right hon. Gentleman gave no answer.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF TILE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
It has not been abandoned.
§ MR. LOUGH
said that assertion placed the right hon. Gentleman in still another difficulty. The right hon. Gentleman had given no satisfactory explanation of the mystery, but he would now explain it. When the Bill was first brought in countervailing duties were put forward as a cure for bounties, But after that the Colonial Secretary came on the scene, and the noble Lord who represented the Foreign Office in the House stated that the countervailing duty would not be applied to the ease of any British colony. But when the Bill was actually presented it was seen that the countervailing duties had entirely disappeared. That succession of events explained a great deal. They all remembered how again and again in the spring it was promised that no difficulties should be put in the way of any British colony or possession, and it was in order to carry out that policy that the word "foreign" had been introduced. If that were retained he feared we should get into difficulties with foreign Powers. Under Article 10 of the Convention it was clear that the colonies were included. They came under all the provisions of the-Convention except those of Article 8, which only referred to transit, and foreign Powers would naturally expect us to fulfil the Convention, not only in our own case, but also in regard to our colonies. Remembering that we had attached a final protocol in which we announced that we would not countervail against our colonies, it was clear that the Government were plunged into a difficulty. The Powers would think 1595 that the Convention would not only apply to Great Britain, in which no sugar was produced, but that it would also apply to the British colonies in which sugar was produced. If there was to be an honest fulfilment of the agreement, the Powers must feel that it should apply to the colonies as well as to the mother country. According to the White Paper it was announced that at the last session of the Conference the system obtaining in the British colonies and in India was not inquired into, and that made it pretty clear that there would be such an inquiry at the next session. If we restricted our action under this Convention we should be guilty of a breach of faith towards the other Powers which had entered into it. Although a great point had been made that the colonies were not going to be affected, the Convention still did strike a serious blow at them, as for five years we were bound to give no preference to our colonies Was it to be said that no bounties existed in any of our colonies? It could not, because there were already six bounty systems existent in the colonies and two in the mother country, and we were going to retain those systems while asking foreign countries to abolish theirs. Canada paid a bounty on steel, and under it the exports of steel to this country were rapidly increasing. Canada also had a sugar bounty. Could they compel her to abandon it?
§ MR. CHARLES DEVLIN (Galway)
No, you cannot, for Canada has full right to make her own fiscal arrangements,
§ MR. LOUGH
said lie agreed with that, but he would ask—Was it fair play to ask other countries to abolish bounties while these continued? Queensland, too, had a sugar bounty, while the shipping grants, railway facilities and capital expenditure in the West India Islands were also of the nature of bounties. Again, at home the sugar refiners enjoyed a bounty under the sugar duty scale, and under the Revenue Bill now before the House, a bounty was to be given on molasses. It was almost a scandal for us to claim to build up this bounty system at home and 1596 in our colonies and yet claim that foreign countries should abolish their bounty systems. It might be said that although bounties existed in Canada and Queensland we did not get any sugar nom those countries. But the House could not proceed on that basis. The right hon. Gentleman had said that we had not abandoned countervailing duties. Did he still think then of resorting to them?
§ MR. LOUGH
said that if we did, the smallest duty imposed would be £7 per ton, which had already been suggested in the case of Russia, and if such a duty were imposed on Russian sugar, within three months we should be receiving large quantities of sugar from Canada and Queensland, and there were hundreds of merchants in London who would be willing to acquire sugar estates in those colonies, and thereby rapidly make a fortune. This clause accomplished a complete reversal of our commercial system. It substituted protection and colonial preference for free trade—and colonial preference of the very worst character. If we were honest in our objection to bounties, we would abolish our own while calling on foreign countries to get rid of theirs.
§ Amendment proposed—
" In page 1, line 15, to leave out the word. foreign.'"—(Mr. Lough.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'foreign' stand part of the clause."
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said the hon. Member who had expected him to jump up and accept his Amendment even before he had stated his reasons for proposing it, had evidently quite forgotten the declaration made on behalf of this country as a condition of our ratification of the Convention. He would remind him that His Majesty's Minister was instructed to declare at the time of ratification that "it is necessary to place on record that the Government of His Britannic Majesty will not consent under any circumstances to be bound to penalise bounty-fed sugar imported into the 1597 United Kingdom from any of the self-governing British colonies," and that the British Government were not prepared to accept any reference of this question to the permanent Commission to be established under Article VII. and that His Majesty's ratification of the Convention was deposited under that explicit declaration. With the words of that declaration before the Committee, the hon. Member had chosen to assume that the Government would accept an Amendment directly in contradiction of the special instructions given to His Majesty's Minister in Brussels. Of course they could do no such thing. All the Powers understood that this declaration would be made a condition of ratification by His Majesty's Government, and therefore it was impossible to contend that there was any sort of breach of faith. It was quite true that Germany and Austria reserved liberty of action in view of that declaration.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR.
No, not Holland. Every other Power ratified it unconditionally and with full knowledge of the declaration. There was consequently no question of a breach of faith.
§ MR. ED MUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said the speech of the right hon. Gentleman had disclosed a still more serious aspect of the question. One of the functions of the permanent Commission was to deliver an opinion on contested questions, and in view of the fact that Germany and Austria contested our reservation in favour of the self-governing colonies, that would be a contested question on which the Commission might be called upon to pronounce an opinion. In his opinion, the Convention required us to impose countervailing duties or prohibition on all bounty-fed sugar coming from our colonies as well as from foreign countries. Ours was the only conditional ratification, and an acceptance of an offer subject to a condition did not result in a contract at all. Therefore it came to this—that there was no Convention, for how could there be a Convention accepted under a 1598 condition by one of the parties unless it could be shown that that condition was accepted by all the other parties? He contended that the sensible thing to do would be to withdraw the Bill, and to set up a new Conference in order to get a new Convention to which all parties would agree.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said that the Colonial Office policy in this matter had cut across the Board of Trade policy, and the result was that this Bill was now going to do exactly what Lord Herschell and his colleague, when law officers, told the Government they could not do. Did the present law officers take a different view? With regard to the declaration accompanying our ratification, that dealt solely with the case of the self-governing British colonies. But we had virtually in our power India and the Crown colonies—and possibly our protectorates. How were they affected? He did not believe the Bill had ever been thought out. The Government did not know what they were doing in using the word "foreign." What meaning did they attach to it? Did it apply to the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, which were separate fiscal entities? Did it apply to a protectorate like Zanzibar? The decisions of the Courts of law on the definition of the word "foreign" had not been very illuminating. In one great case lit was held that a foreign country was a country inhabited by foreigners. Zanzibar was certainly not inhabited by British subjects. Was it then a foreign country? In Hall's "International Law there was a most excellent passage on the subject.
He says that —
Protectorate are, of course, by no means new facts, but they may be said to he new international facts. Until lately they have been exercised in places practically beyond the sphere of contact with civilised Powers. In this respect things are now totally changed, and very many questions arising out of such contact will undoubtedly, before long, press for settlement. To take but one example: are the native inhabitants of a protectorate to be regarded as subjects of the protecting State when temporarily within the territory or the protectorate of another civilized State? There can be no doubt that Germany will take the view that they are so.
And he put the case of North Borneo.and said that
We have assumed a protectorate over that country, and in doing so we have gratuitously embarrassed ourselves by expressly recognising their independence, and by specific limitations upon our own freedom of action which are exceedingly likely to lead to difficulties with.foreign Powers
That was the opinion of one of the leading authorities on the subject. The other was the words used in the Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870. There it was defined, but not very clearly—and the ordinary British form of a definition was no definition at all, but a mere statement of some of the things which it included—
'Foreign State' includes any foreign prince, colony, province, or part of any province or people, or any person or persons exercising or assuming to exercise the powers of government in or over any foreign country, colony, province, or part of any province or people.
§ He asked the right hon. Gentleman the specific question: Is a protectorate like Zanzibar within the meaning of the word "foreign"? That simple question would be a simple test of the position of the Government.
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said he quite agreed with the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. This question had been inadequately thought out. However that might be, the Government had reached a stage at which they had decided not to prohibit bounty-fed imports from the self-governing colonies. That was clear. The Government bound themselves not to permit any bounties to be placed upon exports from the Crown colonies. That, also, was clear. But tins clause neither specified self-governing colonies nor Crown colonies. It used a phrase which had very different significations, and which created a confusion in definition which might involve the greatest difficulty. That ought to be cleared up, because in this clause the phrase used was "foreign country." Of course, they did get some help towards a definition of that expression by the negative term that neither a Crown colony nor a self-governing colony was to be a foreign country. There was a whole class of countries which might or might not be foreign, having regard to the standard by which one judged their 1600 international position. So far as the law was concerned Scotland was foreign to the English jurisdiction. The Isle of Man was a foreign country quo ad England. What was to be our position in regard to those Dependencies of the Crown which were not Crown colonies and which were not self-governing colonies? The right hon. Gentleman had referred to Zanzibar. Was that a "foreign country?" It was foreign for many purposes, because it had very large powers of local jurisdiction; and from a legal and international standpoint it was clearly a "foreign country." But it owed some sort of allegiance to the British Crown. Was this clause to be applied to Zanzibar and to other spheres of influence in the Continent of Africa? Was it to apply to Egypt? Egypt was not a Crown colony nor a self-governing colony. Was it to apply to the Soudan? Undoubtedly from some points of view Egypt was a Dependency of the British Crown, subject to very large powers which made it, from these points of view, not a "foreign country." He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to give the Committee some canon of construction. He did not think there was any clause which defined the phrase "foreign country"—a phrase of enormous difficulty and complexity of shades of meaning. As the matter stood at present they did not know whether "foreign country" was used in a legal sense, a diplomatic sense, or a common sense.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
said he was not prepared himself to support any Amendment to the Bill which would interfere with the fiscal freedom of the self-governing colonies, to which he attached the greatest possible importance. But the Amendment under discussion was not intended to interfere with that fiscal freedom. It was quite clear that there was very great difficulty and complexity in regard to this question of the definition of what was a "foreign country"; and he did not think that it was treating the House of Commons fairly that the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General were not present to advise the right hon. Gentleman. He noticed that the Solicitor-General had just cone into the 1601 House, and he hoped that the right hon. and learned Gentleman would be able to answer some, at least, of the questions that had been raised during the, debate by his hon. and learned friend behind him. Although he was not himself prepared to interfere with the fiscal relations between this country and the colonies, he could not understand the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to bounties. If bounties were so worked as to be injurious to the manufacturing industries of this country surely the Government ought to endeavour by negotiation to get rid of them in the colonies as well as in foreign countries. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that, from beginning to end, there had been no ambiguity as to the position of the Government in regard to the self-governing colonies. As a matter of fact the question of the Government giving away the position of the self-governing colonies had been raised by the hon. Member for Kings Lynn, and it was only an afterthought that the Government had put in a reservation in the Protocol in order to save the situation. It was true that something was said by the British representative at an earlier stage of the proceedings, but that was not pressed, and nothing was said on the point at the time of the drawing up of the Convention. The German Government, and the other Governments concerned, were entitled to complain in regard to this matter. At any rate it was not made clear before the Convention was ratified. What the German Government said in answer to the circular paper of this Government was that "they consider they cannot attach any importance to this declaration, seeing that it was made at a time when no draft of a Convention existed, and when many remarks were made, which, in the end, have found no expression in the Convention, and are not in harmony with it. Later, however, and in fact in the final and concluding negotiations, the British delegates did not recur to that reservation." As a matter of fact it was only an afterthought that the Government made that declaration. But there was the question of the Crown colonies over which the Government have absolute and complete control; and what he wanted to know was, if the word 1602 "foreign" was left in, how that would affect the position of the Crown colonies? The Government had pledged themselves, in regard to the West Indies, to give no bounties, direct or indirect, and what was the reason for putting in "foreign" here, if the Government were going to carry out their pledges?
