HC Deb 18 August 1919 vol 119 cc2010-1

The Government have three other proposals to deal with the shielding of our industry under exceptional conditions. In the first place, there is a condition called dumping. What is dumping? I am giving now, not a legal definition, but only my view of what would be a dumping operation. Dumping is the exporting to this country of goods from a foreign land under the cost—beneath the price at which they are sold in their own country. There could be only one object in doing that, and that is to make war upon a particular industry in our country. That is unfair. This country, provided we face our difficulties like men—we have always done it in the past, and I have no reason to think we are at the end of British courage—has nothing to fear from fair competition from any country. But I do not think that our industries ought to be subjected to what is unfair competition and what is organised warfare upon them in an unfair way. That is what dumping, according to the definition which I have laid down, really means. It is true that certain industries may for the time being get great advantage out of it, but they are getting that advantage at the expense of neighbours, who are carrying on an honest trade which is essential to the life and business of the country, and I do not think that is fair. In the interests of fairness, as well as in the interests of British industry as a whole, the Government have decided to submit to Parliament proposals which will effectively deal with dumping in the sense in which I have defined it.