§ 4. "That on and after the first day of July, nineteen hundred and twenty-five, the following duties of customs shall be charged on the importation into Great Britain or 1477 Northern Ireland of the following goods, that is to say:—
|Cocoons and waste of all kinds|
|Wholly or partly|
|Wholly or partly|
|Thrown or spun, including yarns and threads of all kinds—|
|Wholly or partly|
|Tissue containing silk—|
|Wholly or partly|
|Yarn, thread, straw,|
|or waste||the lb||3||0|
|artificial silk||the lb||3||6|
|Articles not heretofore specified made wholly or in part of silk or artificial silk||A duty equal to 33} percent, of the value of the article."|
§ Resolution further considered.
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
I beg to move,inline 1, to leave out the word "July," and to insert instead thereof the word "December."
I do not often take part in debate, and my only reason for intervening now is because the trade concerned with the proposed duties on silk is one with which I have been directly connected for the last 45 years, as a worker in the silk trade for 25 years, and as secretary for the last 20 years of the trade union which embraces silk workers of all descriptions. I know of no trade which has had a keener fight to maintain its existence than this particular trade. It was only when artificial silk came into general use that any kind of progress could be made. It therefore came as a great surprise to me and to the rest of those interested in all kinds of silk production to hear the proposals outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to levy duties both on raw materials and manufactured goods, a duty which, so far as raw materials are concerned, is not imposed in any other country in the world
I wish to criticise part of the proposals, which seem to indicate a complete lack 1478 of knowledge of the subject, either on the part of the advisers to the Chancellor of the Exchequer or of the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. I presume his advisers are at fault, and I suggest, indeed, I make the assertion, that very little, if anything, was apparently known by whoever was responsible, in respect of what is called silk waste, on which it is proposed to levy a duty of 1s. 6d. per lb. I would like the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take note of my objections to the proposals mentioned in the schedule of duties. In the case of silk waste, it takes exactly 21 lbs. to produce I lb. of finished yarn, so that the tax is not 1s. 6d. per lb. but in reality 3s. 9d. per lb. Tint is a point evidently forgotten by the gentlemen responsible for this tax of Is. 6d. per lb. That tax is much too high, even if the Chancellor of the Exchequer intends to carry out his proposal to levy one. This matter ought to receive further consideration before any further proceedings take place
Let me take the case of silk, thrown or spun, including silk yarn and threads of any kind. How the word "undischarged" crept in here I do not understand, nor do I think those who are responsible for the term know any more about it than I do. There is no such thing as undischarged silk yarns or threads. I defy contradiction on that point. It is either dyed or undyed. The tax proposed is 6s. 8d. in the X. This means that grey yarn, which has still to be dyed and finished at considerable cost, has to bear the same tax as the finished article. It is a monstrous proposition and ought to receive further consideration. It cannot be justified, and certain modifications ought to take place. It means—I am particularly concerned here along with the Members of the party with which I am connected—that if the tax of 6s. 8d. is imposed on either dyed or undyed yarns, that the dyeing process will take place outside this country, and that thousands of men and women engaged in the dyeing and kindred trades will be thrown out of employment.
I claim that this ought to be considered very carefully by the Chancellor of the Exchequer before he proceeds further in the matter. Then, again, take the case of tissues containing artificial silk, upon which a tax is proposed of 3s. 6d. in the lb. Tissue 1479 is really what is known in the trade as Oriental silk. It comes from the Far East and is sent to England and to France to. be finished. England gets its fair proportion, and then it is re-exported. In this matter the question what is a manufactured article arises. When it arrives in England it is manufactured; but to the manufacturer to whom it is sent there is no doubt it is a raw material. It is a raw material to the employer and the workman concerned in the dyeing and finishing industry in all parts of the United Kingdom. What is bound to happen if the proposals contained in the Budget are carried into effect 2 Instead of these goods being sent, as they are today, to England, they will be sent to France or elsewhere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will not benefit in the least from his proposed import duty. But that is not all. It will throw out of employment directly thousands of men and women employed in this particular "industry, it will. I am convinced, practically kill the trade. and it will add very considerably to the already large number of unemployed which is a matter that no Chancellor of the Exchequer can lightly pass over
Let me turn for a moment to raw silk, undiseharged, on which a tax of 4s. in the lb. is proposed, though that will by no means be the exact amount. I am informed on the highest authority, an authority that cannot be questioned, that in reality it will be a tax of 5s. 10d., which, if put into operation, will in my judgment absolutely ruin the trade. I mention this merely for the purpose of pointing out again something that this particular Department evidently knows nothing about. The proposed tax of 96. 8d. on silk. thrown or spun, as the case may be, bears no relation whatever to the additional cost involved in turning the raw material into the finished article. The whole scheme shows a complete lack of knowledge of the trade, is ill-balanced, and is not drafted in proper proportion to the actual facts; and it should he referred back for more consideration than has evidently been given to it. The tax on raw silk can only result in one thing, namely, a large increase in the price of the finished article, such as sewing machine twists and any article containing organzine, tram. or spun silks, with a. corresponding diminution in employment 1480 in a trade that has been exceedingly slack for a considerable time. Every Member of this House knows full well that the higher the price the article becomes, the smaller the sale. In Leek, a town in the constituency that I happen to represent, they have been engaged in the silk industry for the last two hundred years, and great alarm is felt, not merely by manufacturers and by those in the trade, but by workmen and work women in all parts of the town. We are directly, not indirectly, concerned in this industry. We have 7,500 workers actually engaged in the manufacture of the product of one kind or another, and they have reason to feed alarmed. We are quite sure that there will be more unemployment than already exists, which is by no means scarce, approaching as it does today approximately 20 per cent. of the workers in the town
Let me turn to that part known as artificial silk. Seventy-five per cent. of the trade of Leek consists of the manufacture of artificial silk goods. It is a trade that has increased by leaps and bounds within a few years. It is a trade that only a few years ago was practically unknown, but that has today established itself in all parts of the world. A tax of 2s. 6d. per pound is proposed. Taxes on any raw material in my judgment are a fatal mistake in a country such as ours, dependent as we are upon exports for our livelihood, and I cannot for the life of me understand why any Chancellor of the Exchequer should be so foolish as to introduce them. But when a Chancellor of the Exchequer actually proposes a tax on a home product on which depends the wages of at least 100,000 workers directly engaged in the trade and of many thousands more indirectly engaged, the proposal could properly be described by a much better word than "foolishness." Here we have a trade built up by infinite care and judgment. producing articles of apparel that find their way into every home in the United Kingdom and in all parts of the world near and distant; and it is to be taxed because, so we are told. it is a luxury and can be done without. The same statement was made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect to silk proper. It is a statement to which I personally strongly object. It is surely more than a stretch of the imagination to call articles manufactured from either spun silk or artificial silk as luxuries. As 1481 I understand the term, a luxury is something that only a few can purchase because of its scarcity or because of its high price.
If my definition be correct, and I think it is, none of these articles can be adjudged as coming within that category. They are purchased not by a few but by the million. In every outfitter's shop in this and other countries, I may say practically in all parts of the world where these goods find their way, you see all manner of articles, stacked in warehouses and shown in all shop windows, at prices that come within the reach of practically every person. In view of this, a fact that no one can deny, how the Chancellor of the Exchequer can come down to this House and inform us that it is a luxury passes my comprehension. In every suit of clothes, except the cheapest ready mades. there is a proportion of silk or spun silk known as sewings. If Members disbelieve me let them take note of their buttonholes when they have a little time. They will then find out for themselves that my statement is correct., and I do not suppose that any one of them ever dreamed that they would be classed as wearers of articles of luxury. The Government itself is a large purchaser of these silk and spun sewings. In the Army, Navy and Air Force they use them for exactly the same purpose as tailors use them, in making the buttonholes in the uniforms of the officers and men in the Services, and I am sure that the Government does not regard this trade as in any sense as a luxury. In this case and in the previous instances it is a necessity, not a luxury, because of the fact that the particular colour imported to it by the dyeing process lasts longer in spun silk or in net silk than it does in cotton thread and also because of its additional durability. The result of any tax on these threads will be to increase the price of the bulk of the clothes in this country.
The tax is not being introduced because it is a luxury. If it were a luxury which the Chancellor of the Exchequer desired to tax he would impose duties on such things as furs, diamonds, gems of all kinds, and other articles that can properly be termed luxuries. We must, therefore, turn our attention and search in another direction for the real reason. If I were asked to give one, I should unhesitatingly say that it was because 1482 the articles now produced from materials under consideration have become generally popular and are worn by the mass of the people and not by the few. There is always something substantial to be obtained from a crowd of people that cannot possibly be got from a handful, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows this full well. He can see that this tax can be extracted almost at once with the assistance of the vast majority of Members behind him and so permit him to lay the foundation of other duties on other raw materials in the future. if silk, why not cotton, which, by the way, is to some extent already affected already these proposals? Why not wool or worsted? Exactly the same reasons can be advanced for these materials being taxed by a future Chancellor of the Exchequer as are submitted by the present Chancellor. I warn Members to be careful of how they will meet this question of taxing raw material. One never knows where it may end. Now is the time to put an end to a proposal which has never been suggested in this country before and never ought to be permitted to go on the Statute Book. I notice in the Press a lot of discussion as to what the Chancellor proposes in relation to rebates. He suggests a tax, and then it is suggested that he says, "I will give you some portion of it. back again." Let me suggest to him, instead of putting on a tax of 2s. 6d. and then proposing to give back 2s. 6d. on export goods, to consider the advisability of removing entirely the proposal in relation to export goods. In this way he would do a greater service to the industry
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
do not understand the lion. Member's point. Perhaps he would explain how I could sweep away the proposal in regard to export goods?
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
The proposal as I understand from the Press—we have had no word about it and one has to be very careful in relation to what appears in the Press in this country—is that there is to be a rebate on export goods to the amount of 2s. 6d. as against 2s. 6d. tax on artificial silk. What I suggest is that instead of considering any proposal in relation to export goods he should take the proposed amount, which it would cost in connection with export goods, off the tax on the raw material. That in my judgment would relieve to a very consider 1483 able extent the minds of those engaged in the trade. We all know—manufacturers better than myself—that these proposals in relation to rebates on export goods are an impossibility. What effect will these proposals, if carried out, have upon trade and employment? The results are bound to be disastrous. The Chancellor admitted that the trade might be somewhat restricted, but it will be not merely restricted but very hardly hit indeed. I am informed on the highest authority that the tax on artificial silk will produce revenue of about £2,000,000 a year.
I think, incidentally, that the Chancellor has very considerably underestimated the amount of yield to the revenue. If my information is correct he suggests that the yield from artificial silk will be about £2,500,000 in a full year. Messrs. Courtauld have stated in the Press that it will cost them alone at least £2,000,000 a year, so when one comes to consider the large amount of artificial silk which is coming into the country every day and is bound to increase it will be seen that the Chancellor has considerably underestimated the yield n this particular. But apart from what the yield may be it is economic folly to view this matter mainly from the standpoint of revenue. Other considerations should be carefully analysed before a definite decision is made. Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or any Member of this House, imagine that Messrs. Courtauld will bear this charge themselves?