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that the self-governing colonies were entirely protected by the declaration, and therefore those words were not required. The Crown colonies were excluded from the purview of the Bill, and the Government pledged themselves to allow no bounties to be given in these colonies. He was perfectly sure that there would be great difficulties between the British Government and the Permanent Commission as to whether or not they were giving bounties, especially in regard to the West Indies. There were questions of bounties in regard to giving shipping subventions and grants to the central sugar factories. The right hon. Gentleman said that in case of such disputes he would be bound to accept the decisions of the Permanent Commission.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
The Government would take them into consideration, but if they did not carry out these decisions the Convention would come to an end. The question was raised by the right hon. baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, as to what was actually a "foreign country." He would ask the right hon. the Solicitor-General if he would lie kind enough to give the Committee the benefit of his advice on this very specific question. If these words were left in would they include such sugar-producing countries as Egypt, and protectorates like Zanzibar and the Soudan? What was the advantage of having these words in at all? The Government had pledged themselves to penalise any country giving a direct or indirect bounty. Did that cover all cases? He could see no advantage in leaving in those words, as they were likely to 1603 lead to very serious displeasure and friction between this and foreign countries. As they were anxious that this Convention, bad as it was, should work smoothly, he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would accept the Amendment of his right hon. friend.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said that they would have a right to call for another Convention in regard to the contracting parties, but not with regard to the non-contracting parties. The matter all depended on the interpretation which the Solicitor-General would put on the word "foreign." For instance, a man who settled in Uganda would not become a British subject as he would in a Crown colony or a self-governing colony after five years residence. Therefore Uganda was technically a foreign country. The Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs suggested that cane growing was a great possibility in Uganda. Let it be supposed that the railway which was being built by English money in Uganda carried the cane to the coast free of charge; that would be a bounty; but under the Convention the contracting parties could in that case call on this country to prohibit the importation of sugar from Uganda. Judging by the attitude of the Solicitor-General, his support of this Bill was like his support of the Irish Land Bill—exceedingly remote; but they were entitled to ask what his views were as to what the word "foreign" meant. They could not have a special interpretation of the word ad hoc, so to speak, for the purposes of the Convention. Did the Solicitor-General consider Uganda a foreign country? Any sort of indirect benefit given by this country to the producers of sugar in any part of the Empire might conceivably come within the meaning of the word "foreign," and would be prohibited. Apparently the colonies were to he kept by a kind of bounty-fed loyalty; but the Committee should be informed what meaning the Government attached to the word "foreign."
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said that the Committee were being treated most discourteously. They were being asked to legislate without being given the slightest idea of what the result of legislation would be. It was quite impossible that the Government had not an answer. Surely they had considered the questions 1604 which must arise from this Convention. If the President of the Board of Trade would not reply, he hoped the Solicitor-General would respond to the request made to him. What the Committee should know was what they were making themselves responsible for. Austria and Germany distinctly reserved to themselves, in the amplest manner, liberty to ask the, permanent Commission to declare that this country was not carrying out the provisions of the Convention if any exemptions-were made in favour of the colonies. In addition to the countries which had been already mentioned, he wished to add Cyprus and the Malay States, which were practically under the control of this country. Would these countries he regarded as foreign? No doubt, no one could give subsidies in Cyprus, Egypt, Zanzibar, or the Malay States against the will of this country. The Committee should be informed what they were in good faith bound to do as regarded the. different countries under the control of the British Crown; and they ought to be told what case could be brought up against this country before the permanent Commission. The Committee ought to know the area to which the Convention was to apply. The speeches which had been delivered, and especially the silence of the Government, convinced him that questions of the very gravest importance were being opened up, and unless some satisfactory explanation were given he would feel bound to vote for the Amendment as a protest against the methods of concealment adopted by the Government.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said the right hon. Gentleman had referred to the real and substantial difficulties which had arisen. To his mind the only difficulties which had been raised were entirely lawyer difficulties. None of the countries mentioned by hon. Gentlemen opposite, as to which they expressed doubt as to whether the word "foreign" would apply, were likely to export sugar to this country. The matter was not one which, from the practical point of view, it was now necessary to consider. If any such difficulty arose it would be time enough to consider it when the permanent Commission had expressed an opinion in the sense indicated by hon. Gentlemen opposite. He did not, however, believe that any such question would arise.
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON
said the whole sanction behind the enforcement of this clause was a legal sanction and nothing more. The right hon. Gentleman was seeking a right to prohibit the landing of goods in a British port. How were they to test whether the order of prohibition was lawful? It could only be tested in a Court of law. Its validity could only be examined from a legal standpoint. Yet the right hon. Gentleman made light of legal difficulties. Under this section it was possible to prohibit the landing of a cargo of sugar in a British port, but unless it could be shown that the port at which the ship loaded was a port of a foreign country, the prohibition would be bad, and the immediate result would be an action against the agents of the Government. There were scores of precedents for such a suit in other Departments dealing with shipping, involving the Departments in heavy expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to have hidden his head in the sands or in sugar, for he had said he thought the difficulties apprehended in some quarters were not likely to arise because these various places, which were neither Crown colonies nor self - governing colonies, which were not foreign countries but protected states, were not producers of sugar. Was the right hon. Gentleman going to take on himself the mantle of prophecy? Was he going to predict that, under the possible stimulus given to the cultivation of sugar by improving markets, sugar was not coming from those countries?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said what he said was that it was extremely improbable that sugar would come from those countries under a bounty.
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON
said he did not know. He believed in Egypt at that moment very large areas were being laid down for the cultivation of sugar. Was this experience likely to benefit Egypt? Indiarubber was now being grown in every quarter of the globe, whereas a few years ago it was grown in a very small area. If this legislation was intended to be operative the right hon. Gentleman must recognise the necessity.
§ MR. WHITLEY
protested against the refusal of the Law Officers of the Crown to give assistance to the Committee on the point at issue. It was very unsatisfactory that these gentlemen, who were paid large salaries, did riot assist, and that neither the Prime Minister nor the Colonial Secretary were present to render help. Unless they could get further answers from the Government, consideration of this matter should be postponed. He moved to report Progress.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said he should like, in one word, to say that in the question of Egypt this difficulty was not unlikely to arise. There was an enormous amount of sugar grown there under international administrations, not under our control.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
expressed the opinion that it was positively discourteous to the House that when a number of men asked the Law Officers of the Crown for their opinion upon this particular question, which was relevant to the discussion, they should not respond. The question was, were these protectorates foreign within the meaning of the section? Was Egypt a foreign country? Was Uganda a foreign country? What about the Malay States and Sarawak? The President of the Board of Trade did not contest the point they made. All he said was, "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof," and that when these questions arose, they could be dealt with, but-everything could not be dealt with in that way. The Committee was entitled to an answer from the Law Officers of the Crown.
§ * MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
pointed out that it was not impossible that this difficulty would arise very shortly in Uganda, where sugar grew wild everywhere, and where the rate of carriage down to the coast by the railway was unremunerative. If, after this Bill was passed, it was still carried at unremunerative rates, that might be held to be an indirect bounty. Again, in East Africa sugar could be grown with great ease. It had been proposed to give subsidies to ships trading with Mombasa. If that were done, and sugar were to be imported into this country by those ships, would that be held to be an indirect 1607 bounty? Because, if so, it became of great importance to know whether East Africa were a foreign country or not. Then there was the case of the Soudan, which was partly under the ægis of Egypt and partly under the ægis of England. Egypt, they had been told, in answer to a Question in that House, was a State under the suzerainty of the Turkish Empire, in British military occupation. Was that State a foreign State? and was the Soudan a foreign State? Would the Government be obliged to penalise sugar coming from the Soudan as sugar coming from a foreign country? The protected Malay States had been given as another example. In the Trade Returns those States were classed as foreign countries, and in the statistics of Singapore imports from them were regarded as foreign imports. It was surely better to settle this question at once, and the House earnestly appealed to the Solicitor-General to give his advice upon the matter.
§ THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir EDWARARD CARSON,) Dublin University
said it was not from any desire to be discourteous that he had not intervened earlier in the debate. The President of the Board of Trade had stated that the questions concerning all these countries to which reference had been made could not possibly arise for some time—until after certain judgments had been given by the tribunal set up by the Bill. As the questions were questions of the future, and depended on the view taken by the Commission, it occurred to him that in many respects it would he wiser not to express an opinion upon matters, which, if they arose in a practical form, must subsequently come before the Law Officers. However, as the Committee desired it, he would give his opinion, although, of course, it would not be binding upon either himself or anybody else, as nobody could at present foresee the circumstances or the manner in which the question would arise before the tribunal. The view he took was that the word "foreign" did include all the countries which had been mentioned. He should think there was no doubt whatever as regarded Egypt, which was still part of the Ottoman dominions. Although we had certain defined rights and other rights undefined within that country, he 1608 did not think it could be for a moment contended—taking the Convention and the Bill—that there was any intention whatsoever to treat Egypt as other than a foreign country. The same remark applied to the Soudan. As regarded Zanzibar, the same considerations applied, because, although we had certain protectorate rights, Zanzibar was in no sense a part of His Majesty's dominions, and could not be treated in these matters otherwise than as a foreign country. As the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, had observed, protectorates were always one of our difficulties. There were various kinds of protectorates, with different methods of government and ill-defined rights. The complexity of the question was increased by the fact that Germany took an entirely different view with regard to protectorates from that held by this country. Germany treated her protectorates as part of the German Empire, whereas we as persistently, for reasons it was not necessary to give to the Committee, had refused to regard them as part of the British dominions. While his opinion was that these protectorates would be considered as foreign countries within the meaning of this Act and under the Convention, there was at the same time this observation to be made—that in many of these protectorates we exercised absolute rights of legislation, and his own view, for whatever it was worth, was that, taking the spirit and purport of the Convention, His Majesty's Government would be bound, so far as they were able, to prevent bounties being given in those protectorates. If he was right in that view, no question as regarded prohibition would or could arise between the protectorates and this country, because if the country was prepared to prohibit and was in a position to prevent bounties being given, it would of course exercise its discretion in preventing bounties rather than in raising the question of prohibition.
thought the Committee were much indebted to the Solicitor-General, whose speech formed an agreeable contrast to everything they had previously had from the Treasury Bench. The hon. and learned Member had said that 1609 these questions would arise only when a case came before the tribunal. But that was not so. These questions would arise immediately the Bill was passed. Merchants in London would be offered 10,000 tons of sugar in some of the countries referred to, and what were they to do? How were they to know whether or not it was safe to buy? It was very necessary that these matters should be made perfectly clear. The
§ Solicitor-General had really increased the difficulty of the Government, because he had quadrupled the number of foreign countries and had left the matter open by distinctly saying he was not to be hound by the opinion he had given.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 147; Noes, 65. (Division List No. 213.)1611
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Gardner, Ernest||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin&Nairn||Purvis, Robert|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Randles, John S.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gordon, Mai Evans(Tr H'ml'ts||Rankin, Sir James|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Gore, Hn G. R. C Ormsby-(Salop||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gorst, Et. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Balcarres, Lord||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Reid, James (Creenock)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r||Groves, James Grimble||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Balfour, Kenneth R (Christch.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson|
|Baubury, Sir Frederick George||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Rolleston, Sit John E. L.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Bull, William James||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Campbell, JHM. (Dublin Univ)||Hogg, Lindsay||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Horner, Frederick William||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Howard, J. (Midd., Tott'ham||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Johnstone, Heywood||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cavendish, V.C. W. (Derbyshire||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Henry||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Worc||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Spear, John Ward|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lawson J Grant(Yorks.,N. R)||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Legge, Col. lion. Heneage||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Leveson-Gower, Frederiek N.S.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg.)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,S.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim,S||Lowe, Francis William||Valentia, Viscount|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lowther, Rt. Hon. Jas. (Kent)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Walrond, Rt. Hn Sir William H.|
|Davenport. William Bromley||Macdona, John Cumming||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburqh W||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C.||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E(Wigt'n||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Milvain, Thomas||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn.E. R. (Bath|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J.(Man'r||Myers, William Henry||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Nicholson, William Graham||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Flower, Ernest||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Forster, Henry William||Pierpoint, Robert||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Fyler, John Arthur||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Galloway. William Johnson||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Bryce, Right Hon. James||Caldwell, James|
|Brigg, John||Burt, Thomas||Causton, Richard Knight|
|Broadhurst., Henry||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Cremer, William Randal||Jacoby, James Alfred||Rose, Charles Day|
|Crooks, William||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire||Shackleton, David James|
|Delany, William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.)||Lewis, John Herbert||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lloyd-George, David||Spencer, Rt Hn C.R. (Northants|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Elibank, Master of||M`Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings)|
|Fenwick, Charles||M`Laren, Sir Charles Benj.||Tomkinson, James|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Toulmin, George|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Grant, Corrie||Moss, Samuel||Ure, Alexander|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Hayter, Ht Hon Sir Arthur D.||Paulton, James Mellor||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Priestley, Arthur||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Rea, Russell|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Rigg, Richard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Mr. Lough and Mr.|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Robson, William Snowdon||Whitley.|
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said the Amendment he wished to move was intended to bring the language of the Bill into harmony with the declared intention of the Government. The words of the Bill were—Where it is reported by the permanent Commission that any direct or indirect bounty is granted in any foreign country on the production or export of sugars, His Majesty may, by Order in Council, make a prohibition order, that is to say, an order prohibiting sugar from that foreign country to be imported or brought, into the United Kingdom.They were told by the right hon. Gentleman yesterday that it was not the intention of the Bill, and particularly of this clause, that it should apply to the parties to the Convention. The theory of the Government was that offences by the contracting parties must be dealt with by the Committee of the Convention. The words he had quoted included all foreign countries, whether parties to the Convention or not, and any foreign country was liable to have a prohibition order made against it. They were told now that contracting parties were not concerned in this proposed legislation, and that it was only to apply to non-contracting parties. The Amendment he wished to propose was to insert after "country" the words "not being a party to the Convention." Those words absolutely expressed the intention of the Government as declared by the President of the Board of Trade. This was little more than a drafting Amendment which was necessary to make the Bill consistent with the intention of the Government. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 15, after the word country to insert the words not being a party to the Con yen thin '" (Mr. Edmund Robertson.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said there was one case which made it undesirable to insert those words. It was true that they would not be called upon to apply the penal clause to any of the contracting States in the first instance. Of course there would have to be a conference, and what might follow upon such conference it was difficult to say. It was conceivable that the result of the conference would he that they might be called upon to levy a countervailing duty. Although he agreed that the case was extremely unlikely to arise he thought it was undesirable to tie their hands in this respect.
§ MR. BRYCE
pointed out that this Bill did not follow closely the language of the Convention. Instead of following that language they had put in the words "direct or indirect." He understood that it would be in the power and that it would he the duty of the Government to impose prohibition against any of the contracting parties who might give bounties.
§ MR. URE (Linlithgowshire)
said what was doubtful was what the procedure would be by which they were going to penalise the contracting If a contracting. State 1613 imposed a bounty a conference would be called, but the right hon. Gentleman would say that the Convention did not leave it in doubt what the conference was to do. It was imperative that the conference should take the decision. There was only one decision which it could take if one of the contracting States imposed a bounty, direct or indirect, if they passed a Bill absolutely prohibiting sugar from any foreign State that gave a bounty The permanent Commission could do only one thing, and that was to declare that such sugar must be excluded from this country. The circumstances did not leave it open to the permanent Commission to give any other decision, which would be absolutely ridiculous in the face of this Bill, which included all sugar which was bounty-fed in any foreign State. Unless the words suggested were added the Committee might take it as absolutely certain that the Act would apply to all the contracting parties.
§ MR. LOUGH
said the duty of the Convention with regard to the contracting States was merely limited to making a Report which would necessitate the calling together of a new Convention. He found nothing in the Bill to sanction this. If the Amendment were put in then they would have an end of the dispute, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman upon this point. They would get on quicker with the Bill if he met them a little more, and he might take at least some of their recommendations. If he rejected this Amendment they would have to fall back on Article VII of the Convention, which provided:—This Commission shall be composed of delegates of the several contracting States, and a permanent bureau shall be attached to it.The duties of the delegates will be:(a) To pronounce whether in the contracting States no direct or indirect bounty is granted on the production or on the exportation of sugar.That was their first duty. Then under (c) it was laid down—(c) To pronounce whether bounties exist in the non-signatory States, and to estimate the amount thereof for the purposes of Article IV.What was the difference in the direction given to the permanent Commission of its duties with regard to the contracting States and the non-contracting States. 1614 He could see no difference whatever. Under Article VII exactly the same jurisdiction was given to the Permanent Commission over the contracting States as over those outside. The Bill was drawn in that sense. The duty of the permanent Commission was to report, and the same duty was put upon them with regard to the contracting States as well as the non-contracting States. Could the right hon. Gentleman point to any phrase in the Convention which established this difference between the two States.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that Article VII contained these words—The duty of the Commission shall be limited to findings and investigations.The findings and calculations referred to under letters (b) and (c) must, however be acted on by the contracting States.
§ MR. LOUGH
said he was much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. In the paragraph he had read no distinction was drawn between the contracting and the non-contracting State. So far as that went it applied to both. Sections (b) and (c) stood in a slightly different position. This paragraph gave directions as to what was to be done in the case of (b) and (c), but it did not say that (a) was excluded.
