HC Deb 28 June 1920 vol 131 cc6-7
9. Mr. KILEY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the letter of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Venezuela complaining of the misrepresentations put forward by the promoters of the Plumage Bill; is he aware that if the Bill in question is passed it will mean the destruction of a large volume of trade and the dismissal of a considerable number of people engaged in the industry; and is he prepared to consider the advisability of setting up an impartial committee to collect definite and reliable data as to the allegations of cruelty, and to make recommendations for stopping such practices if they exist?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I am aware that the opponents of the Plumage Bill take the view expressed in the second part of the question, but I am inclined to think that their prognostications of its probable effect on trade and employment are exaggerated. The House of Commons has accepted the principles of the Bill by a large majority, and, in all the circumstances, I do not feel justified in incurring the expense which would be involved in an elaborate inquiry into the conditions in which plumage is collected throughout the world.


Will the right hon. Gentleman not accept the statement of the objectors to the Bill, and is that the reason why he will not make inquiry to test their accuracy?


No. My right hon. Friend must realise that the House of Commons has passed the Second Reading of this Bill. To that extent the question has been judged by the House.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the value of the imports of plumage into this country from Venezuela?


I could scarcely be asked at a moment's notice to give an answer to a question of that kind.

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