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
If any Members think so—and the Chancellor does not,—they are much more simple than I take them to he. Messrs. Courtauld will, of course, pass this £2,000,000 on to the manufacturers, who produce the, articles which we now see in all parts of the country. The manufacturers will, in turn, pass it on to the wholesalers, who will in turn pass it on to the retailers, and in the and the consumer, as always happens, will have to pay the £2,500,000 per year, which at that time, in my judgment, will be nearer £4,000,000. The unquestionable result will he that fewer articles will he sold, because of the greatly increased price. Employment will he reduced in a steadily increasing volume, and this will add largely to the 1484 number of unemployed. I ask the Chancellor carefully to note this: I know of no trade in the country which should receive more encouragement and not discouragement from this or any other Government than the artificial silk trade. A few years ago it was practically unknown. It has developed and grown to a degree that has surprised everyone within those few short years. Its possibilities are enormous. I mean in the direction of further development, growth and extension, and as it extends—and it will if left alone—it will find employment for an ever-increasing number of workers, a matter in which we all should lend our hands and which we should heartily welcome. The statement is one that no person would seriously challenge, and why the Chancellor should select this trade for revenue purposes. a trade with almost unlimited possibilities, passes my understanding.
It is no use for the Chancellor to try to ride off on the plea that the increased prices will readily be paid in order to provide pensions for widows. Here let me say that it is well that the young women of this country should know that they are to pay the greater proportion of a tax on articles they wear in order to be able, should they become widows later on in life as many certainly will, to claim a widows pension. That is a very artful proposition, and one that we on this side of the House will not altogether lose sight of. Apart from that the Chancellor knows, as well all know, that the trade is bound to be restricted, and that it is always restricted when prices are raised as they certainly will be if those proposals are carried into effect, and if he will pardon me for saying so, I do not think that in this matter he has viewed the general position from the point of view of revenue, trade and employment in the statesmanlike way which one expects from any Chancellor of the Exchequer. Resolutions of protest against the proposals pour in from associations of employers and workmen and individual firms to me, and other Members I have no doubt, from all parts of the country, all pleading that these taxes should be referred back for further consideration or asking that they should be dropped altogether. I could read out dozens of resolutions, if I cared to, but I do not want to waste the time of the House in so doing as it is so well known, hut I wish 1485 to refer to a speech which was made by the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) on, I believe, Thursday last week. Speaking at the Reading Chamber of Commerce he said:Looking at some of the great staple industries of the country, he could see no glimmer of light. The present was a very unfortunate moment to put any additional burden upon the industries of the country. Unless some alleviation was afforded industry in other directions, he did not think it would be possible for many of their large industries to bear some of the burdens which the now Budget would impose upon them. He greatly loped —indeed he might say he confidently believed —the Chancellor of the Exchequer would find somehow, if the new impost for social insurance was put upon the industries of the country, a method of alleviation in some other direction.The right hon. Gentleman was referring to the increase that would fall on industry as a result of the new insurance proposals. I should like to point out that the silk trade will also have to bear these new burdens in addition to the burdens that it will be called on to bear by the imposition of the duties, and it seems to me to be perfectly monstrous that any trade should he saddled with a burden which I am quite certain will prove its undoing. I protest against these new duties on the ground that they will probe disastrous to the trade, that if carried into effect they will cause a large amount of unemployment, that they will cripple the industry, an industry which ought to be encouraged and not discouraged, and that the duties as suggested are ill-balanced, and in many cases show a complete lack of knowledge of the trade itself, and finally because, before they are put into operation, if at all, the whole matter should be referred back for more careful consideration than has been given to it
§ Mr. MACKINDER
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do so for three reasons. The main reason in that anybody who has had experience in the textile trade will realise that any taxation either on real silk or on artificial silk will certainly have the effect of increasing the number of people unemployed. The second reason is that to impose a tax upon a young and growing industry is wrong. We believe that industry, especially at the present time, ought to be assisted rather than retarded. I hope that the Chan 1486 cellor of the Exchequer will note the terms of the Amendment. It calls for a postponement of the tax until December, 1929, in order that the Government, and especially the Chancellor of the Exchequer, may have an opportunity of fighting an election, and instead of posting, say, Russians on the hoardings, he might post a picture of silk stockings and invite the ladies to come along and vote for a tax on stockings and on jumpers. I can quite imagine that in the textile area from which I come, with its thousands of young women possessing the vote, the party opposite would have had very little opportunity and would riot have got anything like the number of votes that they obtained at the last election, had the people of the West Riding had any idea that their silk stockings and silk jumpers were to be taxed.
I have been at some pains to investigate the effect of this tax on silk in the West Riding. I find that there comes into this country, or there is availableforimport into this country, about 30 tons of partly discharged waste from China. That material is brought here at a cost approximately of 7d. To 7ir,d. per lb. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes a tax on it of 3s. per lb. The material, if it were all imported into this country, would he worth about £2,000, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to put a tax of £10,009 upon it. I suggest that that is not reasonable. There is also. silk waste coming into this country varying in value and price from ls. 2d. per lb. to 5s. 7d. per lb. It is proposed that that shall all hear a tax of Is. 6d. per lb. I suggest that that is not reasonable. There is also imported into this country a large amount of silk noils. Anybody who understands the trade knows that the noils are the short ends which are combed out of the main fibre, and that they can be used only for an inferior article. They are made into. sponge cloth, which is not expected to last more than one season. The material is imported at a cost of Is. a lb. The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes a tax on it of 3s. per lb. I suggest that that is unreasonable.
I want to put another point of view, especially with regard to the West Biding trade. I have been brought up in the industry since I was a nipper of 10 years. 1487 I know that the merchants and manufacturers of the West Riding are continually on the lookout for some new material which will catch the public eye in Great Britain, in the Colonies, and abroad. I remember in the old days, when what is known as the pin stripe used to have a stripe of cotton; the cotton soon became dirty and the material did not look so nice. In recent years some manufacturer got an idea of making this stripe, not with cotton, but with artificial silk. There are two reasons for that. One reason is that the artificial silk keeps clean—that is, the stripe—and the other reason is that it can all be woven in the grey. What makes it so adaptable to the West Riding trade is that when artificial silk is interwoven with wool and is dyed with a wool dye, the silk does not take the dye, but the wool does. All these things are so important to the trade of Bradford and of the West Riding generally that I think it would he advisable for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to leave silk alone in his Budget, because silk is of such enormous use to us in getting foreign trade.
A very good friend of mine who. singularly enough, is a West Riding spinner, and with whom I have fought many battles, discovered that his trade was going down. He found that somehow or other he was not catching the public eye. He evolved a new kind of yarn. He made it of threefold wool, and then very carefully put it into another frame—I must be very careful here, Mr. Speaker, because you happen to understand the business—and he very carefully wrapped round that yarn another fold of silk. He sent me a sample for me to see what I thought about it. He said, "If your daughter has it made into a jumper, ask her to have it dyed with a wool dye." The result is beautiful in quality. The wool dye, a beautiful blue, left the silk untouched. It is by these methods that the people in the West Riding of Yorkshire have been able to create such a great trade as they undoubtedly have created. I suppose that all hon. Members have received this morning an article reprinted from the "Textile Mercury." I do not think the paper does the West Riding too much credit when it says that the Yorkshire industry in the use of artificial silk seems 1488 in its own line to have the world literally at a standstill, and that it easily leads. That is undoubtedly a fact. If a tax on artificial silk is imposed, the position will be that, instead of getting the foreign trade by a good article which is Within the reach of the public, we shall be spoiled of any chance, not only of keeping the trade that we have, but of getting any further trade which our products entitle us to get. I have a letter here from a manufacturer and employer of labour, who says:Within the last two years very severe competition has been reported by our export customers as coining from Continental countries especially. indeed, we have repeatedly of late had put before us by our export house in this country cloths which they were buying from Italy 101' shipment a1 15 per cent, to 20 per cent. less than they can be produced for in this country.He also says later:The merchants in the City of Bradford, Australia. Canada, India and China buy large quantities of material made from artificial silks and cotton, and in the latter countries the fabrics are in large demand by the natives for use as clothing—a demand which is continually increasing. The competition, however, which we have 'to face from Italy is so intense that a farthing per yard on a cloth at 20d. per yard is sufficient to be a decisive factor in losing that trade.I suggest that the proposed tax will be a bad tax for industry and for the country, and that a tax on artificial silk to produce only £2,500,000 is not worth while. The Chancellor of the Exchequer must remember that if he is to tax goods containing a proportion of silk he will have to make arrangements for collecting that tax; he will have to arrange for the erection of bonded warehouses to hold these materials and wool products. They are not like tobacco or tea or sugar, but are of tremendous size and bulk. It may he imagined by some hon. Members that there is only a very small proportion of silk used in the trade. If the Chancellor of the, Exchequer or any of the supporters of the Government are of that opinion, let me remove it right away. At. the British Empire Exhibition last year the Bradford industry—when I speak of Bradford I mean Keighley, Shipley, and the West Riding—through the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, invited manufacturers and producers to send samples of their material in order that a collection might he made for exhibition at Wembley. 1489 Ninety-five per cent. of the samples submitted by the Bradford Chamber of Commerce contained some proportion of silk or artificial silk. We are having a bad time in the West Riding. There are many causes for it. Over-speculation is one. But the fact remains that artificial silk, with a duty of 2s. 6d. per lb., will be used along with goods manufactured from wool which costs no more per pound today. Ir., the interests of industry. in the interests of the West Riding, where so many of our people are suffering, I suggest that this tax be postponed or dropped.
I had occasion only last Saturday to commiserate with a very old friend of mine who worked with me when I was employed for 25s. per week in wool combing. She said, "I have left the old shop. I have worked there 21 years except for six weeks. We have come clown to one day per week, and I cannot keep my family going on one day." That is the rade which will be affected by the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Lancashire trade is in almost as parlous a position. Only those who have had some connection with the textile trade and have noted the way in which our merchants are endeavouring to get foreign trade and markets, can imagine how much it means for someone to strike a new material, a new production, which catches the public eye. Nothing changes so much as cloth fashions. We all remember the old days when rustling alpacas and lustres were highly popular. Fashions change rapidly. But it appears to me, as one who has known the industry for more years than he cares to remember, that now there has come along something which may have the effect of introducing trade to the West Riding and providing work for those who are unemployed. God knows, that in the West Riding we do not need taxation! We need some help if we are to retain the trade that we have, and get some of the trade which is going to our competitors.
