HC Deb 06 May 1924 vol 173 cc223-4
68. Viscount CURZON

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before he decided to do away with the McKenna duties, he took any steps to ascertain the views of the employers in the industry or the workers affected; and, if so, with what result?


Yes, Sir. Before the decision was taken to allow these duties to lapse, my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury received deputations from the various interests concerned, and their representations received careful consideration.

Viscount CURZON

What was the nature of the communications which the right hon. Gentleman received from the workers in the industry?


I am not aware that I have directly received a single communication from the workers engaged in the industry. I have received quite a number of resolutions passed, or purporting to be passed, by the employés, but these have invariably been transmitted to me by the employers themselves.

Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that firms that were increasing their output by 20 per cent. are now compelled to reduce their production by 35 per cent., and that 30 per cent. of their employés are being thrown on the street?


I am not aware of that fact, but I have no reason to doubt that statements of that kind have been made in the circumstances in order to carry on a ramping, raging propaganda.


In view of the supplementary reply the right, hon. Gentleman has just given, does he suggest that all these meeting of workers are not genuine meetings, and of the workers themselves?


Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask if he will be good enough to receive a deputation of workers headed by a trade unionist?


In reply to the supplementary question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft), I simply stated a fact; nothing beyond that. Any applications made to me to receive a deputation will have my consideration.

Mr. REMER and Sir F. HALL rose


I understand that we shall proceed further with this question on Monday.