§ MR. MOND
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that Class N, page 124, [Cd. 3092], contains such articles as linseed cake, cotton seed cake, and paraffin wax; and whether he can see his way to have such items transferred to Class 2, namely, raw materials and articles mainly unmanufactured.
1 bog also to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the classification on page 123, [Cd. 3092], Class 3, Sub-section J; and whether, in view of the fact that this class contains articles like brimstone, saltpetre, opium, indigo, dyewoods, and similar products which are mainly unmanufactured and the raw materials for industries in the United Kingdom, he can see his way to have these articles transferred to Class 2, namely, raw materials and articles mainly unmanufactured.
I beg further to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been directed to the fact that in the classification of imports, on page 119 of [Cd. 3092], Class B, practically the entire 35 imports of metals, namely, in an unmanufactured condition, such as tin in blocks, ingots, etc., pig lead, zinc, crude, etc., are included as articles wholly or mainly manufactured; and whether, in view of the fact that these articles are practically unmanufactured and form the raw material of industries in this country, he can see his way in future to have them included in Class 2 of articles mainly unmanufactured.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I will answer all these three questions together. The division between raw materials and manufactured articles must necessarily be of a somewhat arbitrary character and only a small proportion of the articles classed as "wholly or mainly manufactured" represents articles completely manufactured and ready for the consumer. The existing classification is the result of considerable discussion between the Board of Trade and the Customs, and was only brought into operation at the beginning of 1903. The principles on which it is based and the difficulties of classification were fully explained in Cd. 2337 of 1904. The point of greatest importance is to preserve continuity for purposes of comparison. I am accordingly not prepared to alter the system at present, as any advantage gained would not compensate for the confusion introduced by constant changes of classification.
§ MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)
asked whether for statistical purposes the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared to institute a new column showing imports which were used for giving employment to the working classes.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I do not think it desirable to disturb the present arrangement. Any change should be a general one and it should be an alteration which would remain in force some years or else the returns would be valueless for the purposes of comparison.
§ MR. CHIOZZA MONEY (Paddington, N.)
drew the right hon. Gentleman's attention to the system of classification adopted in the United States.