§ Mr. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the opinion expressed by Lord Cromer, as stated in his official Report for 1904 on Gambling in Futures and Options on the Bourses of Egypt, in conjunction with the resolution passed at the International Cotton Congress at Manchester on the 9th instant, he will consider the advisability of the Government instructing His Majesty's representatives in Egypt, who are at present sitting as members of the International Judicial Congress on the question of gambling in futures in that country, to advocate repressive international legislative measures for the joint benefit of Egypt and of manufacturers, operatives, and users; and whether he will give instructions that the official proceedings of the International Cotton Congress recently held in Manchester, and also those of the International Agricultural Congress lately held in Rome, be published in Blue-book form in the same way as Lord Cromer's Report on Egypt was published.
(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) The hon. Gentleman has, I think, misapprehended the view expressed by Lord Cromer in his official Report for 1904, as the following passage will show: "On the other hand, most authorities hold the opinion, in which I venture to express my entire concurrence, that it is practically impossible, by legislation, to put a stop to speculation without, at the same time, causing great hindrance to trade in general. If anything is done, it will probably be in the direction of preparing a 'Régiement de Bourse,'…" In view hereof and of the fact that the resolution of the International Cotton Congress merely suggested certain technical alterations of trade practice, I do not think it would be expedient to act on the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman. I have no right to give any instructions as to the publication of the proceedings of the Cotton International Congress, which is an unofficial body, and as to the publication of the proceedings of the recent International Agricultural Congress, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will consult the President of the Board of Agriculture.