§ MR. LOUGH
agreed that the duties were limited to findings, investigations, and reports, because "calculations" did not occur until the last paragraph. The paragraph did not at all limit the duties of the permanent Commission with regard to paragraph (a). It simply described what they should do with regard to (b) and (c). Surely he might suggest that it was not satisfactory that the important category corning under (a) should be left to be settled by implication. The last paragraph left it open for him to conclude that the directions were just as wide with regard to (a) as to (b) and (c). Let the Government make it clear. The right hon. Gentleman was far too scrupulous in regard to this Bill. He was going too far to please foreign Powers. Let him accept this 1615 Amendment, and they would know where they were.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said the right hon. Gentleman told them last night more than once most distinctly that it was out of their power to insist upon sugar from non-contracting States being penalised. He had stated that the Commission might or might not have the power of penalising the sugar of one of the contracting States. That put the matter in a different position from what the right hon. Gentleman stated last night, and raised one of the most dangerous points in connection with the Convention. The whole of the sugar trade
§ might he thrown into the hands of one or two Powers to which the Government objected. As the right hon. Gentleman had assured them that this was to apply absolutely and solely to the non-contracting States he did not understand why he refused to accept the words of the Amendment. The Government seemed rather to rejoice in the difficulties and disputes which, if the Bill was left in its present very inchoate state, would surely arise between the British Government and the Convention.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 68; Noes, 157. (Division List No. 214.)1617
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Holland, Sir William Henry||Runciman, Walter|
|Brigg, John||Horniman, Frederick John||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Shackleton, David James|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Burt, Thomas||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R.(Northants|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Kearley, Hudson E.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Badcliffe|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Tomkinson, James|
|Crooks, William||Levy, Maurice||Toulmin, George|
|Delany, William||Lewis, John Herbert||Irevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-shire||Lloyd-George, David||Ure, Alexander|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj.||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Eommott, Alfred||Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Moss, Samuel||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Foster. Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Priestley, Arthur||TELLERS FOE THE AYES—|
|Harwood, George||Rea, Russell||Mr. Edmund Robertson|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Rigg, Richard||and Mr. Lough.|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon Sir Arthur D||Roberts, John FL (Denbighs.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Campbell, J.H.M. (Dublin Univ||Davenport, William Bromley-|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Dickson. Charles Scott|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Chamberlain, Rt HnJ. A. (Worc.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn SirJ. (Manc'r|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. Gerald W(Leeds||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne-|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Flower, Ernest|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Collings, Right Hon. Jesse||Forster, Henry William|
|Bigwood, James||Corbett, A. Cameron (Clasgow||Foster, Philip S.(Warwick,S. W|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Eyler, John Arthur|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Craig, CharlesCurtis(Antrim, S||Gardner, Ernest|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Crossley, Sir Savile||Gordon, Hn. J, E. (Elgin & Nrn,|
|Bull. William James||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Gordon, Maj Evans (Tr H'mlets||Macdona, John Cumming||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Gore, Hn. G.R.C. Ormshy-(Salop||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Gorst. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir HE(Wigt'n||Smith, James Parker.(Lenarks.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Milvain, Thomas||Spear, John Ward|
|Groves, James Grimble||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Guest, Hon Ivor Churehill||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Hail, Edward Marshall||Murray. Rt. Hn AGraham (Bute||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Halsey. Et. Hon. Thomas F||Myers, William Henry||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G.(Midd' x||Nicholson, William Graham||Stroyan, John|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Percy, Earl||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Pierpoint, Robert||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Heath, James (Staffords.,N.W||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Plummer, Walter R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Pretyman, Ernest George||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Horner, Frederick William||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Walrond, Rt. Hn Sir William H.|
|Howard. J. (Midd., Tott'ham||Purvis Robert||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Johnstone, Heywood||Randles, John S.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George||Rankin, Sir James||Williams, Rt HnJ Powell-(Birm|
|Kibber, Henry||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Lawrence. Wm. F. (Liverpool||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks|
|Lawson John Grant(Yorks.N.R||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn E. R. (Bath|
|Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Renwick, George||Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Lock wood, Lieut-Col. A. R.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Long. Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Lowe, Francis William||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Loyd. Archie Kirkman||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Hood and Mr.Austruther.|
|Lucas, Regl'd J (Portsmouth)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
§ ME. LOUGH
said that on a point of order he wished to ask the Chairman to reconsider his decision that the Amendment he had put on the paper in regard to a "Surtax set up against the import" was out of order. His object was to show that a surtax was the most effective form of bounty which could be set up. If, therefore, they were getting rid of bounties, they ought to get rid of the surtax. He wanted to show by his Amendment that this provision was hostile to the general principle of the Convention itself.
* THE CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member will look at Article I of the Convention he will find amongst the definitions of what are, and what are not bounties.—Advantage derived from any surtax in excess of the rate fixed by Article III.I need not go into the Article III, but if the hon. Member's Motion is to the same effect then it is not necessary; and if it proposes something different from that, it is outside the Convention.
* THE CHAIRMAN
What the hon. Member proposes to do is to turn the Convention upside down and make the Convention his own. He must start with the assumption that the House has accepted the Convention, and that we are now engaged in carrying that Convention through.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I think that is so. The object of this Bill is simply to carry out the Convention, and if there is a definition in the Convention the Committee must accept that definition.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The Committee has accepted the Convention, and has taken it with all its imperfections on its head. It is impossible now to go back and say that we do not approve of it because it is not sufficiently definite. We ought to take it or leave it.
§ MR. BRYCE
said that what he meant was that they should be at liberty to move any Amendment which would not contravene any part of the Convention, but that they should get at the meaning of the Government in regard to the Convention. They were making the Convention part of the law of England, and they ought to have some means of knowing what the Convention really implied.
* THE CHAIRMAN
If the proposed Amendment simply carries out what is contained in the Convention, then it is unnecessary; but if it implies a definition leading to a different conclusion than that in the Convention, it is outside the scope of the Bill.
§ MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)
said he wished to propose an Amendment on Clause 1, page 1, line 16, to insert after "sugars" the words "or sugared goods." On the previous night they on that side of the House had put forward the case that if the Bill were to be a complete Bill it ought to incorporate the Convention itself. That was declined although no argument was given. The first part of the sub-section stated that if any direct or indirect bounty was granted in any foreign country for the production or export of sugars, something was to take place. As the Bill stood it dealt with sugar, and sugar only; but, as the House knew, sugar products —that was to say, goods which contained a large or small percentage of sugar—would not be excluded from importation from bounty-giving countries. That would have an effect on our manufacturers. We should be excluding the raw materials on which our industries had been built up, and on the other hand we should be allowing to enter into competition with those articles foreign manufactured articles, bounty-fed. Was 1620 that the intention of the right hon. Gentleman? The Convention, according to Article I, stated that the high contracting parties engaged to suppress direct and indirect bounties by which the production or exportation of sugar might profit, and not to establish bounties of such a kind during the whole continuance of the Convention. For the appplication of this provision sugar-sweetened products, such as preserves, chocolates, biscuits, condensed milk, and all other analogous products containing in a notable proportion artificially incorporated sugar, were assimilated to sugar. He therefore maintained that the Bill as it stood was against the expressed provision of Article I of the Convention. Unless the words he moved were inserted in the Bill our manufacturers would be at a considerable disadvantage in the open markets of the world. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 16, after the word 'sugars,' to insert the words or sugared goods.'"—(Mr. Kearley.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that to accept these words was to go beyond the provisions of the Convention. The hon. Member had referred to Article I, and he quoted the words at the end of the first paragraph of that article; but he would call attention to the fact that these words were expressly confined to the provisions of Article I. They did not apply to Article IV nor to Art cle VIII, both of which only referred to sugar and not to sugar products. If he were to accept this Amendment and insert "sugared goods" he should be absolutely going beyond the provisions of the Convention.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that the right hon. Gentleman was beginning to alarm him. This was the most confused Convention that ever a set of mad diplomatists ever made, and this was the most confused Bill ever submitted to this House. He never dreamt, before the right hon. Gentleman spoke, but that he was going to say that the word "sugar" included sugar products." Now it seemed that the 1621 discrimination between sugar and sugar products was deliberate and intentional, and the effect would be that the bounty-fed sugar which had given to the manufacturers of this country such an advantage would be excluded, and that the same sugar would be put into the protected manufactures in bounty-giving countries which would come over here and drive our manufactures out of t he market most effectually. He maintained that that was perfectly monstrous. The Colonial Secretary jeered about jam and pickles. [GOVERNMENT Cries of "Hear, hear."] At all events the jam and pickle interest of the Empire was stronger than that of the sugar-refining interest, and that was the interest at which they were dealing a blow. He regretted more than ever that the Committee was not able to enforce on the Government the Amendment compelling them to put the Convention as a schedule into the Bill which they were now seeking to pass as the law of the land. They were in this difficulty—that the Chairman had ruled that any Amendment was out of order which did not carry into effect the Convention. He thought that that ruling should apply to both sides. He disputed altogether the interpretation which the right hon. Gentleman had put on the provisions of the Convention. Article I, which was the governing provision, and which applied to the whole Bill, said that there was to be a suppression of all bounties, direct and indirect. Would it be stated in any Bill passed through this House that the word "sugar" included sugar products?
§ Mr. GERALD BALFOUR
said he would refer the right hon. Gentleman to a passage on page 184 of the picaès verbal, from which it appeared, not only from the text of the Convention but also from what passed during the discussion, that the assimilation of sugar products applied to Article I, and to Article I only.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that in that case the meaning of the 1622 Bill was that bounties were to be stopped not only in connection with sugar but also in connection with sugar-sweetened products. The paragraph to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred the Committee did not impress him as improving the right hon. Gentleman's point. He would, however, assume it did, and all he would say about it was that this monstrous Convention and this monstrous Bill were worse than the House supposed on the Second Reading.
§ * MR. LAWSON WALTON
said he felt sure that the right hon. Gentleman must yield at last to the importunities addressed to him to introduce some explicitness into the vague proposals of the Bill. He confessed that he had not previously noticed the somewhat extraordinary language in the preamble of the Bill. It was now clear, although it had not been previously clear, that the Convention was incorporated in the Bill. The preamble stated that His Majesty had entered into a Convention; and it was to be enacted that it was expedient to give effect to it by legislation. The whole of the provisions of the Bill must therefore be construed as being subordinate to the terms of the Convention. If the Committee were to pass the clause they were now discussing, which gave the Government power to prohibit the importation of sugar, the question arose in what sense the word "sugar" was to be interpreted. Article I contemplated this very difficulty; and indicated in perfectly clear language that sugar was to be taken not merely as sugar in a raw state, but sugar which had entered into the composition of other articles. It was perfectly clear that the policy contemplated was not to be limited to the discontinuance by each country of the practice of feeding the manufacture of sugar by means of bounties; it was also to prevent the importation by other countries of bounty-fed sugar. In other words, the policy was that the contracting countries should not only not give bounties themselves but should suppress bounties in other countries, either by prohibition or countervailing duties. It might possibly be contended that the word "sugar" should be differently 1623 construed in Article I., and in Articles IV. and VIII., and if a Court of law had to construe the Act, it would be limited to the words of the Convention itself.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that if any question of doubt arose, reference might be made to the procès verbal.
§ MR. LAWSON WALTON
said he did not agree. This was to be an Act of Parliament which the Courts would have to construe, and on the interpretation of which important private rights depended; and he said, without the smallest fear of contradiction from any lawyer in the House, that if the Act came up for interpretation by any Court of law, regard would be had only to the terms of the Act itself construed in connection with the language of the Convention. In Article I. they got the clearest possible indication not only of what sugar was but of the policy to which effect was to be given by the Convention. That policy was to crush the system of feeding sugar by bounties, and not only sugar itself but sugar which was embodied in other products. For the purposes of this provision sugar included products of which sugar formed a notable proportion. Tile right hon. Gentleman did not give a single argument to show why a distinction should be drawn between sugar to be exported as such and sugar which was to be used in the manufacture of biscuits, chocolates, and other commodities. Certainly the Convention drew no such distinction. The right hon. Gentleman said that the word "sugar" in Articles IV. and VIII. did not mean sugar sweetened articles; but in construing Articles IV. and VIII. it would be necessary to look back on Article I., which stated that sugar was to be taken as including sugar products. As the Bill stood it would he certain to lead to the greatest confusion, because it embraced two distinct definitions of the commodity to which it referred. In such a state of confusion a case for a definition clause had been amply made out. If ever there was a Bill which was ambiguous it was the measure now before the Committee, and surely a clause was required to remove ambiguity and to throw light on its dark places. There were two or 1624 three distinct views as to what the word "sugar" meant; and the Committee ought to have some authoritative opinion on the subject.
