HC Deb 31 October 1906 vol 163 cc1121-2
MR. LIDDELL (Down, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, if an agreement has been arrived at between the Board of Trade and the manufacturers of this country as to the form the Government inquiries shall take under the Census of Production Bill; when this Bill will be considered by the Standing Committee on Trade; and will he take care, considering the leakage of Government official secrets in the Press, that the utmost precautions be taken in the event of the Bill passing into law to ensure that the information compulsorily supplied by manufacturers to the Board of Trade shall not be available for foreign or trade rivals, particularly in view of the handicaps imposed by our fiscal system on home manufacturers.


; My right hon friend has been in communication with a number of Members of this House and gentlemen outside this House possessing practical acquaintance with manufacture on certain points connected with the Census of Production Bill, and as a result of numerous conferences I propose setting down a number of Amendments limiting the nature of the inquiries to be made under the Bill. I also propose to insert a provision for the constitution of committees including representatives of various trades to advise the Board of Trade as to the form of the inquiries to be made under the Bill when passed into law. I hope that the Bill will be considered by the Grand Committee on Trade next Tuesday. Every care will be taken to make impossible any disclosure of information relating to individual firms or of a confidential nature, and stringent penalties are provided for in the Bill with this object.