I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to leave the textile trade alone. Lancashire and Yorkshire, cotton and wool, are down on their knees. With this taxation on raw material matters will be made worse. I remember the old days when wool was scarce, when one depended upon the sheep producing a large quantity of wool. When that wool was 1490 not forthcoming we were unemployed. Anybody who is acquainted with Lancashire and who remembers past history, knows that when the cotton crop of America failed, Lancashire went hungry. Here a new material has been invented and, we do not depend upon foreign countries for the supply. If we have the desire to continue to make this material, we can make it. in fact this is a tax, not upon silk, but upon pit props, sawdust and shavings. The Lancashire and Yorkshire industry has at its disposal a new material for the supply of which we do not depend upon foreign countries. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I ask the Members of the party opposite, not to make it more awkward for us in the West. Riding than it is at. present. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to leave this tax alone and to give the textile trade an opportunity of working out its own salvation. When our people are again working five and a half clays each week, when the manufacturers in the West Riding are again making the enormous profits which they have made in the past, then is the time for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take from them a share to help in carrying on the business of the country, but I protest against this action being taken at a time like the present when I know that thousands of my own friends and working acquaintances are unemployed. This is not the time for the Chancellor to put a tax on a material which is so widely used. a tax which if carried into operation will undoubtedly throw additional thousands of people out of employment
§ Mr. REMER
I have listened with very great interest to the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Bromfield) and the hon. Member who has just resumed his seat. Even the wild exaggerations which have appeared in the Press during the past fortnight in connection with this matter are exceeded by the speeches to which we have just listened. The hon. Member for Leek has spoken of thousands being turned out of work and of the great alarm which exists in the town of Leek. I am not surprised that there should be great. alarm there if the hon. Member has been making speeches in his constituency such as he made in the House this afternoon. I have had telegrams from my friends in Leek and T have met some of them in the Lobbies of this House, when this scheme has been carefully 1491 explained to them there is not one of them who has not. altered his opinion and has agreed to support the proposals of the Chancellor. The Leek Manufacturers' and Dyers' Association sent a telegram to the Leader of the Opposition a week ago, which the Leader of the Opposition read to this House. On the following day it was my pleasure to attend, by invitation, at a meeting of the Silk Association, membership of which includes Leek representatives. They had the scheme explained by people who are well able to explain it to them—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear ! "]—not by myself but by other people—and there was a very different story to tell from the story of the previous day
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
On a point of Order. The hon. Member for Macclesfield has made a statement in reference to the attitude of the Leek Manufacturers' and Dyers' Association. I am in a position to correct the hon. Member
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is not a point. of Order. The hon. Member should ask the leave of the hon. Member for Macclesfield to interpose
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
I will ask the leave of the hon. Member to interpose. I am in a position to say that the Leek Manufacturers' and Dyers' Association have decided that., rather than accept the proposition laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, they prefer that the whole series of duties should go by the board
§ Mr. REMER
I am astonished to hear that statement, because I spoke to Mr. Fogg and Mr. Birch as lately as Friday of last week, and there was quite a different opinion on that day. The hon. Member for Leek has referred to that. town as being a great silk centre, but is comparatively small in relation to the town of Macclesfield, which I have the honour to represent, and Macclesfield has far deeper interests in this question. I can assure the hon. Member that in Macclesfield there has been no alarm and no difficulty. There are details which it is hoped the Chancellor will consider at a later date, and there are points in the scheme with which we do not agree, yet in regard to the main basis of the scheme there is agreement and there is no desire that it should be thrown up altogether. I was interested in the pro 1492 posal of the hon. Member for Leek in connection with rebates. As far as I can understand it it is sheer, wicked Protection. As the hon. Member has on many occasions fought the battle of Free Trade, I hope in view of this proposal we can now welcome him as a supporter of the full Protectionist policy.
Among many other statements made in the Press and elsewhere, is the statement that the silk trade is inefficient and incompetent. Very often wild statements of this kind are difficult to answer, but this one is easy to answer. I ask the House to look at the case of the United States. Forty years ago there was no silk trade in the United States, and today it is 'the largest textile industry of that great country. It employs over 600,000 people, and it uses from 85 per cent. to 90 per cent. of the raw silk produced in the world. In fact, I believe is correct to say that the United States uses more in a week than we use in a year. Who started that great industry in the. United States? People who emigrated from the borough of Macclesfield. You find them today in the town of Paterson among the most prosperous business men of that community. According to hon. Gentlemen opposite when these people lived among the hills of Cheshire, they were inefficient and incompetent, but when they went to America they suddenly became competent and efficient. I prefer to put it that when they lived in the hills of Cheshire they suffered from the blight of Free Trade. but when they got to Paterson, they had the benefit of the sunny warmth of Protection to the tune of 60 per cent. import duty. I desire to be quite frank in this matter. I have been in very close consultation with the Silk Association, and I understand they are meeting the right hon. Gentleman on Thursday. I do not propose to go into details at this moment, but they are prepared to support the general scheme which is put forward, though there are items in the scheme which they do not like. I hope that a great. many of these small matters can be dealt with by the Chancellor, and that the right hon. Gentleman will he able so to adjust. his scheme as to meet the particular points which are to be raised.
The first point which I desire to bring to the notice of the right hen. Gentleman is that of export rebates. The Chancellor was good enough during 'his Budget 1493 speech to answer my question satisfactorily on this subject, but there is still a great deal of misunderstanding in the country, and I hope he will explain in some detail the exact effect of these proposals. In my constituency in particular, and in other parts of the country, there exists a belief that there will be great delay in obtaining the refunds to which manufacturers will be entitled. There are bitter memories of the Excess Profits Duty. It is said that getting money from the Treasury in that case was like getting blood from a stone, or, as one Yorkshire. man put it, it was like getting butter out of a dog's mouth. I, therefore, hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will elaborate his proposals in this respect. The right hon. Gentleman in his Budget speech spoke about giving an advantage to producers. Some of my constituents have pointed out cases where there is no advantage to the home producer under the proposal, and no doubt these matters will be put forward next Thursday. One of these items is artificial silk thread and another is tissue containing silk. Particulars of these cases have already been given to the Customs and Treasury officials, and I hope for an assurance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he will go into the details of such anomalies as may exist beforewereach the Committee stage of this Bill, and that he will meet the representatives of the trade and representatives of all the interests concerned in this matter.
One of the great difficulties in connection with the Schedule, is the question of artificial silk waste, which is valued, so I am told, at 6d. per lb. and upon which there is to be an Excise Duty of 2s. 6d. It is pointed out that there has been great difficulty in securing the use of this particular article, and that the effect of the duty on artificial silk waste will be that it will go down the grid, and be wasted. The hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder) referred to the Duty on raw silk waste, the value of which in sonic cases he stated to be 9d. per lb. and the tax upon which is as high as 1s. 6d. per lb. I should like to emphasise the fact that this particular article is used very largely for insulating purposes in connection with the Post Office and they have full Protection, with or without this scheme, in that respect because the Post Office contracts require that silk for insulating purposes must be spun 1494 within the United Kingdom. Therefore, any concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer makes on the question of raw silk will not be made out of his pocket, but out of the pocket of the Post. Office, and can 5.0 P.M.quite easily are be made. Member for Leek referred to the question of dyed silk, and that point, which, although a detail, is a very important detail, has, I understand, been in negotiation between certain people outside the silk associations and the Customs and Treasury officials. When silk is dyed, it is very often adulterated in the process, by adding, mainly, tin, but. very often flour and rice, and I believe that representations have been made to the Customs by importers of foreign manufactured silks that the tax should be on the silk only and not on the adulteration. It is the view of the silk associations that, as long as silk is the only fibre in the cloth, it will be very much against the British. manufacturers if this concession is given, and I can say to the right hon. Gentleman that, if he should give this concession, which I hope he will not, there will be violent opposition from the silk associations, perhaps to his whole scheme. It would be quite open for the people who desire this adulteration to be clone to import the grey cloth, and have the dyeing process done in this country, to the advantage of the working people of this country.
I should like the right hon. Gentleman carefully to think out another point which is greatly exercising the minds of a great many manufacturers in this country. There is one manufacturer who is spinning waste silk, and using silk waste at 9d. per lb., and the amount used weekly is £600 in his business. Under this duty, that manufacturer will also have to find £900 for tax, in other words, instead of, as at. present, requiring £600, he will require:C1,50t and the effect will be that he will require a great deal more capital to run his business. I want to be quite frank with /he right hon. Gentleman, and T am putting forward some eases of difficulty in order to be helpful and to assist him. I have misgivings myself about the excise on artificial silk. I do not think this excise would make much difference to the artificial silk trade. either this year or next year. I 1495 believe that they will sell quite as many pounds this year and next year, and probably the year after, as they have sold during the past two or three years, but I. believe that we have to look ahead five or ten years, to the time when the cost of artificial silk may be so low and the production so unlimited that artificial silk may be a substitute, not only for real silk, as it is at present, but for cotton itself. At present the users of artificial silk cannot secure sufficient supplies to fill their demands, and all the suppliers of artificial silk ration their supplies, in order to see that all their customers are supplied.
I said a few minutes ago—and I thought I heard some dissent—that artificial silk was not competitive with cotton and wool. I regard it as an ally of cotton and wool. We have heard a great deal about the agitation in Lancashire in regard to artificial silk, and I am not going to say one word which will minimise in the slightest degree the importance of artificial silk to Lancashire and to Lancashire's future trade, but we must look at the question in the right perspective. At the present moment the consumption by Lancashire of artificial silk is not five per cent. of the, production of this country. Some 40 per cent. of it goes into knitted goods—[An HON. MEMBER: "Jumpers and stockings "1 — into jumpers and stockings, and probably also the. next. largest requirement is for silk scarves and silk ties. It is used because it looks like silk, and because it is cheaper, and I may say that artificial silk has developed to such an extent during the past. few years that it is difficult even for experts to tell the difference between real and artificial silk
§ Mr. REMER
I think my hon. Friend might look at them himself. If you take the silk ties which are in this House at 1496 the present moment and being worn by hon. Members, I suppose there is not one hon. Member in this House who is wearing a real silk tie. Almost every one of the ties which are sold in even the best shops in London is either artificial silk or real silk and artificial silk mixed. It is utterly impossible to divide the question of artificial silk from real silk. The two trades are intimately bound up one with the other, and it is most important that they should be connected together in this Budget
§ Mr. MACKINDER
Does the hon. Member realise the enormity of the statement he is making, that experts cannot tell the difference between real silk and artificial silk?