§ SIR SAMUEL HOARE (Norwich)
said he wished to express the hope that his right hon. friend would see his way to modify the wording of the Bill in order that the difficulty referred to might be removed. He confessed he himself, as one who had taken a great interest in the matter, had been puzzled by the wording of the Convention. He looked very carefully at the phraseology; and it conveyed to him that sugar did include sugar-sweetened products, and that that Convention did not merely refer to the production of sugar itself. He had supported this Bill because as a very strong free trader he was opposed to bounties of every kind. He thought this Bill was going to stop bounties, but if there was this uncertainty about thin point that would not be the result of the Convention, because these sugar-sweetened commodities would come in free. For instance, the greater proportion of chocolate was sugar, and in bounty-giving countries they might think it would pay them better to manufacture their sugar into chocolate. He expressed the hope that this matter might be made quite clear. It must be made clear that if they were to penalise those countries that gave bounties on sugar they would not allow them to enter into free competition with the manufacturers of this country, with these sugar sweetened commodities of which sugar-formed the chief part.
§ MR. BRYCE
said they had often heard complaints of the obscurity of the statutes of this country and the vagueness of their drafting, but the worst drawn statute ever passed by the House was lucidity itself as compared with this Bill As he understood, the view of the Government was that Article I. was to be read in such a way that the term sugar was to mean sweetmeats, chocolates, biscuits, condensed milk and all analogous products, but that that definition was to be strictly confined to Article I. and did not apply to the other Articles of the Convention. Article IV. applied to sugar alone. There were two ways of stopping 1625 bounties, one by preventing the importation of goods into the country, and the other by imposing countervailing duties on bounty-fed sugars. This was not a Bill for the suppression of sugar bounties at all. It was a Bill for changing the form in which bounties were to be given. The bounty on sugar was to be turned into a bounty on sugar-sweetened goods which might still be bounty-fed. Nothing in the Convention prevented it. When they had to deal with any of the contracting States they relieved them from the only kind of pressure that could be applied, and as regards the non-contracting States the Convention was not worth the paper it was written upon. With regard to the non-contracting States Article IV. was of no effect at all. This Bill took the bounty from a branch of industry which did not affect Great Britain, and put it on a branch of industry that did affect Great Britain very largely, by bringing into competition with the manufacturers of this country, who would have to buy dear raw material, articles similar to those which they manufactured which might be bounty-fed. He was astonished at the number of faults that obtruded themselves in every line of this Convention, and he was astonished that the Government did not share in the demand that it should at least be intelligent.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he could hardly believe the right hon. Gentleman had contemplated the evil that was being done. He believed the intention of all those who were present at the Convention was that these sugar-sweetened articles should be included in the definition of the word "sugar." The Convention was fearfully and wonderfully made. It was a Convention to benefit France at English expense. He was told that the profit on a pound of sugar manufactured into preserve was equal to the profit of fifty pounds of sugar dealt with in the sugar refineries. Sugar refineries in this country only employed 2,500 men, and under the Convention they might employ another 1,000, but those employed in other industries affected by this Convention, excluding the manufacturing of biscuits, were nearly 100,000. It was almost incredible that such a 1626 project should be seriously placed before the House of Commons for acceptance. This was a Bill, not for the suppression of bounties, but for the encouragement of foreign industries and the discouragement of British industries. It was the first example, out of a bulk, of the great new fiscal policy by which the drooping British industries were to be regenerated. The only thing to be introduced was glucose—that went into beer and was to be encouraged. The new policy, therefore, was one of cheap beer and dear jam. It was hardly to be believed that the Government had contemplated the possibility of these things happening. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the proposals applied only to non-contracting States. But some of the contracting parties were guilty of giving bounties, and they would help each other to evade the Convention. The effect of the Convention would be to exclude raw material which would be useful to us, and to allow bounties to be given upon manufactures which would shut out our products and make it difficult for us to compete in neutral markets. It was almost inconceivable that any Govern went in its senses could have done anything of the sort. The Government had been advised by only two experts, of whom one was engaged in sugar refining and the other in West Indian cane; they had been taken in by everybody; they had exercised no judgment, discretion, or knowledge; and they had shown a simplicity beyond belief. The position of the Government was that they had accepted the Convention, and could therefore do nothing. He suggested that they should allow the House of Commons to impose its will upon them; they would then be relieved of responsibility, and no blame could be placed upon theta by the other contracting parties.
Mk. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said the whole of the Convention rested on the basis of sugar products being included under the denomination of "sugar." It was easy to see how the Government had got into their present mess. They first of all got into a difficulty over the self-governing colonies, and got out of it by a repudiation before the Convention was ratified The mess they now in was that if they were to 1627 carry out the Convention they would have to include all products into which sugar entered, which, according to our Customs tariff, would mean the inclusion of blacking, rose petals, violet leaves, and Angostura bitters. Surely, since the Bill was a violation of the Convention, it ought to be withdrawn. With regard to indirect bounties the Government proposed to carry out the Convention, and, no matter how remote, given a direct payment, the bounty might be, prohibition was to be applied. The right hon. Gentleman has stated that this unfortunate state of affairs could arise only in regard to non-contracting States. But that did not make it any the more just; it made it the more supremely ridiculous. if a non-contracting State gave a bounty on sugar or chocolate or biscuits, nothing short of prohibition would suffice, whereas if all the sugar was put into biscuits it could be imported to the extent of millions of tons without the imposition of countervailing duties, prohibition, or anything else. That was the absolute destruction of the Convention. The right hon. Gentleman positively proposed to stand in the ports and, in the case of a non-contracting State giving bounties, sternly to reject., as though it were false money or obscene books, every pound of sugar that might be sent, but if the sugar was sent in the form of biscuits, chocolate, blacking or Angostura bitters, it would be admitted without question. That was an absolute fraud on the States which had signed the Convention, and it was a greater violation of the agreement than the repudiation concerning the self-governing colonies, because in this case, after the Convention had been signed and a Bill introduced into Parliament, the Government had the unparalleled assurance to avow to the House of Commons that they did not mean to carry it out. That was what it really came to, and it could hardly be supposed that the contracting States would be satisfied with such a position.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
asked the right hon. Gentleman to what document he was referring when he directed the 1628 attention of the Committee to a discussion which had taken place on this subject.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
was understood to say that it was the report of the proceedings of tile Conference at Brussels.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that those documents had not been laid before Parliament, and he believed there had never been an instance of such negotiations leading to such a Convention where the protocols and the proceès verbaux of the whole proceedings had not been laid before Parliament. The documents which had been placed in the Library were the procès verbaux of the later sittings. In his opinion the reason why these documents had been concealed from Parliament was, that whereas the Government had argued that by their policy they had imposed a certain line on the other Powers, it was perfectly notorious that the whole desire for the abolition of bounties came from France arid Germany, who had put their heads together, settled a policy and imposed it upon our Government. The prods procès verbaux had been kept back, a proceeding for which there was no precedent in connection with any such negotiations.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
reminded the Committee that he had appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to lay these documents on the Table, especially as he had stated that the Convention was to be construed by the pricès verbaux
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said the hon. and learned Member for Leeds had laid it down—and he believed it to be good law—that the Courts of law would be driven by the words of this statute to the Convention, and the Government had declared that the Convention was to be interpreted by the procès verbaux, which had not been laid before Parliament. The document which had been laid before Parliament was a most foolish Blue-book, consisting for the most part of votes of thanks from the West Indian Colonies to the Secretary of State for the Colonies 1629 As the hon. Member for King's Lynn had pointed out, they were obliged to surround their sugar duties with a perfect maze of duties upon all manufactured products into which sugar entered. In the Conference at Brussels those great British interests of jam and biscuit making into which sugar entered were not properly represented. Therefore as there was nobody to advise the Conference the interests of those industries had gone by the board. There was one other matter which had not been mentioned in connection with this subject, and to which attention must be called in the future. Various forms of preserved milk from abroad were competing with milk at home. This was very serious indeed, and the British farmer would not be pleased to find that the introduction of sweetened milk would be encouraged by foreign bounties while the Government were professing to destroy bounties by this Bill.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said they had certainly been very much astonished by the statement which had been made by the President of the Board of Trade, because he did not think there was a single hon. Member, when this question was first raised, who was not convinced that sugar meant also sugared goods. While they were to prohibit bounty-fed sugar they were prevented from penalising the bounty-fed products. The right hon. Gentleman said that this only applied to the contracting States. What fell from the hon. member for King's Lynn was very much to the point, because in this matter they were making their Convention with the contracting States on the supposition that they were all going to retire something for the common good, but they were going to give the other States an advantage in this branch of their work. He wished to know what would be the position of Italy, for she was a sort of semi-contracting State, and she did not come under the Convention until she began to export sugar. When Italy began to export sugar she would then become a party to the Convention. It was quite clear that in Article VI. the word "sugar" meant sugar and not sugared goods. Italy was one of their great competitors, and the result was that one of the contracting Powers would be practically able to export bounty-fed 1630 sugared goods in competition with those manufactured in this country. In Switzerland bounty-fed sugar was to be allowed to go in transit. In Switzerland sugar was used largely in milk and other confections in competition with this country. Bounty-fed sugar could go to Switzerland, where it could be made into sugared products and then come into competition with the English markets, and those goods could not be prohibited under the Convention. Take the case of Austria-Hungary. It was quite clear that they did not intend bringing their legislation in accordance with the Convention, and therefore they would be a non-contracting State.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
