23. Dr. MURRAY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has 571 fully considered the bearings of the judgment given by the Official Referee in the case of Santonine, which was held by him to have been improperly included in the lists issued by the Department under the Key Industries Schedule, and which was, in consequence, removed from those lists in the month of December; whether he is aware that the judgment given would similarly delete from the lists by implication a large number of other articles; whether he intends to put taxpayers of the country, as well as the complainants in the case of the other articles in question, to the expense involved in contesting numerous disputes already decided in principle by the judgment referred to; and what have been the total costs incurred in respect of the legal proceedings before the Referee?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
In reply to the first two parts of the question, I would point out that the learned Referee specifically stated that he would not regard the principles mentioned by him in giving his judgment in respect of Santonine as binding him in respect of other cases. In these circumstances, it appeared necessary that a number of other cases should be decided before the Board could scrutinise the lists in the light of any general principle or principles enunciated by the Referee. As regards the last part of the question, I have no information as to costs incurred by parties other than the Board of Trade, whose expenses including the fees of the Referee, in respect of all cases heard up to date, amount to something less than £700.