§ Mr. REMER
The hon. Member must not put words into my mouth which I did not use. I said that the latest development of artificial silk is this, that with a type of artificial silk which has been produced recently, in that particular form experts have great, difficulty in telling, and are unable to tell
§ Mr. REMER
If there were a chemical analysis, it would d be possible, of course. I have been reading closely a reply by the President of the Board of Trade, in which he gives the importations of silk goods into this country, and, with the help of a prominent member in the trade, I have been making an estimate of the revenue which the right hon. Gentleman is going to get out of these duties. I find that if the importation is on the basis of last year, which I know the right hon. Gentleman does not think he is going to get, his revenue from these sources will reach a total in a full year of £11,500,000. Therefore, I think it will ha possible for the right hon. Gentleman to make such concessions in the tax on raw silk and the Excise on artificial silk as will meet the objections which are coming from the trade, and will still be able to get the full 27,000,000 revenue which he estimated in his Budget speech. After all, the main duties which he is going to receive are from the tax on manufactured silk goods. Those amounted last year to £24,000,000, and a 333 per cent, duty on that shows a figure of income between £6,000,000 and 1497 £8,000,000. I do not think that that particular figure is going to show very much diminution, either in this year or next year, for the simple reason that the manufacturers in this country are not organised with machinery for manufacturing £24,000,000 worth of silk goods. Eventually these goods will be made, I believe, in this country, but it will want time for the manufacturers to organise in order to manufacture them here
The important point which I want to emphasise this afternoon is this; and I would ask Members of the Liberal party who are going to speak later upon this subject to give me an intelligible answer. The value of manufactured silk goods imported into this country last year was £24,000,000, and I say that it is impossible for this country to maintain its exchange and its financial position and send money abroad to pay for luxuries on anything like that scale. It is just as difficult for us to send £24,000,000 abroad to play for silk goods as it is for us to send £30,000,000 abroad to pay the interest on the American debt
§ Mr. REMER
Fully manufactured silk goods. If the hon. Member will turn to the Official Report, he will find the figures there. I say that that is almost equal to the total amount of the whole of the American debt interest, and that if this importation of luxury goods— because it is absolute nonsense to say these are not luxury goods—is avoided, who have ready at hand sufficient to pay the annual amount on the American debt. Who are the, people who are creating this uproar? They are the people who are growing rich by going across to the Continent, to those countries with depreciated exchanges, and importing goods from Italy, Prance and Germany. They are people who employ no labour whatever in this country—generally, members of the silk section of the London Chamber of Commerce, people who have a brass plate outside their office, and the only things inside are a telephone and a typewriter. T have been told on very good authority that they are the same people who are subscribing heavily at the present moment to the Liberal party's £1,000,000 fund, and they are the same people from whom the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snow den) is hoping 1498 that the Labour party may secure many subscriptions in the near future
A great deal of nonsense has been spoken and written in the Press in the last few days on this subject of silk. There is the velours hat, which is imported with silk trimmings, and all the dreadful consequences that are going to arise because the tax will be put on the whole hat. The velours hat can be imported quite easily without the silk trimmings, and the silk trimmings can be put on in this country by British labour. Then there is the 50-guineas fur coat with silk lining, which, it has been stated in the Press, is going to be subject to the full tax on the full 50 guineas. Is it not obvious that that far coat will be imported without the silk lining? I am told on good authority that if that silk lining were put on the far coat in this country, it is possible that it might cost 6d., at the most, higher than it does now. We have heard a great deal about the thousands of people who are going to be put out of work as the result of this tax. One silk manufacturer, with whom I have had a conversation, came down to his office after the right hon. Gentleman had introduced his Budget, examined the Schedule in detail for two or three hours that morning, and promptly sent a telegram to the makers of machinery to instal a considerable increase of plant for himat the earliest possible moment. There is a factory in my constituency which has not worked three or four days in any one week for the last three or four years, but which, since the right Eon. Gentleman introduced his Budget, is working full time and overtime, and is likely to do so for the rest of this year
I have say those who sit on the Liberal party benches may think it is very wicked that, as the/ result of the protective flavour of this tax. we are, finding work for British people, instead of finding work for Italian, German and French workmen, but such criticism from such a quarter leaves us absolutely cold. Another statement made is that it is going to mean a great increase in the price of ladies' silk stockings and scarves. I do not believe there is going to be any increase in the cost at all. I believe the public never secured the benefit of the imports which came from the countries with depreciated currency. Out: of the profits which are made by the 1499 wholesale houses, which are made by the big shopkeepers and the big storekeepers on this kind of goods, I believe the revenue will be mainly raised. I will give an illustration of this. When my wife was alive, she went into the offices of one of the manufacturers in Macclesfield, and bought some silk scarves. The price was one guinea each. Shortly afterwards, she was walking down Regent Street, and saw the identical silk scarves in one of the shops, and, on inquiring the price, was told five guineas. I say emphatically, that a very large proportion of these taxes will be paid out of the pockets of a great many people who ought to get no sympathy whatever from any Member of this House, because they do not employ British labour, but employ foreign labour.
Finally, amongst the nonsense which has been spoken, it is said that grave injury will be caused to our shipping trade if these taxes are passed. Something very like that has been said before in this House because of the re-exports, what is called the entrepot trade. The whole entrepot trade itself last year amounted to, approximately, £6,000,000, and I am told that the weight of that amount of silk goods is, roughly, 10 or 20 tons. I do not think one penny will be lost to that entrepot trade by these taxes, but if the whole of our shipping trade depended on 10 or 20 tons of goods, I am quite sure that our shipping trade would soon close its doors. In the Sunday papers there was a very picturesque story told about the right hon. Gentleman, comparing him with George Washington. I understand Mr. George Washington was famous for having said, "Father, I cannot tell a lie; I did it with my little hatchet." It is a curious thing to state that artificial silk is produced by cutting clown many little trees with large hatchets, and it is because believe those trees will continue to be cut down, because I believe artificial silk will continue to be produced, not in spite of, but because of the Budget which the right hon. Gentleman has introduced, that I can promise the Chancellor of the Exchequer my general support to the scheme which he has proposed.
There are some things which I do not like, but we have to look at the whole scheme, and I can inform the House that the Silk Association, which draws its members from all parts of the country— 1500 Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Great Yarmouth and the whole Southern Counties—have unanimously given their support to the scheme, though they have made reservations in the form of a slight alteration which they want to put forward. As I have said, the right hon. Gentleman is meeting them this week, when they will place their own views before him in detail. There are many reasons why the silk trade in this country should be encouraged. In the first place, it is a clean trade, and it is a healthy trade, and it provides suitable employment for the women of this country. We could not have won the last War without the work of the silk tilde. The naval guns could not have been fired without the help of silk. It is because I believe in its main aspects this scheme which the right hon. Gentleman has put forward opens up a new era for the silk trade in our country, an era which will mean great prosperity for those unfortunate people who have been suffering in Macclesfield, where they have been working short time, and will now find a great benefit, that I give general support to the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman
May I ask the hon. Gentleman a question to clear up a matter of some doubt? He has been speaking, he says, on behalf of silk, but it is important to know whether he has been speaking on behalf of artificial silk manufacturers, or has had any communication from them
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The speech which the hon. Gentleman has just made has, no doubt, brought comfort to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who will remember that in its earlier passages there was a tone of menace, which disappearedasthe subject proceeded. The whole theory of the hon. Gentleman is that duties placed on articles imported into this country do not raise their price. He seems to have forgotten the attitude he himself took up on a former occasion with regard to the timber trade. He disliked an import duty on timber coming into this country for very sound reasons
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I do not wish to pursue the hon. Gentleman; the matter is of very little importance. What is of importance is that one of the greatest of British industries is now brought into jeopardy by the proposal in this Budget, and it is the commercial aspects of that, and the direct bearing upon employment that, obviously, will attract the attention of the House much more than the attitude of the hon. Gentleman on a former occasion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has this novel feature in his Budget. It is the only novel feature in the Budget, and only part of that is novel. The old silk duties have been the subject of debate in this House on many former occasions, and have caused trouble to many Chancellors in the past. Economic historians, I think, record the fact that the final disappearance of the silk duties was one of the finest things for the silk trade, and led to an increase in turnover and employment, and a general lowering of price.
The right hon. Gentleman, in plunging into the taxation of textiles—because that is really what he is doing; this is not a silk tax; it is a textile tax—has forgotten what, I am sure, must have passed out of his mind during the long years since he and I both sat for a Lancashire constituency. He must have forgotten the fact that what are called cotton goods, often contain materials which are not cotton. He must have overlooked the fact that what are called woollen goods, very often contain raw material which has never come from the back of the sheep, and that the adulteration of yarn, or, perhaps, I had better say, the mixing of yarn, is one of the commonest facts of this remarkable industry, and one of the most wonderful changes that has been made in the textile industry, certainly in our lifetime, has been the increased use of artificial silk. The combining of artificial silk with cotton has entirely altered its appearance, without. greatly altering its innate qualities. The mixing of artificial silk with wool has not only made many woollen goods look much brighter, but it has opened up new markets and new 1502 opportunities for the merchants of Bradford and the manufacturers of the \Vest Riding. There are today mixtures d rags and small amounts of artificial silk which produce articles quite efficient for their purpose, which last out their time, are attractive and are used in various degrees by people here at borne and by foreign persons abroad.
I do not believe it is possible for any one individual, even although he may have a general knowledge of the textile trade, to pose as an expert in all its various branches. It is quite certain that no man who is actually in the textile trades will pose as an expert in other branches with which he is unconnected, but we can all form general views on the subject, and the information which has been provided very freely from every quarter to Members in `his House, and the knowledge some of us have acquired in times past, have enabled us to form views, which, after all, may be just as good as those held by Ministers, who must act on information which is provided for them outside. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer was undoubtedly under a great disadvantage before his Budget was introduced, because he could not make the necessary technical inquiries on which to base his tax. I think he said, in the course of his Budget speech, it was a remarkable fact that the secret had been very well kept. But it placed him at a disadvantage, and no one can blame him. When embarking on a new tax of this nature, it is impossible for him to do anything but read up stale Reports, say, of a. Committee two years ago, or take the advice of one or two men he can trust. The point. I am putting is that, however good a man may be as an expert in his own branch of the textile trade, it would be absurd for him to pose as an expert authority on the whole. T think the right hon. Gentleman has now found, from the deputations that have waited upon him, how impossible it was that he could have foreseen the trouble he was going to bring upon himself, the Treasury and the Customs by embarkin7 upon these novel taxes.
Bow far does the taxation of artificial silk impose new burdens? T take only one branch—the weaving industry. So far as I can ascertain, there are about 30,000 looms engaged in the weaving of 1503 artificial silk in one form or another. Of these, about 20,000 are engaged in weaving for the export trade. I will call the attention of the House to this very important aspect in a moment or two, but, roughly, there are 30,000 looms. There is no doubt that 10 or 12 years ago there were not many more than something like 1,400 or 1,500 engagedinthe weaving of artificial silk. The increase has been perfectly amazing. It is going on progressively. The increase during the last 12 months is far greater than the increase of the 12 months before, and it will be far greater still if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will keep his hands off the raw material. The justification which the right hon. Gentleman has put forward for dealing with this raw material was that it is a luxury. I do not know how he defines "luxury." It is quite clear that owing to the cheapness of some classes of foreign silks, an enormous development has taken place during the last 40 years in the manufacture of readymade silk articles for women's attire. They have ceased to be luxuries, and have become part of the apparel of the women in every class. That shows that, for These purposes, silk cannot be called a luxury trade. What applies to real silk applies even more to artificial silk. What does the right hon. Gentleman mean by luxury? Does he mean that it is costly? Is it evidence of self-indulgence to wear an artificial silk blouse' What is there about artificial silk which would bring it within his definition of "luxury "
In order to find out what luxury actually means, I have taken the trouble to go into some of the costings. I can understand costings, even if T cannot understand spinning. What I find is that the difference in costs between cotton cloth which is woven from Egyptian cotton, and the cotton cloth in which is used artificial silk, is so small as to be scarcely apparent in the retail price. Here are two comparisons. Take the cost of cotton cloth of 401 inches wide and 125 yards (long stig), made from yarn 7 lbs. 15 ounces in the twist and 8 lbs. in weft all Egyptian. The cost, taking together the raw material, the weaver's remuneration, overhead and all other charges, is 129s. 11d. On the same loom was woven with the same twist, but with artificial silk, weft, and 1504 the total cost was 138s. 8d. that is to say, somewhere in the region of three farthings on the yard. The total cost, allowing for material, for weavers' remuneration and for overhead charges, etc., was 138s. 8d. as against 129s. lld
if one turns to another and different class of material, brocades, almost exactly the same difference is seen. If you take 126 yards of artificial silk brocade, the total cost works out at 116s. Ild. If you take cotton brocade, exactly the same, the total cost is 112s. 6d., a difference, again, of something well under ld. per yard. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to say that that artificial silk cloth is a luxury, what has he to say of the, cotton If the cost he the test, it is quite clear that artificial silk is now so generally in use that he is not justified in putting this embargo upon a very important section, indeed of many sections, of the textile trade on the ground of the goods being luxuries. Then the right hon. Gentleman's taxes are so wide that they do not merely affect the textiles. In every one of the several trades warning has been given to successive Governments by the committees which have inquired into thy textile section of the trade against interfering either with the raw material or with the process of manufacture. Now the right hon. Gentleman has not only embarked upon an entirely novel tax on the ground that the article is an article of luxury, but the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken says that experts cannot see the difference, or feel the difference, between very good artificial silk and natural silk. The right hon. Gentleman is going to impose a racist difficult task on the Customs and Excise officials, for it quite certain that they will find it impossible to discover the difference between the artificial and the real silk in every case.
