HC Deb 14 March 1913 vol 50 cc667-9

had given notice of the following Amendment to the Address:—

"But humbly represent that, having regard to the now acknowledged world-wide ruin caused to national and international finance, legitimate traders, bonâ fide speculators, investors, manufacturers, spinners, producers, consumers, and the working classes in general by international gambling operations in non-existing quantities of cereals, staple commodities, stock exchange securities, silver, metals, and other raw materials, under the option, future, and warrant systems, which enables corners and artificial price depreciation to be caused by the systematic gambling operations of bears and bulls in fictitious quantities through paper currencies on the stock exchanges; and, further, that, as it has been proved by the various Government Blue Books issued since 1894 that the Governments and Parliaments of all great countries, except Great Britain, have in some form either passed, proposed, or have legislative measures in contemplation with the sole object of prohibiting or restricting all such purely gambling transactions and only legalising those for actual delivery, it is of paramount importance for the Government to inquire into and report upon this national and international issue with the view of introducing similar legislation in this country at an early date, and with the ulterior object of proposing an international conference amongst the civilised nations and British Dominions, in order to protect the world's finance, commerce, and agriculture from the international gambling systems as well as its masses from these and from trusts, combines, rings, and other monopolies which are also acknowledged to be the primal root-causes of the present artificially high cost of living and the various economic and social evils arising therefrom."

My Amendment is the longest on the Paper, and I will make the shortest speech. I just want to ask whether the Government will appoint a Committee to consider the subject of gambling options in futures. It is a subject which has obtained recognition from every Government except those of Great Britain and America. Great harm is done to legitimate traders by the system.


I will certainly bear in mind the suggestion of the hon. Member, who will understand that at this moment I cannot enlarge upon the subject.


"That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, as followeth:—

"Most Gracious Sovereign,

"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."

To be presented by Privy Councillors and Members of His Majesty's Household.

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