In today's papers there is a telegram stating that Austria-Hungary has brought her legislation into harmony with the Convention.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
No, but, we have had every reason to believe that Austria-Hungary would bring her legislation into accordance with the Convention.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that at all events the question might arise with regard to France. It was very likely that France might find she was not able to bring her drawback into accordance with the Convention, and she would then go out of the Convention, and compete unfairly with our manufacturers with her bounty-fed sweetmeats. As his hon. friend the Member for Norwich had said, this was a serious matter for the manufacturers of sugared goods. Under this Convention the cost of production of these goods would be raised, because they would have to pay more for sugar, while the foreigner, under the Convention, would pay less, because the price of sugar abroad would be lower, whilst in this country it would be increased. Under the Convention, as the right hon. Gentleman interpreted it, there would he this bounty-fed competition in the markets in which the cost of production had already been raised. The additional competition for these goods would be very severe 1631 indeed. He had several of those manufacturers in his own constituency, and there were many others in London who employed a very large number of men and women, and at present their margin of profits was very small, but under this Bill that margin would entirely disappear. They were going to have under the guise of this Convention and free trade this unfair competition. The difficulty in carrying out this Act was to define what was sugar and what was sugared goods. That would lead to considerable difficulty. The fact was that the right hon. Gentleman declined to accept any Amendment, however reasonable and however likely to improve the position of the country, because the Government had determined not to have a Report stage. He hoped the Government would reconsider their position and make sonic statement that they would exercise their own judgment and penalise sugared goods as much as they penalised sugar, because if they did not do so they would be doing a very serious injury to those particular trades.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that his hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn, who had accused the Government of a gross breach of faith towards the other contracting Powers, was not in the House when he explained why he could not accept the Amendment. He then pointed out that the Convention itself drew a distinction between sugar to which sugared products were assimilated for the purposes of Article I., whereas in the other Articles sugar alone was mentioned. To convince the Committee that that was not an unintentional oversight, he quoted certain words from the procès verbaux. He Was very sorry if those procès had not been laid on the Table, but he was bound to say that he thought the attention of his noble friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ought to have been called to it.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that the Amendment could not be accepted, because it would distinctly go beyond the Convention in a Bill, the object of which was to give effect to that Convention. Before the Convention it was open to any countries giving bounties to give them on 1632 the production or export of sugared products, and it was still open to the non-contracting States to do so; but the effect of the Convention as regarded the contracting States was to prevent them from giving such bounties. But then it had been said that the contracting states instead of importing sugar into this country would import sugar products, and that their attention would be turned to sugar made articles rather than to the manufacture and export of sugar itself. He was bound to say he did not think that was a very serious danger at the present time. The only countries where that was at all likely to occur were Russia arid Switzerland. Russia would have to create an industry in sugar products in order to export them in such a way as to injure the manufacturers of chocolate in this country. In the case of Switzerland that country would be in no better position with the Convention than before. It was perfectly true that hon. Members opposite took it for granted that our confectioners would have to pay more for the sugar which they used in their industry than they did now. He very much doubted, as he had already explained to the House at great length, whether that would be the case, and therefore he did not entertain the apprehension which had been so freely expressed by Gentlemen on the Benches opposite. The hon. Member opposite was absolutely wrong in saying that confectioners would be worsened rather than improved by the provisions of the Convention with respect to the surtax. The Convention with respect to the surtax would reduce any possible advantage the home producer might have over the foreign importer to a maximum of six francs in the ease of refined sugar, and five francs fifty centimes on unrefined sugar. The result of that would be, he believed, that our sugar products would find a freer entry into the contracting States than they had hitherto done. Certainly the import of the articles into the contracting States would not be rendered more difficult. He granted it was conceivable that danger might arise, such as the hon. Member for Norwich laid great stress upon, and that we might find in future our confectionery and jam manufactures, and so forth, exposed to unfair 1633 competition. He said distinctly on behalf of the Government that if that was to occur they should certainly be prepared to consider the suggestion of the hon. Member for Poplar that, outside of any Bill for carrying into effect the provisions of the Convention, they should take such precautions as might be necessary to prevent injury to the trades concerned. It would he wrong in his judgment to insert in a Bill which was to give effect to the Convention provision against a danger which the Convention did not contemplate.
§ MR. ROBSON (South Shields)
said the contracting States seemed to have so framed this Convention that no penalty should be attached to the export of bounty-fed products. The danger arose in the non-contracting States who were likely to disregard this arrangement It was quite clear that this country would not gain by it. They were now to have dearer sugar in this country, so that the German manufacturer of chocolate, confectionery, or biscuits would no longer have this country bountied against himself. He would be in a better position for competition with this country, because owing to the absence of supervision over his manufactures he would be able to get an exaggerated drawback, or, in other words, he would really get a bounty. It was almost impossible, as fiscal experience showed, to prevent drawbacks from becoming exaggerated. It Would seem as if the Commission had carefully excluded sugar productions from the provisions of the Convention, and therefore, if a bounty were placed on chocolate or any confectionery there would he apparently no remedy. So far as he could see this country must appeal in vain to the Commission. Even if the Commission took up the appeal, and reported that one of the contracting States was guilty of giving a bounty there would be no remedy, There was no penalty, so that, if the Convention stood as it was, the Government would be transferring the attack which they said was being made upon the sugar refining industry of tins country to all other industries that used sugar as a raw material. It was not a suppression at but a mere transfer of the attack. Such slipshod legislation ought not to be adopted when they were dealing with 1634 the interests of the people. It was not for the President of the Board of Trade to get up and say, "It may be that this legislation will be detrimental to some of our great industries, but the moment it turns out to be so we will deal with it in this House." It was not right that the Board of Trade should subject the industries which were so much greater than those they were seeking to protect to the danger which would be brought about by this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman ought either to reconsider his position or adopt some attitude like Austria-Hungary and thus relieve this country from the present position. He hoped it would be clearly understood that the Government were undoubtedly interfering with a great trade, preventing the free course of commercial desires and tendencies, and were not really achieving the benefit they had promised by suppressing bounties.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR,
said that as an attack had been made on him and the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs for not having provided hon. Members with copies of the procès verbaux he might say that the Solicitor-General for Scotland had just been to the Library and found two copies of the procès verbaux there.
§ MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
said he wanted to reduce this matter to a practical point. In his constituency there were a large number of manufacturers who used sugar, and he had the duty of meeting them to-morrow to explain this Bill. Though he found it extremely difficult to keep his blood cool over this abominable measure he did not wish to be unfair. Most of those whom he was to meet used bounty-fed sugar and they would probably ask him "supposing a cargo of bounty-fed sugar arrives in the Mersey and the Government follows its principle of prohibition, that would have to be cast into the sea, but supposing a cargo of sugar goods comes to the Mersey, are the importers to be quite free to come into competition with us?" His constituents complained that they would suffer from a double draw back— that they would be deprived of the advantage of cheap bounty-fed sugar as raw material, and that they would be put into competition with bounty-fed 1635 sugar products. The Government did not think that that would be the case, but the Government had not shown conspicuously great prescience or prophetic gift. It was a very small comfort for an hon. Member to take back to his constituents that the right hon. Gentleman had said that the Govern-would take into consideration the advisability of meeting their views. He was afraid that his constituents would have to wait until the Greek Kalends, or in the meantime to go through the Bankruptcy Court.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that he did not think that the right hon. Gentleman had appreciated the meaning of the document he had quoted. The right hon. Gentleman now said that Article 1 only applied to the contracting States, and not to the non-contracting States, and he fortified himself by quoting fromproceès verbal
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said he quoted the procès verbal to show that it had been clearly stated by the permanent Commission that the definition of sugar products applied to Article I.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that it was clear from the procès-verbal that every member of the permanent Commission intended that sugar products should not be bounty-fed any more than sugar. Anything else would be nonsense. He wanted to bring this matter to a definite issue. The right hon. Gentleman knew that he had been already denounced by Russia as a violater of the most-favoured-nation clause With regard to the declaration made when he ratified the treaty, he was told by Austria, by Germany and by France that they entirely disagreed with his view of his obligation, and that they held themselves perfectly free to take such retaliatory action as they considered necessary. Had the right hon. Gentleman communicated this entirely novel view—novel to him, and certainly novel to the President of the Conference which he had sprung on the House of Commons—to the other contracting parties? Was there any answer to that? The right hon. Gentleman made no answer. He maintained that unless the 1636 right hon. Gentleman had done that, and had received the aquiescence of the other contracting parties to this non-natural view of the Convention, it was not fair or right to come to this House and ask to apply the prohibition to the contracting States, and leave the non-contracting States free. To ask them to believe that the penalties were not to apply to the sugar products of the non-contracting States was a mockery; it was making fun of the House of Commons. Again he put the question: "Did the contracting parties take the same view as the right hon. Gentleman held, that all sugar products were to be admitted free, if they were bounty-fed?" Had the right hon. Gentleman had any communication with the foreign Governments in regard to that point? He imagined not; he was sure not; he was quite certain not. The right hon. Gentleman's silence convinced him that he had not more than a most eloquent statement. The position taken by the right hon. Gentleman was humiliating to the Government, discreditable, and contrary to all good faith with the contracting States.
§ MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
said that the opinion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn was in agreement with the interpretation made by the high legal authority of the hon. Member for Leeds. The right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Board of Trade, took an entirely different view. This again raised a point, why were not the Law Officers of the Crown there? No end of time was being wasted, because the Committee could not get any proper legal opinion from the responsible legal advisers of h is Majesty's Government. If the President of the Board of Trade was right in his interpretation, the situation was of the utmost importance. Great businesses had sprung up and grown in this country under the stimulus of cheap bounty fed sugar. They were doing much to endanger the prosperity of these industries by raising the price of sugar, as he believed they would do under the Convention. But they were now going to make the position worse, because they were going to enable non-contracting States to import into this country confectionery, jam, and other 1637 things made from bounty-fed sugar. He thought that this was the most anti-English Bill that had ever been introduced into the House of Commons. Some hon. Members opposite wanted what they called fair trade. Were they going to get fair trade under this Bill? This was the first fruits of the new retaliatory policy They were not only going to raise the price of the raw materials by this Convention, and so handicap our own industries, but to encourage competition by foreign countries on an utterly unfair basis. They were going to condemn one kind of "dumping" which had paid us, and to encourage another kind of "dumping" which was detrimental. If the House of Commons was going to pass a Bill like this it was unworthy of the confidence of the nation.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said the discussion this afternoon had been interesting and instructive. It had taught the House of Commons, as well as some members of the Government, what happened when they interfered with the natural course of trade. He thought the Government must be convinced that they could not possibly maintain the position they had taken up. They might bring in their supporters from the lobbies and smoking rooms and defeat the Amendment, but they must see that the Amendment was absolutely necessary. Two questions were involved. The first was were they bound by the Convention to prohibit the importation of sugar - sweetened articles? He should take the view of his hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn that the first Article governed the whole thing, and that Clause 4 applied equally to sugared articles as to sugar. The President of the Board of Trade, whether advised by the law officers or not, thought otherwise. Suppose the right hon. Gentleman was right, the terms of the Convention did not prevent Parliament from passing such an Amendment as this, which was quite in consonance with all the terms of the Convention They had a perfect right to do so if they liked. The power of the House of Commons was not quite curtailed by the Convention at Brussels. Was it desirable to give the Government this power? 1638 It had been shown that the British producer of sugared articles, after this Convention was enforced, would be in a very inferior position to his foreign competitors. In the case of the familiar example of Switzerland, although the conditions of the producer of condensed milk in Switzerland would not be altered, the condition of the British producer would be altered, because while the Swiss producer could get bounty-fed sugar from Russia, his British competitor would have to obtain his sugar at the price fixed by the Convention. If that was the case why should not the Government take in the present Bill a power to prohibit sugared articles. What harm was there in that? The right hon. Gentleman had said if the prognostications of so many hon. Members were right, he would come to the House later and ask for powers. Why should he not take the powers now? The Government then would have all the powers necessary, and they could at once say sugared articles should be prohibited. Time could be saved if the Government were now to accept an Amendment which might be necessary to carry out the terms of the Convention; which was not, at all events, opposed to the Convention, and which was necessary to protect the British manufacturer of sugared articles from unfair competition.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
pointed out that this very matter was discussed at the twelfth sitting of the Convention on the 20th of June, at great length, in connection with the "certificate of origin," when it was proposed on behalf of all the contracting Powers except Great Britain that there should be words put into the "certificate of origin" which would have specifically dealt with this question of sugared articles, and the very instance brought forward on that occasion was the case of Switzerland. The words proposed to be put in were that the same description was to apply to sugared products. But Sir Henry Bergne, on behalf of Great Britain, expressed the opinion that no special words should be put in, and said it would be better to leave to the various contracting Powers the power to take those measures which each should think necessary from the point of view of the interests of their own trade. So that Sir Henry Bergne had evidently foreseen the very Amendment upon which they 1639 were engaged that afternoon. It was true that he had rather given the case away afterwards because he went on to say it would be better to leave the questions provisionally open until the month of October next, when they would be able to see what the difficulties were found to be in practice, and then the Commission would be able to see what measures it would be necessary to take to remedy them. That was quite a different proposal, and therefore he had thought it right to mention it, but the first proposal of Sir Henry Bergne was that each Power should deal with this question.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said he should like an answer to the Question he had previously put in the form of a statement. Italy was not at present a contracting power. She would become a contracting power when she was in a position to export sugar. But supposing she exported sugared goods and not sugar, did she become a contracting State? If she did not there was nothing to prevent her giving large bounties on sugared articles and entering into unfair competition with home manufactured goods.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
replied that the question was one for the decision of the International Commission.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
thought the right hon. Gentleman was somewhat unreasonable. The Convention left a great many matters to settle, and the right hon. Gentleman was now asking the Government to say beforehand what the findings of the Commission would be.
§ MR. LOUGH
asked whether under those circumstances it would not be better to leave the whole thing to the Commission, and not to pass this Bill through the House? If the right hon. Gentleman did pass the Bill it ought to 1640 be a complete Bill, and an intelligent Bill, which our merchants could understand. If, after the explanations which had taken place, the Government proceeded any further with this Bill, they would give one of the most disastrous blows to British commerce that had been given to it for many generations. It was all very well for learned Members of the House to translate the Articles of Convention to the House, but he claimed that the Articles of Convention were not before the House until they were printed in English. He would not be surprised himself if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who he noticed was now present, was not at the bottom of all this difficulty, because if all these sugared articles were included in the definition of the word sugar a large number of factories and warehouses which were now free would have to be bonded. It was this difficulty of bonding the warehouses which had made the Government cut the Gordian knot by saying that all sugared products of this country were not going to be scheduled as sugar he would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer was it right to put these prohibitive provisions on raw material and allow the manufactured article to come in free? Generally speaking, the exactly opposite principle was adopted. If that was intended it was a monstrous thing.
§ * THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
said what the proposal would seem to involve was the placing the manufacture of all these products in this country in bond. However, he expressed no decided opinion. He did not believe there was the slightest probability of bounty-fed sugared products being imported. Certainly they could not come from any of the countries that were parties to the Convention. Then the question arose whether some of the other countries might not by means of bounty-fed sugar make these products and export them to this country. He did not believe there was the slightest probability of anything of the kind happening, but if it did then the Government would at once take action in order to prevent it. They did not want to put all the manufacturing trades in this country who 1641 made articles composed mainly of sugar to the inconvenience of manufacturing in bond. If, and when, the difficulty arose they should certainly proceed to take action.
§ Mr. LOUGH
said that the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman reminded him of the scriptural maxim, "The way of the transgressor is hard." If it was not right to put all these factories in bond, why was it right to put any? Why were the sixteen sugar refineries to be placed in bond? The cat had now been let out of the bag. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had now admitted it was the difficulty of administering the Act which had pressed the Government to take the tortuous policy they were adopting in the Bill. How could the Chancellor of the Exchequer tell the probabilities? If the House of Commons had any of its old spirit it would not accept such a situation. Every explanation they got only made the matter worse.
§ MR. BUTCHER (York)
said he hoped before the Committee came to an end a provision would be inserted in the Bill that would prevent this country suffering from the importation of sugared articles made from bounty-fed sugar. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not say that such a thing was not possible, in fact lie admitted the probability of it, because he had intimated that if it did occur he would take measures to prevent our manufacturers being treated unfairly. As the matter stood, the right hon. Gentleman had not the power to do so, and therefore he urged the right hon. Gentleman to take powers under this Bill, so that when necessity arose, the Government would be able to take action at once. If it were not possible to accept the Amendment proposed, he would sudgest to the Government that they shoulg themselves bring forward an Amendment in this sense—that where they were satisfied that bounty-fed sugar products were being introduced into this country they would either prohibit them or impose countervailing duties. He felt very strongly that we ought to arm ourselves with these powers.
was not surprised that the hon. and learned Member for Yrok had intervened, because the question 1642 seriously affected his constituents. What would the great firm of Rowntree feel to-morrow when they read that this House had decided that a free licence was to be given to foreign manufacturers to compete with their industry? And tins was the new policy! The question of bond did not arise here. The Chancellor of the Exchequer showed total absence of knowledge. The Colonial Secretary really ought to he sent for. They were knocking the bottom out of the new policy entirely. What were these wonderful expert advisers of the Government doing at the Convention to allow things to get into this state? The Government had not the slightest intention of protecting our home manufacturers against the dumping down of bounty-fed sugared articles. If the House of Commons submitted to this it was not worthy of the continued confidence of the people.
§ MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)
said that although the debate had lasted for sonic hours, not a single word had been said in real antagonism to the Amendment, and even the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill had not spoken in any radical way against it. Was not the real meaning of the attitude of the Government to be found in their determination to avoid a Report stage? Was that a dignified course to take? Would it not—and he spoke as a strong supporter of the Government—would it not be better almost to abandon the Bill than to think so lightly of it that the Government would seek to avoid the Report stage in regard to it? The President of the Board of Trade had said that the Amendment contravened certain clauses, and violated the spirit of the Convention. It seemed to him, however, to be a legitimate carrying out of the first clause, which they had been told was in the nature of a preamble. The Chairman had thoroughly admitted every point, and regarded the Amendment as in perfect order. He therefore submitted there was little in the right hon. Gentleman's contention. The next suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman was that if the Amendment proved in the future to be necessary, a fresh Bill might be introduced. That was hardly a business-like proceeding. It ought to be a case of "now or never." The Government were getting into a rather tight place. He was bound to say that in any 1643 deliberative assembly in which Members had a free hand the Amendment would have to be accepted, and if the Government would give them a free hand now he was confident it would be carried by a large majority. The case for its acceptance had been made out. Great industries were involved; one of them employing 100,000 men. If they went carefully and methodically through the industries they would find that something like 500,000 men were affected by the measure. An Amendment of this sort was not a thing to scamp, and a Report stage, under such circumstances, was not a thing to avoid. If the Government could make no promise for the future, nor accept the Amendment, he should most unwillingly, and with great regret, be compelled to vote against them.
§ * MR. WALTER PALMER (Salisbury)
said the basis of the argument of the hon. Member for Devonport was, in his opinion, entirely wrong. The hon. Member feared that the manufacturers in this country would suffer from the competition of foreign nations in sending to this country articles containing bounty-fed sugar, and he repeated the statement that the average price of sugar was likely to be higher in the future than in the past. As he had not been able to express his views during the Second Reading debate, he wished to take tins opportunity of saying that, after most careful study of the whole question, he believed that the President of the Board of Trade was perfectly correct in stating that apart from mere fluctuation in price for the moment, the average price of sugar in the future would not be higher than it had been in recent years. The underlying argument in all the speeches made by opponents of the Government was that the price of sugar would rise. He wished emphatically to say that he disagreed with hon. Members opposite. If this view proved to be correct, the contention of the hon. Member for Devonport fell to the ground. The insertion of this Amendment would probably render it absolutely impossible to work the Act. There were hundreds, probably thousands, of such articles coming into the country, and it would be quite impossible to carry out the clause if the words were inserted.
§ MR. PIERPOINT (Warrington)
suggested that the words of the Convention "sugar-sweetened products such as preserves, &c." were better than the words of the Amendment. He thought the President of the Board of Trade ought to let the Committee know whether he intended to resist any Amendment of this clause in order to avoid a Report stage, or whether it was because he considered himself bound by the Convention to permit no Amendment. If the desire was to avoid the Report stage he could understand the position; but if the right hon. Gentleman considered himself precluded by the Convention from accepting any Amendment, he could not understand it at all. The provisions of Article I. were not confined to Article I. That Article was obviously in the nature of a preamble, and the expansion of the meaning of the word "sugar" applied to all the Articles in the Convention. Then in Article I. there were the interpreting clauses as to bonuses and bounties, and he presumed that those interpreting clauses were intended to apply to other Articles also. With regard to what be looked upon as the very real difficulty in connection with the trade, it was not at all satisfactory to be told by the right hon. Gentleman and the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, if the difficulty arose, they would at once deal with it. For twenty-five years legislation on this bounty question had been awaited, and what guarantee was there that, if the difficulty arose, the Government of the day would at once deal with a particular industry if other matters pressed? On tins particular part of the Convention the Government had put themselves into such a position that it would be extremely difficult for some of their most faithful adherents to support them.
§ MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)
asked whether any investigations had been made by the Board of Trade to ascertain the exact amount of bounty-fed sugar goods which came into this country from nations outside the Convention. On an important matter of this sort definite figures ought to be given. He further asked where the line was to be drawn, and at what definite point the Government would be prepared to take action.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said it was a complete mistake to suppose that if power were taken to prohibit the importation of bounty-fed biscuits arid other commodities it would be necessary to manufacture those articles in bond. A most important point had been raised in the debate, and he understood that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was open to be convinced. The point was that if the Government were taking power to prohibit, under certain circumstances, the importation of bounty-fed sugar, they were bound by the Convention also to prohibit the importation of bounty-fed sugared products. The first clause was more or less an interpretation clause. If it was not an interpretation clause for sugar, how could it be contended that it was an interpretation clause for bounties? The contention of the Government that they could adopt the definition with regard to bounties and reject it with regard to sugar was a most unreasonable one. They surely could not intend to throw open all our ports to bounty-fed jams and biscuits while closing them to bounty-fed sugar. He hoped the Government would reconsider the matter, and either postpone the clause or undertake to amend it on Report. If that were done, he believed a great part of the difficulty could be got over. As to the Amendment before the Committee, he thought the words were not quite applicable; they were far too wide. The words of the Convention itself were much preferable.
§ MR. MARKHAM
asked where was the dividing line in this ridiculous Bill. Surely the right hon. Gentleman must justify this proposal and state where the dividing line came in.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said it was impossible to draw such a distinction, and it would be far better to deal with the matter by a separate Bill. The Government were entirely averse to putting in a provision which would carry with it certain other products, for that course would be exceedingly inconvenient. In all probability if sugared goods were included it would be necessary to carry on every kind of manufacture, in which sugar was employed, in bond, and they wanted to avoid that. If the difficulty 1646 should occur it was better that they should deal with it unencumbered by a provision of this kind.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
said he found himself entirely at a loss to understand the position which the Government had taken up in regard to this clause. How did they stand? It was conceded that the effect of the Convention and of this Bill when they became law would be this. On the one hand it was proposed that the Government of this country under this Bill would have the power of prohibiting the importation of bounty-fed sugar in the ordinary sense of the term. Therefore, the raw material, which was an important ingredient in their supplementary manufactures, could no longer be imported into this country. That was clear. On the other hand, by the rejection of the Amendment which his hon. friend had proposed, it would be out of the power of the Government to take the same steps, that was to say, to propose a prohibition upon bounty-fed manufactured products. The raw material would necessarily be excluded, but there was no power to exclude the manufactured article, although that manufactured article was produced out of a bounty-fed raw material. That was very paradoxical and unbusinesslike, and, in view of the recent proposals, a more absurdly illogical proposition to lay before Parliament it was impossible to conceive. What was the answer which the President of the Board of Trade made when this difficulty was pointed out, not only from this side of the House, but by some of the firmest and unwavering supporters of the Government? He said that the Government would deal with the case when it arose. It was a danger, the occurrence of which was rendered distinctly more probable by the provisions of this very Bill, because if the effect of this Bill was going to he as they supposed it would be, to cheapen the price of sugar in those foreign countries, it would necessarily and pro pro tanto stimulate the manufacturing industries, and induce the countries which were not parties to the Convention to introduce an additional motive for giving a stimulus to those manufactured products. The Bill itself tended to accelerate and intensify the state of things against which the Amendment was 1647 directed, and the only answer of the Government was to deliberately throw away the only opportunity of remedying this. They were asked to wait until the danger was upon them, and until some serious encroachment had been made. Then, and not till then, the Government declared, they would make a belated application to Parliament to do that which they could do now. He would not inquire what were the motives of the Government. He had heard it suggested on the other side of the House that there was a desire to pass this Bill through without the necessity for further consideration on the Report stage. It was far too serious a matter to tamper with the interests and the security of one of the most valuable and the most growing industries of this country in order to save a few hours of Parliamentary time. Every argument which had been used pointed conclusively in one direction
§ and this was not disputed even by the Government themselves—namely, that when this danger did arise steps would have to be taken to deal with it. He strongly hoped that the House of Commons would rise superior both to the traditions of Parliament, and the desire for early holidays, and pass this Amend-merit
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 161; Noes, 90. (Division List No. 215.)1649
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Duke, Henry Edward||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,s|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Faber, E. B. (Hants, W.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lowther, C. (Comb., Eskdale)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir.J(Manc'r||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. AJ(Manch'r.)||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmonth,|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H.E(Wig'n.|
|Bhownggree, Sir M. M.||Flower, Ernest||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Bigwood, James||Forster, Henry William||Milvain, Thomas|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Foster, Philip S.(Warwick,S.W.||Montagu, Hon.J. Scott (Hants|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Galloway, William Johnson||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gardner, Ernest||Morgan, David J,(Walthamstow|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gibbs, HnA.G.H(City of Lond||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Murray, Rt HnA.(Graham(Bute|
|Bull, William James||Gortdon, Hn.J.E.(Elgin&Nairn||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Butcher, John George||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Campbell, J.H.M. (Dublin Univ||Gore, Hn G.R.C.Ormsby-(Salop||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Groves, James Crimple||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Hall, Edward Marshall||Percy, Earl|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld.G.(Midx||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon.J.(Birm,||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Worc||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Charrington Spencer||Hatch, Ernest Frederick George||Pryce-Jones, Lt. -Col. Edward|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Purvis, Robert|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A.E.||Heath, James (Staffords,N.W.||Randles, John S.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoare. Sir Samuel||Rankin, Sir James|
|Collings, Right Hon. Jesse||Hogg, Lindsay||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Howard, J. (Midd., Tott'ham||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Jeffreys, Rt. Fin. Arthur Fred||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Keswick, William||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Law, Andrew Boner (Glasgow)||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Renwick, George|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lawson, John Grant(YorksN.R||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Doughty, George||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Leveson-Gower Frederick N.S||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn, M.||Williams,RtHm1Powell-(Birm|
|Round. Rt. Hon. James||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Stroym, John||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hediey||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks.|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wodehouse, Rt. H n. E.R. (Bath.|
|Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Thornton, Percy M.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Tollemache, Henry James||Wylie, Alexander|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Valentia, Viscount||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Smith. Abel H. (Hertford, E.)||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Smith, James Parker(Lancerks.||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H|
|Spear, John Ward||Warde, Colonel C. E.||TELLERS FOR, THE Ayes—|
|Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Webb, Colonel William George||Sir Alexander Acland|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon||Hood and Mr. Austruther.|
|Asher, Alexander||Harwood, George||Priestley, Arthur|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy.||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Rigg, Richard|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Bell, Richard||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Holland, Sir William Henry||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Bowles, T. G. (Lyon Regis)||Horniman, Frederick John||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Briggs John||Humphreys-Owen. Arthur C.||Runciman, Walter|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk,||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Seely, Maj. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Jacoby, James Alfred||Shackleton, David James|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, Wm. (Cornarvonshire)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kearley, Hudson E.||Spencer, Rt HnC.R. (Northants|
|Caldwell, James||Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George||Taylor, Theodore C(Radcliffe)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||Thornas, F. Freeman (Hastings)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lawson, Sir -Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Levy, Maurice||Tomkinson, James|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lewis, John Herbert||Toulmin, George|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lough, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Crooks, William||Lundon, W.||Ure, Alexander|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Wallace, Robert|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Markham, Arthur Basil||Warner, Thos. Cuurtenay T.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Moss, Samuel||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.)||Wilson, H.J. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Norman, Henry||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Paulton, James Mellor||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Guest Hon Ivor Churchill||Perks, Robert William|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Price, Robert John|
§ Question put accordingly.1650
§ The Committee divided: —Ayes, 88; Noes, 156. (division List No. 216.)1651
|Asher, Alexander||Crooks, William||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Asquith. Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.|
|Bell, Richard||Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis||Dunn, Sir William||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Brigg, John||Elibank, Master of||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Emmott, Alfred||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Faber, George Denison (York)||Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Fenwick, Charles||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.|
|Burt, Thomas||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall),|
|Butcher, John George||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Levy, Maurice|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Griffith, Elks J.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Caldwell, James||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Lough, Thomas|
|Causton. Richard Knight||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Cawley, Frederick||Harwood, George||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Moss, Samuel|
|Corbett. A. Cameron (Glasg.)||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Cramer, William Randal||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Norman, Henry|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland||Wallace, Robert|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Seely-Maj. J.E.B.(Isle of Wight||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Shackleton, David James||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Perks, Robert William||Shipman, Dr. John G.||White, Luke (York,.E.R.)|
|Price, Robert John||Spencer,RtHn C.R. (Northants.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Priestley, Arthur||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R|
|Rigg, Richard||Thomas, F. Freeman(Hastings)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Thomson, F. W. (York,W. R.)|
|Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Tonikinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Robertson, Edmund (Dandee)||Toulmin, George||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Runciman, Walter||Tire, Alexander|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gardner, Ernest||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gibbs, Hon AGH(City of London||Pryce-Jones; Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Purvis, Robert|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Gordon, Hn. J.E.(Elgin & N'rn.||Randles, John S.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gore, Hn G.R.C. Orinsby-(Salop||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Groves, James Grimble||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W(Leeds||Hall, Edward Marshall||Remnant, Jas. Farquharson|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Renwick, George|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Bigwood, James||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Heath, James(Staffords., N.W||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hogg, Lindsay||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Jetrreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Bull, William James||Keswick, William||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Campbell, J.H M.(Dublin Univ.||Law, Andrew Boner (Glasgow||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Lawson, John Grant(Yorks. N R||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Lee, A. H. (Rants., Farcham)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cavendish, V.C. W. (Derbyshire||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S||Spear, John Ward|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Stanley, Edwaid Jas.(Somerset)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J.A.(Worc||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Lowe, Francis William||Stroyan, John|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Lowther, C. (Comb., Eskdale)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lowther, Rt. Hon. Jas. (Kent)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chirhester)|
|Collings, Right Hon. Jesse||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lundon, W.||Walentia, Viscount|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Macdona, John Cumming||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Grippe, Charles Alfred||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Walrond, Rt. Hu. Sir William H.|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Webb, Col. William George|
|Doughty, George||Milvain, Thomas||Whitmore, Charles Algernon.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants.)||William, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Elliot, Hon A. Ralph Douglas||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Mait'r||Nicholson, William Graham||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Fishier, William Hayes||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Flower, Ernest||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Forster, Henry William||Percy, Earl||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Galloway, 'William Johnson||Plummer, Walter R.|
* THE CHAIRMAN
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this evening.