After all is said and done, what does the right hon. Gentleman mean by artificial silk? What is it? There are already on the market in this country three kinds of artificial silk. There is first what is termed Viscose: there is that which is produced by Messrs. Conrtauld, termed Celanese: and there is also Brysilka. These three are used in varying degrees. The right hon. Gentleman must be prepared to define every one of these without doing 1505 injustice to any one of them. What is more: such is the progress of textile chemistry that we must provide a, definition which will do, not only for this year, but for next year. He must be well aware of the fact that it is impossible to say how advance in the manufacture of artificial silk is likely to proceed even in tie next 12 months. There is one very remarkable fact, that having invented this cheap process, we held our lead in the trade. How different from what happened in regard to aniline dyes. Having secured our lead, surely it would be one of the most foolish things in commercial policy to interfere with or to impede it in any way.
I should like to detain the House for a few minutes longer to deal with another aspect of this taxation problem, which has to do not so much with the actual process of manufacture, or the chemistry, or the raw material. It has to do purely with its commercial side. I hare been trying to ascertain, as every sensible commercial man who looks into this problem ought to do, how much more capital will be in volved in this business owing to the duty which the right hon. Gentleman proposes to put on. It is quite clear that extra working capital must be provided in the three different departments. Firstly, by the mill owner. Secondly, by the merchant. Thirdly, by the shipper, or exporter. Take the weaving section only —I am not dealing with hosiery, or laces. Or even with laces for boots but simply with weaving, with the weaving of cloth in a mill of, say, 1,000 looms. I take that figure as a convenient figure for the purposes of calculation. Take 60 lbs. as the average weight on the weaver's beam, which makes 60,000 lbs. A duty on that of 2s. 6d. means £7,500 which must he provided by the millowner as extra working capital beyond what he now has in the business. There are various other processes—preparing beams and cloth awaiting assortment—which will necessitate locking up a further £2,500, that is to say, we have reached £10,000 of working capital which will be necessary for the purpose I have indicated. Then in the cotton trade the usual terms are a small discount of 2½ per cent. allowed for payment in 14 days; and if allowance he made for that fact, it means that a mill of the number of looms I have stated using artificial silk to make cloth of the width 1506 and quality I have previously indicated will require, with 14 days' credit, and the tax of 2s.6d.,a further increase in working capital of £6,150. All together, for the three operations, the mill will require. if it is using nothing but artificial silk, £16,250 extra working capital because of the imposition which the right hon. Gentleman is proposing.
We come next to the Manchester merchant. The Manchester merchant will pay for the cloth in 14 days, but he will not receive payment in return under something like 12 weeks. In a very great many cases I 'believe it is longer. Therefore on the basis I have been proceeding on he will require, roughly, an extra capital of about. £45,000. That will be locked up in the business owing to the imposition of the duty. Next we come to the exporter. He will require extra capital in view of the credit which he gives. Here again will be locked up on account of various reasons between £6,000 and £7,000 per week. What that will all come to it is very difficult to ascertain, but I think it is not unfair, so far as I can ascertain the details of the trade, to say that he will require something like £27,000 extra capital in view of the amount of money which must be locked up by the duty. The total amount, therefore, seems to be in the region of £88,000.
I have no doubt there are hon. Members in this House who will be able to go into these details with great skill. The hon. Member below me is following with very great care these details, and if he likes I will submit them to him. But one thing you will find it impossible to. overcome is this fact, that if 3s. is to be put upon imported artificial silk and 2s. 6d. on manufactured artificial silk in this country, the millowner cannot dispense altogether with the foreign article, and depend entirely upon the homemade. He will be bound to lock up as much capital as I have calculated and probably a good deal more. T know perfectly well there is no mill in this country which has running 1,000 looms with nothing, but artificial silk, hut there is the predicament of the right hon. Gentleman. He cannot tell the proportions. They vary from 5 per cent. To very nearly 100 per cent. We know as a matter of fact there are 25,000,000 lbs. weight of artificial silk used in this country in the course of a year, and when 1507 you add, not only what is used in the weaving sheds, but what is used in the hosiery industry and elsewhere, it means a, very large amount of extra working capital must be found somewhere.
Now we come to the question of re-exports. The right hon. Gentleman said little or nothing on that subject. Perhaps it will be better to take exports first, because the drawback which I understand is now being considered will probably be promised by the right hon. Gentleman on a larger basis than was at first anticipated. Refunding taxes which have been collected is one of the most difficult processes, as every protectionist country has discovered, that has ever been devised. It is open to all sorts of manipulations. It is very often defeated by the ingenuity of the taxpayer. Refunding is one of the things which the Customs will not he able to pursue with skill unless they are to provide themselves with a degree of chemical and commercial and industrial knowledge with which they are not equipped at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman is not going to deal with cloth entirely composed of artificial silk. or stockings or braids entirely composed of artificial silk, but he has to find out the silk content, and in order to get over that difficulty he has got to use a rough rule. What is that rule? No information has been given to the House, but I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will let us know what it is to he before this Debate ends. It is a matter of great importance. The one thing we can be quite certain of is that if there be no refunding, there will be no export trade, and unless there he a refund of the full amount of the duty we shall be weakened in competition, particularly with Italy, which now runs us very close in this trade.
If there is a refund, mark what the position is in this country. The hon. Member who has just. sat down did not say a single word about the consumer. He overlooked him. But what is the position in this country? Some kind of refund on this cloth or the hosiery or the braid or the lace which is sent abroad, but no refund for what is sold in this country. That is to say, you will, under this arrangement, be leaving this trade to sell to foreigners at actually less than they sell to the British consumer. Such an arrangement is not likely to make the 1508 right hon. Gentleman very popular. In the working of it, it certainly will not lead to simplicity or to a diminution of delay, which is one of the most hateful of all things in commercial work.
I have tried to make some calculation as to what the right hon. Gentleman is likely to get out of the weaving trade. The total amount of artificial silk used in cotton goods in weaving, as far as we can ascertain, is about 6,250,000 lbs. I understand that the view of Messrs. Courtauld is that about 25 per cent. of the 25,000,000 lbs. is used in weaving. The duty on that will come to £780,000. It is used in cotton goods and in woollen goods and in other fabrics which use a varying amount of artificial silk. It is estimated that two thirds of the looms are engaged at the present time on the export trade. The number varies from year to year, but that is said to be a very fair estimate of the present year. There will be collected in respect of these looms engaged on the export trade £560,000, all of which the right hon. Gentleman is to pay back. He must "shell out" as the goods go abroad. That leaves him with £280,000. That is all, and from this £280,000 he has to deduct the cost of collecting, and there is continuous loss in the trade itself, so that out of the £280,000 I think it will be sanguine to say that £180,000 net will be retained. All the trouble, all the loss, all the chance of losing foreign markets, all the irritation, all the delay, all the use of extra working capital for the sake of £180,000 from the weaving section alone. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that by that means he is going to revive British trade he is very much mistaken.
Let me turn to the re-export trade. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not overlook the importance of this trade, for I have very often heard him praise it in the past as an important section of British trade, in the days when facilities for British frade were what he was advocating, and not obstacles. The report of the Government Committee of two years ago provides us with a, great deal of information with regard to re-exporting. It is a very remarkable fact that the value of imported silk manufactures, other than ribbons which were re-exported during 1922, was no less than £3,386,702, and the value of ribbons 1509 re-exported during the same year was £1,142,000, or a total out of the silk manufactures imported into this country of over £4,500,000—a very considerable trade. What was the Committee's warning? That that trade would be imperilled by any embargo which was placed upon it. It was pointed out by credible witnesses, men in a large way of business, representing great organisations, that if there were any attempt. to place an import duty on silks the importation into this country would cease, and that a great many foreign silks from Zurich and from Lyons which found their way through London and Liverpool to other markets now would go direct to their destination. The whole of that re-export trade would be lost
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
Yes, but there was no division of view on this point. I am taking points which were agreed to by the whole Committee. On the question of figures of re-export there was no dispute. The only dispute was on the recommendations as to whether or not there was to be protection for the silk trade, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not proposing protection. He does not like protection for a great industry in this country. He will not have anything to do with it. He still remains a strict Free Trader. There has been a small exception in the matter of hops, and I dare say be has modified his views with regard to the McKenna Duties, but for the great industries he is not a Protectionist. He is not going to do what the hon. Member opposite would like. When you come to the question of re-exports, the Committee was not. divided. There is no reason why they should be divided on that subject, because the figures are unmistakable. The re-export, totalling £4,250,000, would not have come into this country if there had been any obstacles placed in the way of that trade. There is another side to the re-export trade which must not be overlooked. As my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder) pointed out, a large amount of cloth comes into this country from the East in order that it may be dyed and printed. That trade will also be imperilled if there is any attempt to place an embargo upon it, or to raise revenue from it.
1510 The right hon. Gentleman advocates these duties mainly on the ground that they are to balance his Budget. It is to be a thing of nice balances. The Silk Duty is balanced against the remission of Income Tax on earned incomes, just as the increase in the Death Duties is to pay for the drop in the Supertax. The right hon. Gentleman has cut it too fine. He cannot afford to give anything away to the silk men of Macclesfield, he cannot afford to give a large reduction in the duty to any one section, or he spoils the balance. There is only one piece of advice that is worth giving to him. He had 'better drop the whole thing at once. He will save his Government a great deal of trouble, he will save a great deal of money to the trade, he will relieve the anxiety of those who are finding at the present time that one of the best things they can do for their industry is to apply themselves to new methods rather than look to political aid for increasing the volume of their business, and he will certainly give an amount of cheerfulness to the Lancashire trade which it has lacked during the last fortnight.
