§ Mr. HUNT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that the chairman of Pears, Limited, soap-makers, has decided to set up works in America, because of the American tariff and because American soap-makers copy their goods, advertisements, and name, and send their goods into our market entirely free; and whether 873 he proposes to take any action to prevent this handicap to British trade and British working people?
The hon. Member appears to have correctly reproduced a statement made by the chairman of the company at their recent general meeting. The proposal to erect a factory in the United States is not likely, I understand, to lead to any reduction in the staff employed in this country. I do not propose to take any action in the matter.
I am told on good authority that is not a correct statement in regard to the action of Messrs. Pears. I have read in newspapers that in consequence of high tariffs in other countries manufacturers come and carry on their manufactures here. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name," — "Singers" and "Westinghouse."]
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Is it the case—as the right hon. Gentleman assumes he is correct in stating—that there will be no effect on employment at Pears' works in this country when admittedly they have erected those works in America in order to take American trade which was previously done by them from here?
I do not think it necessarily follows. It really is a question of debate, and I can hardly be expected to deal with it in the form of an answer to a question.