§ MR. FIELD
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware that, in consequence of the disorganisation of the cotton industry, mainly due to gambling operations in Liverpool, artificially raising the price of American cotton to 6d. a pound, the Federation of Master Employers in Lancashire have refused to meet the operatives demand for a rise in wages; and that, as a result, the operatives have threatened to send in notices for a general strike, to begin next month; whether he is aware that it is officially proved that the cause for this advance in the price of raw material is the outcome of misrepresentation in statistics and returns, and that President Roosevelt has ordered an official investigation; and whether he will confer with President Roosevelt with the object of adopting some international co-operative endeavour to prevent the evils arising from gambling operations in options and future contracts.
§ MR. FIELD
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware that the Lancashire Federation of Master Cotton Spinners on the 19th of July issued a circular appealing to the spinners on the Continent to co-operate with them in an endeavour to checkmate the manipulation of cotton by speculators; whether he is aware that, in the opinion of the Manchester Cotton Exchange, unless the designs of speculators are defeated, the cotton-spinning industry may again experience unprofitable trade, which would render necessary the adoption of short-time working; that the 1329 chairman of the International Cotton Committee has summoned a meeting, to be held in London on the 31st inst., to consider what recommendations should be made to counteract the operations of I gambling in the raw material; and whether he can state what steps, if any, the Government intend to propose to safeguard the welfare of the cotton industry.
(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) In reply to these two Questions, I fear I can only refer the hon. Member to the Answers I have previously given him, as I have really nothing to add to them.