The right hon. Gentleman knows Lancashire well, and he and his Government are well aware of the importance of Lancashire opinion. They ought to keep in mind the remarkable qualities which have put Lancashire in her present position—and, I should like to add, also the West Riding of Yorkshire. Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire and some little portions of counties elsewhere remain the marvel of the world in textiles. They draw their raw material from the other side of the Atlantic, or from India, Africa, Australia or Southern Europe. They bring their raw material to Lancashire, where they spin it, and ultimately weave it into cloths which are the admiration of the world. The only thing that has happened in Lancashire in recent years is that she has lost to a large extent her trade in low quality cloth, but she has retained the trade in the finer cloths. At the present time she has three great anxieties before her. The first is: where is she to draw her raw material from? Is she to be dependent, as in the past, almost entirely upon the Southern States of America for her raw material? Can there he a great increase in Egyptian 1511 cotton?Is it possible to increase the output of her raw material from the Sudan? What can be do' e in East and \Vest Africa? All these are problems to which she is now devoting her brain and her money, to which we have already made a very large grant through the British Empire Cotton Development Association.
The question of raw material is a matter of the first importance to her, and, let me add, it is also of very great importance to those who have a keen and direct interest in the maintenance of Britain's foreign exchanges (Lancashire's second anxiety) for if we can provide within our own shores for the making if raw material which we now have to buy every season at great and fluctuating cost from the Southern States of America, then we shall do a great deal towards stabilising our foreign exchanges. At the present time new raw material is one of the most welcome things that can ie brought to the textile industry. When our foreign exchanges can be eased by a large use of homemade raw material, when our competition from abroad—Lancashire's third anxiety—is most keen, and when new fabrics are being invented and manufactured to an amazing extent. along comes the right hon. Gentleman. and, by putting an embargo on the raw material, he makes it more difficult for the manufacturers to depend upon what they can make here. After all, one half of the raw material of artificial silk is made in this country.
If that trade can be expanded, it relieves the load upon the cotton crop. If it can he expanded with the rapidity and the energy, the ingenuity and the artistic knowledge of the last few years, it means we shall regain in many of the markets of the South and the East whatwehave lost on the lower grade cloths. Such a contribution to Lancashire is one which ought not to be overlooked. Lancashire herself is well aware of the real trouble, and she has jumped at the opportunity of this new process in order to relieve. her anxieties and provide ler people with more work.
The right hon. Gentleman is placing a new burden upon trade. The stresses are falling in directions that he would little have anticipated. and they will spread not only through this trade but 1512 a hundred others as well. He is adding friction to commerce and burdening finance at a time when his main object should have been to increase the facilities of trade, to speed up our resources, to reduce losses, whether financial or otherwise, and to give greater freedom to trades well able to take care of themselves, if Ministers will only refrain from either placing an embargo upon them or attempting to regulate them without adequate knowledge
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The cool, calm, instructive and instructing character of this Debate is a singular and satisfactory contrast to a great deal of the criticism of this proposal which we have experienced out of doors. I gladly pay my tribute of thanks to the various speakers of the Opposition parties, as well as to my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer), who have intervened in the course of this afternoon. We have at the present moment only arrived at a stage in the 6.0 P.M.
Discussion which is preliminary and provisional. The Resolution which is before the House does not authorise a tax on silk, natural. artificial;. or in any of its forms. It only authorises the Government to introduce a Finance Bill to contain a project for a tax on silk. About a month or five weeks hence we shall have prolonged and detailed debates in Committee on the Finance Bill, when every aspect of the question can be explored. No one who votes for this Resolution tonight is committed, unless he wishes to be committed—which I trust will be the sentiment animating the breasts of a large majority of Members—but no one need be committed to all the minute details of the scales under which the tax will be applied.
Voting for this Resolution would leave anyone perfectly free, if minor points could not he adjusted, or if further attemptsto adjust minor points reveal some fatal defect to take a new view at a subsequent stage. To this case, as my right hon. Friend the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) has very well pointed out, there are special reasons for withholding a final judgment upon the scales of this tax at, this time. It has been long considered. The Board of Customs have been working continuously for more than 1513 four months on this, and reporting to me at each stage of their investigations, but, of course, no one would ever pretend that a new tax of this kind, touching a very wide sphere of industry, couldhedevised in the solitude and secrecy of the Treasury without there being a number of special points and particular instances which will only make their appearance and make their case felt when the whole project was brought to the light of day.
We did our best to consult the authorities connected with the different branches of the trade. Secrecy was imperative. We were touching in these matters upon very speculative trades and businesses, and it would have been most injurious if any whisper of our projects had leaked out. We consulted representatives of the natural and artificial trades, and whatever their advice was, whether they agreed with us or disagreed with is, we had to keep the secret, and I think I am justified in saying that no one had any inkling of it outside the official circle till I first uttered the word "silk" last Tuesday week. This very need of secrecy made it necessary that very few people should be consulted, and it naturally prevented that open thrashing out of all the details of a tax like this with the interests concerned. We were unable to send for the Silk Association, or for all the manufacturers of artificial silk, or for the representatives of the Lancashire and Yorkshire trade who use silk as a portion of their manufactures. We were unable to send for them and discuss with them the complications of this scheme. We had to prepare by long study on the part of the experts of the Customs and Excise, and rely on confidential discussion with only a few individuals connected with the various branches of the industry.
Of course I am quite ready to admit that there are a number of minor points such as those mentioned by the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Bromfield), who opened the discussion, and those mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield which have to be thrashed out with the particular trades and interests affected. There is the point about the very cheap silk waste which is imported at the value of 7d. per lb. That is a point which the Silk Association are going to raise when they come to see me on Thursday next. I am told it is not 1514 at all impossible that we can devise an adjustment which will meet this special and undoubtedly limited class of importations. There are other points which my hon. Friend raised, but they go into further detail than I wish to enter into tonight. It was with a view to these negotiaions and a possibility of certain modifications in minor ways of our scale that I have kept a perfectly free hand and have reserved a certain financial margin for dealing with what I may call novel, unforeseen and minor aspects. I have a certain margin without complicating the finances of the year which will enable me to make minor adjustments. In our Estimates of the duty we safeguarded ourselves against the possibility of having to make some readjustments after consultation with the trades affected. Therefore, I say that the scale which is now presented is not in all its details the absolute and final scale, and that as soon as the Budget Resolutions have been passed by the House I shall begin a series of discussions with the various sections of the trade, both real and artificial, and continue personally the discussions which have been going on for the last fortnight with the representatives of the Silk Association and the London Chamber of Commerce, which is perhaps the most representative body relating to many of the interests concerned.
I have several important deputations visiting me. I do hope these deputations will come to me to talk business. I do not want them to come to talk politics. Let us talk politics here, but when there are deputations of business men it is much better that the discussions should be confined to business. The (Government believe that a great deal of the criticism which has been excited and aroused in the Press is not based on very deepseated reasoning, and a great many of the points which have been adduced in that criticism will be met quite satisfactorily before the final scale of duties is presented to the House in the Finance Bill. Therefore, all we ask at present is an assent in principle to this tax, it being clearly understood that minor points of detail are left open, arid that if these points or other points reveal at any stage a fatal defect, everybody will be free, including the Government, to revise their position.
1515 I should like, however, to utter as a general warning a corrective to this extremely reasonable note which I have thought it right to strike. I have sat in this House for a quarter of a century. [An HON. MEMBER: "On and off !"] More on than off. I have heard nearly every Budget, and a number of new taxes have been proposed, but I have never heard one new tax proposed without the most violent protests being made, and the loudest cries being raised by all the interests affected, and when there were not agitations in the newspapers and predictions by Members on the Front Bench, and in all parts of the House, and in different constituencies, that the new tax would carry ruin and devastation in its train, and yet when the tax has been imposed, not in all cases, but in the great majority of cases, in nine cases out of ten, these predictions have been completely falsified. The tax has become incorporated in the general life and business of the country and has gradually passed into that condition of an impost of which it is customary to say that an old tax is no tax.
In the present situation there is a certain tendency to what I would call competitive denunciation. When you have two oppositions, each divided into several sections and headed by several leaders, all anxious to distinguish themselves and show their prowess and skill in attacking the Government and Budget of the year, then you get a good deal of criticism. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer was so eager to begin the hunt that he started off barking up the wrong tree. His first thought was the shameless favouritism which a Chancellor of the Exchequer, notoriously the friend of the very rich, had shown to a wealthy corporation whose profits in a single year had exceeded £4,000,000, and on that he dilated to the House of Commons on Wednesday week last. But now I gather the line of attack is entirely different. We have no more iniquitous favouring of this wealthy corporation making their shares go up to 105—from which they speedily fell. Now the line of criticism is as expressed by the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder), who spoke of the blow at this young infant, struggling, growing industry, springing up to revive prosperity, and struck down by an unfeel- 1516 ing Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman, with a very necessary agility, will rapidly readjust his position to the new point of view. This criticism will not, I think, stand prolonged, sustained investigation by the House such as will he given during the passage of the Finance Bill.
Lot us look, first of all, at the general scheme of this tax. It is a permanent revenue duty on so called luxury articles, designed to raise at least £7,000,000 a year from the home consumer, without either injuring the trade concerned or hampering our exports. That is the scheme and object of the tax. The plan of the scale which is contained in the Resolution is to hold the balance evenly. While obtaining this revenue, it is essential, to hold the balance even as between the natural and the artificial production and also as between the home producer and the foreign importer and to hold it even between the home exporter and the foreign competition which he has to meet in the markets to which his goods are sent. All parts of this scale are related to one another. I do not say that they cannot be altered and modified, but, in altering or modifying them, it must always be remembered that every change may entail consequential alterations in every other part if the balance is not to be deranged. Our object in framing the scale has not been to give a bounty on exports, or to favour the home producer: our object is to compensate in both cases fully for the burden of being singled out to bear this tax, and for any loss, inconvenience or friction which its collection may entail. We believe that the scale embodied in the Resolution produces these results. If it does not produce these results, we will work patiently at it until it does—until we are quite sure that the natural and the artificial silk trades gain no advantage at the expense of each other. so that the home producer is not placed at a disadvantage with his foreign importer, and so that the home exporter is not crippled in his external business.
I have used the expression "luxury taxes." In considering luxury taxes—I admit it is a very vague definition—we have to bear in mind the alternatives. It will be remembered that there were quoted last week Mr. Gladstone's observations on luxury taxes, but, at the time when Mr. Gladstone was making his 1517 remarks about luxury taxes, the Income Tax stood at 4d. or 5d. in the pound. Now that the direct taxation had reached limits unparalleled in any other country, and unparalleled in this country in time of peace, now that. a harsh and oppressive burden is affecting the direct taxpayers all over the country, and not only affecting the taxpayers, but affecting the saving power and the enterprise of the nation, I say it is indispensable to find, as far as possible, means of broadening the basis of taxation and of finding new sources of revenue. These sources of revenue may have many faults, and many evils may be urged against them, but you have not only to find those faults, you have not only to take notice of and expose them, and to weigh and measure them, but you have to contrast and compare them with the disadvantages and evils which follow from the excessive rates of taxation prevailing in almost every other sphere.
