HC Deb 31 July 1922 vol 157 cc990-2
35. Viscount WOLMER

asked the Prime Minister whether it is the intention of the Government to carry out. the definite pledge given on behalf of the Cabinet at the Imperial Conference on 26th April, 1917, and embodied in a resolution of the Conference, that the time has arrived when every possible encouragement should be given to the development of imperial resources, and especially to making the Empire independent of other countries in respect of food supplies, raw materials, and essential industries?


My Noble Friend has quoted only the first and not the second part of the resolution passed on the 26th April, 1917. The second part deals with two specific matters, though giving effect to the general principles expressed in the first part, namely, the introduction of preference and the encouragement of inter-imperial migration. His Majesty's Government have already taken steps in both directions. I would refer to the terms of Section 8 of the Finance Act, 1919, dealing with Imperial Preference and to the Empire Settlement. Act passed during the present Session, as well as to the administrative action taken since the termination of the War to develop migration within the Empire. I would also remind my Noble Friend that during the last three years numerous Dominion and Colonial Government loans have been raised, of which the proceeds are being devoted in large measures to the development of Imperial resources.

Viscount WOLMER

Are we to take it that the Government consider Imperial Preference on tea, sugar and wine will make the Empire independent, in respect of food supplies, raw material and essential industries; and if not, may we infer the Government are going in for Tariff Reform?


I think my Noble Friend has not taken the answer as a whole. If he does that, he will find that it is full and complete.

Lieut.-Colonel NALL

Is it not a fact that the Resolutions of the last Imperial Conference, and possibly of some other Imperial Conferences on trade and Imperial Preference, have practically come to nothing.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the movement which is now in progress for extending the Imperial Institute and holding exhibitions for the development of—


The hon. Member should put that question down.