10. Lieut. - Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received a request on behalf of workpeople employed in the glass trade to see a deputation to place before him the facts concerning the present position of that trade; whether he has seen the deputation; and if he will state what is the value of glass goods imported into this country during the 12 months ending 30th June, 1924, and the amount produced in this country during the same period?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. So far as the deputation wished to discuss the continuance of the duties which, under the terms of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, automatically expire on 19th August, I felt that no useful purpose would be served by a discussion. But as regards the matters which the deputation wished to raise regarding the supply of glassware under Government contracts, I offered to take these up with the Departments concerned on receipt of the necessary particulars. This offer is still open. As to the last part of the question, the total net imports (i.e., imports less re-exports) of glass and glassware into the United Kingdom registered during the 12 months ended 30th June, 1924, were valued at £4,362,000. Pending the completion of the Census of Production now being undertaken, there is no information available regarding the amount of glass produced in this country during any recent period.
Sir F. HALL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the destruction of British trade in this country is the only problem that the Government have got for helping unemployment?
Sir LAMING WORTHINGTONEVANS
Is there any inherent reason why this four million pounds worth of glassware which is imported should not be made in this country?
In so far as it can be made in this country more advantageously than elsewhere, I see no reason.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is there any reason why poor people should have to pay more for glassware than is necessary?
Sir F. HALL
Is there any reason why a working man should not have an opportunity of earning his living in his own country?