Is silk a luxury? Is it a luxury compared with commodities like bread, meat, wool, cotton, leather? Can it be classed with alcohol and tobacco Can it, at any rate, be classed with comforts like tea and sugar? (An HON. MEMBER: "No ! "] Is it more luxurious than tea and sugar? If should have thought that, if you could tax tea and sugar, you could certainly find in your hearts sufficient hardness to approach silk. I will ask another question. Is artificial silk a luxury? I am going to quote now a very high authority on this subject; in fact, I am going to quote an authority that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea has just declared to be the highest authority he could find. I am going to quote Mr. S. Courtauld, the Chairman of Messrs. Courtaulds, Limited, who according to the general habit of distinguished men of writing to the newspapers —wrote, on the 5th March last, a foreword to the Artificial Silk Supplement of the Manchester Guardian." This was what he wrote—before, of course, the duty was mooted:There seems little likelihood of artificial silk made by any vet discovered process competing with wool and cotton as a utility fibre. The present processes of manufacture are only capable of producing fibres suitable for making luxury fabrics or for the decoration of staple fabrics.1518 Then, again, he writes:The lack of warmth and softness, combined with its comparatively poor wearing qualities, would seem to rule it outthat is, artificial silkfor utility fabrics when used alone even were the material as cheap as the commoner counts of cotton or even wool, which is never likely to be the case.Then, again:In almost every case the function of the artificial silk is to provide the brilliance. and the other materials the warmth, softness, resilience, and most of the strength.Further, he says—and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea d: scribed him as the highest authority he could findWe may, therefore, expect to see artificial silk spreading its functions as an article of adornment farther and farther a field, but for reasons already given it is unlikely that any variety of it as at present known will seriously cut into the use of cotton or wool for staple fabrics.That is what is said by the highest authority on the subject as to artificial silk being a luxury, before the tax was proposed
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Yes, he did. I will read the words again:The present processes of manufacture are only capable of producing fibres suitable for making luxury fabrics.That was before the tax was proposed. Of course, after the tax has been proposed, everyone knows that artificial silk is the commonest underwear among the poorest people in the land.
Now I come to another point. The natural silk industry, on the whole, is in favour of this tax. The Silk Association have promised to assist in establishing the duties, and are generally favourable to the policy. It may be said, "If the natural silk trade are in favour of the tax, and the artificial silk trade are opposed to it, why do not you divide the tax? Why do not you tax the natural and leave the artificial free? "or, again," Why do not you drop the countervailing Excise? "We may dismiss the idea from our minds that it is possible to tax natural silk and leave artificial silk free. You might as well tax sugar and leave saccharin free. The interests of artificial and natural silk are inextricably interwoven. The one silk is natural and the other synthetic—I am not speaking 1519 of chemical processes. Both begin with vegetable matter, and both end in an article of adornment. I have here a number of samples. I was threatened by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn), who said he would spring a mine upon me, but I have prepared a countermine of my own. Some of these samples are artificial and some are natural, and I have tried to tell one from the other, but found myself perfectly incapable of doing so. I went further. I empanelled a jury of ladies, and they were wrong more often than they were right in telling the natural from the artificial. And yet we have the Leader of the Opposition saying, "Fancy this purblind Chancellor of the Exchequer "—or words to that effect—" not knowing that silk was silk and artificial silk was wood." I shall be very glad, indeed, if the right hon. Gentleman will try his skill in distinguishing the silk from the wood among these samples which I have.
There is no doubt that with this wonderful new process, which has achieved such results and which is daily achieving ever more perfect results from the practical point of view over the whole range of the trade, you cannot distinguish between the one and the other, so far as the ordinary purchaser is concerned. To tax the natural and to leave the artificial free would be to cripple, and ultimately to destroy, the natural silk industry. I f, therefore, you are going to tax silk, you cannot separate the two, but, for good or for ill, they must be treated equally. We have tried our best, making allowance for all the differing conditions, to treat them in our scale evenly and equally. That has been our object, and we think we have achieved it, but if, in the further discussions, we are proved wrong, and it is found that the balance is not being held quite even, we are prepared to work patiently and perseveringly at the problem until we have achieved the result of treating these two trades equally. Now let me read a quotation from the Report of the Lace, Embroidery and Silk Industry Committee, which sat two years ago. Nothing has happened since which would alter the relevance of their remarks. They say:Silk yarn is used alone or in combination with other fibres; such as cotton or wool, and of 1520 late years the industry has increasingly used artificial silk. either alone or in combination with silk, cotton or wool. The use of artificial silk has become widespread throughout the industry, the same worgers handling both pure and artificial silk. It is, therefore, not possible to distinguish a pure silk section from the industry as a whole, and we have regarded the expression silk industry ' in our terms of reference as including artificial silk.The House, during these discussions, will have to make up its mind either to tax both artificial and real silk, or to abandon the duty altogether. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear ! Why not?"] I am glad am stating the case so fairly that it commands the assent of hon. Members opposite.
There is the question of the protective element in the scale of duties comprised in the Resolution. We are seeking to use the silk trade as a fiscal instrument to gather the new tax from a wide consuming public. We do not wish to hamper them or discourage them or prevent. their full development; therefore, we have framed the scale at every point and at every stage so as to give the turn in favour of the home producer as against the importer. These margins in the scale of duty are intended to compensate the trade for the new function it is asked to discharge as a revenue collector. There is nothing unorthodox or unprecedented in that. The Tobacco Duties have borne. for many years an exactly similar machinery. Because tobacco has been used as a revenue producing commodity a powerful turn has been given to the home industry as against the foreign competitor. I will not go into the technical detail of allowances for waste and so forth, but that is the effect and that is the intention. That was the effect during the whole of the administration of Sir Henry CampbellBannerman and Mr. Asquith. All the time Mr. Asquith was at the Exchequer this principle of discrimination, giving the turn to the home producer of tobacco, was in our fiscal system. No Free Trader, however austere and vigilant, made any comment upon it. But we can go back to a much more venerable authority as we ascend the years. We can go back to no less an authority than Mr. Gladstone himself, who in 1.863 introduced this very principle into the Tobacco Duties. He re wised the Tobacco Duties, which had hitherto been protective, on Free Trade lines. He deliberately turned the scale 1521 of the duties in favour of the home manufacturer in order to compensate him for the indirect charges falling on him in consequence of his handling a dutiable material. So I hope that, whatever happens, there will not be any heresy hunting or witch finding on this particular aspect. There may he some discussion about the degree, hut the principle cannot be challenged. The object we have had is to make the home producer neither better nor worse, after making an allowance on a generous scale, by the imposition of the tax. If, however, on this, as on every other point, after detailed discussions with the trade it is found that the home producer is injured, we are quite ready, within the limits that are possible, to amend the. scale. Amending the scale would involve no change of policy
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
We hope to raise the tax from the consumer. That is the whole object. There will be no change in policy in making such an alteration. It will be simply carrying out our policy and making it effective. Let me take another argument which has been much used. The hon. Member for Leek drew attention to this point today. He said, "You are taxing a raw material, a thing never before suggested or heard of," or words to that effect. We are told we are taxing a raw material. We are told this will hamper the export trade. We are told that Free Traders and Protectionists, differing in all else, unite in condemning the taxing of raw materials. We are told such a thing has never been heard of, or words to that effect. What about sugar? Sugar is taxed heavily. Sugar is a raw material which is an important element. in great and growing export trades exposed to serious competition. Show me any feature of the Silk Duties which cannot in principle be reproduced in the Sugar Duties. The drawbacks on silk are no more complicated than they are on sugar. The difficulty of reclaiming them is no more burdensome to the trader than it is already on sugar. Just as sugar is an element in a hundred forms of export, so silk is an element in many different forms of export. Just as sugar passes 1522 through many hands in sits different stages, so silk passes through them, and in neither case will there be any difficulty in reclaiming the appropriate drawbacks on each class of manufacture.
Let me mention some of the complications of the Sugar Duties which are being successfully solved at present. Here are some of the exports containing sugar—biscuits, chocolate biscuits. cakes, pastries, bread, coffee and chicory essence, condensed milk, pickles, sauces, vinegar, cocoa, confectionery, chocolate powders, crystallised fruits, flowers and ginger, plum puddings, mincemeat, wine, mineral waters, oxo, ice cream powder, chutney, bottled fruit, laundry blue, jams, jellies, marmalade, medicines, and custard powder. These are some of the principle articles of export in which sugar is a raw material, and in regard to which drawbacks are being reclaimed without any undue inconvenience by the traders concerned, and in regard to which those drawbacks are being paid by the Customs without in any way preventing the carrying on of this great export trade or preventing its steady development. The export. trade of articles containing sugar is very nearly as large as the whole British export. of silk. £5,884,000 of sugar containing articles were exported cannot conceive why it should he assumed that there will be any more difficulty in regard to silk than has been experienced in regard to sugar or why it should be considered a monstrous thing to tax a raw material 'like silk when all parties, including the Labour party, and all Governments have for years not hesitated to tax the raw material of sugar. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer reduced the Sugar Duty, but still left it at a very high rate. If he entirely disapproves of such a. duty, he ought to have removed it altogether.
Let me take the question whether this tax will hamper exports. Both real and artificial silk are woven, as has been pointed out so often in the Debate, in various proportions with cotton, wool, and other materials. From all these beautiful processes of manufacture the piece goods are sold throughout the world, and form a very important branch of our export trade. In so far as piece goods into the making of which silk has entered are con 1523 sumed in Great Britain, it is intended that the manufacturer should pass the tax on to the consumer. The silk manufacturer is compensated by a margin of Protection, by the turn of the market, for the labour and burden of passing the tax on to the consumer. The consumer is intended to bear the burden. Once the Customs and Excise have collected the duty at the ports, or at Courtauld's factory — it is collected by weight — the Customs have nothing more to say so far as home consumption is concerned. There will be no interference of any kind. The manufacturer who buys a pound of yarn, pays his halfcrown, and that is the end of it so far as sales in this country are. concerned. He passes the tax on to the public, and it will be simply a question of price. The competition in this field is such that I am sure the price will not be allowed to mount to levels not warranted by the actual extra incidence and burden of the tax. But. when we come to exports, and to the cotton and woollen manufacture, to Lancashire and Yorkshire, who use silk in the adornment and variation of their ordinary fabrics, the most prominent feature of these duties is the system of drawbacks which will be given on all articles containing an admixture of real and artificial silk, and in proportion to the admixture. This is no afterthought, it is not a suggestion which has been made by the Government or the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the whip and spur of criticism. When the scheme of these duties was originally designed and presented to me, the proposal was what it is now, that the rates of drawback should he the same as the import rates
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
The right hon. Gentleman's sentence was not quite clear. Do we understand that the proposed scheme of drawbacks will be applicable only if the article is manufactured out of imported silk, or would there be a drawback if it is made out of silk which has paid Excise equally with the import which has paid Customs?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I will gladly answer that question. Of course, the drawback Is related to the burden in all cases, no matter what the origin of the silk may be. The rate of drawback will be the same as 1524 the import rate—the full import rate if the silk is of foreign origin, and the preferential, 5/6ths, if it is of Imperial or home origin. The silk goods exported will he entitled to the rate of drawback applicable to the state in which they are exported. Yarn will get the rate for yarn, and tissue the rate for tissue, irrespective altogether of the original state of the silk when duty was paid. We believe this system of drawbacks not only equates the burden of the tax, but it makes a full allowance for all inconvenience and disturbance to the manufacturer. The allowances for waste in all cases have been calculated at the maximum. That is to say, everyone who is affected by less than the maximum waste in any process will gain a greater advantage, and in addition there is a d/efinite margin allowed in the drawback.
