HC Deb 08 May 1922 vol 153 cc1762-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade if, before appointing a Committee to consider the imposing of a duty of 33⅓ per cent, under the Safeguarding of Industries Act on safety pins and hooks and eyes, he was aware that, owing to a recent change in fashion, elastic had superseded the use of these articles; if he was not so aware, will he say why representative women's organisations were not consulted; and whether he can say why no women have been appointed to sit on the Board of Trade Committee, seeing that many of the commodities are of the utmost importance to women?


Safety pins are not included in the reference to the Committee, which covers hooks and eyes, and snap fasteners. The possible effect of the change of fashion referred to on the trade in these articles was not overlooked, and consequently it was not-considered necessary to consult any outside organisation on the subject. With regard to the last part of the question, Committees are, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, selected from a permanent panel, consisting mainly of persons of commercial or industrial experience, and have to determine only whether the definite conditions laid down in the Act are fulfilled, any other considerations being irrelevant to this inquiry.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the appointment of a Committee to consider the imposition of a duty on elastic, more especially as all the prettiest girls still use safety pins, hooks and eyes?


Has the pledge that the consumers would be predominant on these Committees been fulfilled?


I am not aware of such a pledge.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that ladies who buy for these West End stores have considerable business experience?

13. Mr. HOGGE

asked the President of the Board of Trade why the sitting of the Committee appointed by him under the Safeguarding of Industries Act, to con- sider the imposing of a duty of 33⅓ per cent, upon hooks and eyes, wire nails, etc., has been postponed from the 4th till the 15th of May?


I am informed that both the applicant associations concerned stated their inability to complete their proofs of evidence, by the inclusion of the latest possible information as to the position of the trades concerned, by the date originally fixed, and the Committee accordingly postponed their meeting until the earliest alternative date convenient to the members.


Does my right hon. Friend fix the date when he has got the assurance from both sides that they are ready?


The Committee fix their own date, and it was because applicants had not got their case ready that they were given a little longer time.