The right hon. Member for West Swansea spoke of the need of increasing the capital:n the industry. That is true. A certain increase in the working capital is required by these companies, though I should imagine the figures he quoted would be of a very sensational and exaggerated character. This expense is one of the items taken into account in fixing the relations between the various rates of drawback. It does not mean at all that the manufacturer who pays 2s. 6d. per pound on artificial yarn only gets a drawback of 2s. 6d. a pound. When he has woven it into his other fabric, wool, cotton or any other material, he recovers his drawback on the scale of tissue, because the whole process of manufacture has raised itself, and he gets the same drawback which is appropriate to the higher form of manufacture. 2s. 11d. a pound is the rate on tissue. We believe that this advantage is fully sufficient to sustain the export trade. However, if it can be shown in discussion with the trades affected that it is not so, we shall be perfectly ready to examine the matter, and if the case can be proved the margins can, of course, be increased. It is not our intention to propose a bonus or a bounty, but only to compensate fully, fairly and thoroughly the manufacturers in the export trade for any inconvenience or burden they may have to bear.
The Customs authorities do not believe that there will be any appreciable difficulty in working this drawback system in co 1525 operation with the interests affected. I was asked to explain a little in detail what the method will be. I will do so. The proportion of silk in mixed fabrics is known to the manufacturers. The exporter when he is not a manufacturer can obtain this proportion from the manufacturer. Such information is already supplied by the great bulk of exporters for the benefit of the foreign Customs to which they are exposed when they enter the countries to which the goods are sent. It is not asking very much extra labour and burden, that the results of the labours which they have made for the benefit of the foreign custom houses should be made available to our own for the purpose of calculating the substantial drawback which they will receive.
The regular exporters constitute the main problem. The Customs will be prepared on investigation in each case to fix for each exporter average rates of drawbacks for each different line of silk goods with which he is concerned. That is to say, you will have Empire silk, with a Preferential Duty, foreign silk, with a duty, and home manufactured artificial silk, with different rates of duty, and all these will be used in different degrees in the manufacture for export. We offer to the trader, the exporter, the alternative either of dealing with the special lines of goods he exports in accordance with the ascertained actual proportion of the silk used, or of striking an average—our negotiations with the London Chamber of Commerce and other authorities have led us to this course—between the three classes of silk. We believe that that will be a great simplification which in the majority of cases will be adopted by the exporters. Exactly the same system is pursued in regard to sugar. Sugar comes in with a preference on Empiregrown sugar, and now we are offering a preference on homegrown sugar. I am advised that only one investigation will be necessary. Samples will be provided, all the classes of goods will be examined, and, once the average is struck, only after a considerable interval will it be necessary for the Customs to review the quality of the goods to see whether they correspond with the sample.
The procedure on exports will be also extremely simple. The exporter notifies the local Customs and Excise authorities 1526 of his intention to export particular goods. The officer of the Customs, on the notification of the exporter, makes a test and checks the quantities. He notes the distinguishing marks and any particulars about the goods. The officer at the port of shipment is advised by the Customs officer, and sees the goods shipped and certifies the shipment, and the drawback will then be calculated at the fixed rate on the quantities exported. The trader who only exports rarely is a very minor problem. In the case of the occasional exporter he can be dealt with as above, and the drawback will be calculated not on the average, but on the actual silk contents known to the trader. It would not be open for the trader to adopt the average system for his goods and then when one particular consignment came along made principally from a particular silk, to vary the duty. He must choose which of the two systems he will adopt and stick to it until there is a good reason for a complete change
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No serious addition to the staff will be required. I am told that this will be worked in the most smooth and easy manner. In addition to the drawback, there will be the usual facilities for storing silk goods in bonded warehouses. One hon. Member suggested that we should have to build a great number of bonded warehouses. He saw great visions of these enormous structures arising on our quays. They are all there now
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
And full with the goods that usually fill them. That is true. All that will be necessary is for the Customs to give facilities for bonding particular goods. Therefore, imported silk goods which are intended for re-export will pass in and out of the country without paying any duty of any kind, or being impeded at all.
There is one important branch of the subject with which I must deal, because this is the first opportunity I have had to put the House in possession of the view of the Government on these new duties. I refer to the question of madeup articles. The silk products of this country will be taxed under this 1527 duty, and therefore it is essential for the imported products to be similarly taxed; otherwise, we shall simply be p nalising our own producers for the benefit of the foreigner. There will be a reason able allowance made on travellers' personal belongings. There is no need and no intention to administer the tax in a vexatious manner at the ports. Deliberate fraud and gross abuse will, naturally, he struck at, but reasonable personal belongings will not be dealt with in a way to cause any appreciable inconvenience to the travelling public. As far as merchandise is concerned, no difficulty at all is anticipated. We originally fixed the general scale of duty at 331 per cent., but, it was never intended that 33ࡩ per cent. should be exacted on every imported article partly made of silk
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not doubt what I say. The Resolution is framed in that form, and the proposal originally made from the very beginning was that for articles of any certain scale of silk contents there shall be a much lower rate of duty. That was the basis on which I presented the tax, and I have not made any concession or modification of any sort or kind since the tax was introduced. We deliberately did not specify this figure, because we intended to negotiate with the traders and find out what was the figure that would be best for their pinpose and would cause the least inconvenience. We have now arrived, provisionally. at a figure on a lower rate, when the silk content does not exceed 20 per cent. We have not fixed the duty, but there will he a lower duty.We then contemplate a further subdivision for articles which contain only a very small proportion of silk. think it is a very reasonable thing to do to leave that matter open for discussion and argument with the interests affected.
A great many speakers have, either intentionally or incidentally, referred to the enormous and widespread use of silk, to the numbers of trades affected, and the enormous number of people in onewayor another who use very small quantities of silk. The hon. Member who opened the Debate drew our attention to the silk upon our buttonholes, and so on 1528 There are a thousand ways in which silk enters into the life of the nation. We consider that this is a very great advantage in the tax, because it spreads, sometimes perceptibly, and very often imperceptibly, through innumerable operations over vast masses of people. It falls upon every class from one end of the land to the other, except the poorest class. The very widespread effect of this tax makes it very easy to raise up superficial, but very diverse, opposition in many quarters. That we have witnessed, but so far from dissuading us from the tax, its widespread character constitutes. to our mind, a. great advantage. Where else will you find an hitherto untaxed non-necessary article of consumption on which a moderate tax, once imposed, will be so minutely divided that the incidence will scarcely be appreciable to any individual. If anyone knows of such commodity, I call upon them here and now to declare it. There is still time to include it in the provisions of the Finance Bill
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
'The hon. Member has repeatedly mentioned precious stones, diamonds and so on. The reason why such a tax has never been imposed is, that it is practically impossible to prevent the clandestine import of articles of such a very small sizo. The hon. and gallant Member knows a great deal about it
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I do not rise on that last point. I appreciate the joke. The Americans raise a very large revenue by the taxation of jewellery. The right hon. Gentleman says that if anyone knows of any untaxed commodity they should now declare it. He knows, because I have called his attention to the figures, of the value of furs and plumage imported into this country. These are things which, if taxed, would bring in as much on the same scale as the proposed duties on silk
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I examined both furs and plumage. They would bring in a very small sum compared with the large yield of this duty. I say perfectly frankly that I shall continue to study luxury importation or quasi-luxury importation with a view to seeing whetherwecan get some further funds in relief of our hard-pressed Income Tax payers. 1529 The Government attach great importance to this tax. It provides £7,000,000 of revenue. I believe that is a moderate estimate. It may well be that in a few years' time it will be producing a very much larger sum. It is an 7.0 P.M.
essential part of the Budget, and it is an essential part of our policy of broadening the basis of taxation. Silk exactly balances the relief we have been able to give to the earned Income Tax payers of the smaller classes which hon. Gentlemen opposite praise so highly, and which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Coble Valley (Mr. Snowden) praised so highly that he made us almost believe that he had done it himself. We cannot give these remissions without providing money from some other sources. The money must be found. Taxation is a grim business. No one expected to get 7,000,000 permanent revenue or more for the Exchequer without some friction. A fight was inevitable, but I say to the House with confidence that the prize is well worth fighting for.
It. is not a trumpery little tax. It is areal relief and an alteration of our fiscal system, an addition to our fiscal armoury. It is particularly so in a new Parliament which may be expected to be responsible for a number of years and to enjoy the fullest fruition of the tax. Itisthe intention of the Government to press this project forward reasonably but with all the strength they can command. We are convinced that the tax is sound and will not. be injurious to trade or harsh to the consumer. We believe that. it will not check the expansion of this artificial silk industry, that it will not prejudice our export trade, and that it will not hamper business with vexatious procedure. We are sure it will not impose upon the Customs any task which they cannot discharge, will not raise any principle of taxation or any administrative difficulty which is not daily found in many branches of our Customs and Excise revenue. It will not, in our view. set the Government or the trade problems different from those which are being solved every day in many other articles. Tonight, we only ask assent in principle to include the tax in the Finance Measure. We ask only a provisional judgment based on that. We ask from the House a. fair consideration of this 1530 serious and important new project which has been long and patiently studied and in the execution of which we are determined to persevere
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The right hon. Gentleman's speech has in many respects been most remarkable and many of the things he said, and the confessions which he has made, will be gratefully accepted and never forgotten bymyfriends sitting behind me. We have the Chancellor of the Exchequer's candid admission of the purpose which has actuated him in proposing this tax. The fact emerges that he left the Conservative party many years ago, and at a time when it proposed to broaden the basis of taxation. The right hon. Gentleman has now rejoined the Tory party in order that he may carry out the programme with which he disagreed 20 years ago. What does broadening of taxation mean? I want no better explanation than that given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. Broadening the basis of taxation, he tells us, is the relief of the Income Tax payer and putting the burden on the, working classes
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
But this is only the first step. This is the right hon. Gentleman's fiscal policy. He asks us to suggest other articles of consumption in general use which he might treat similarly to the way in which he proposes to treat this particular industry. I will give him one or two. He says it is wholly a question of revenue. This duty will produce £7,000,000 a year—a little more than a penny on the Income Tax. I will tel; the Chancellor of the Exchequer how by pursuing and extending his policy he can raise £100,000,000 a year. Let him put a similar import duty upon raw cotton. Let him put an export duty on cotton goods. There is no difference whatever, in spite of the ridiculous interpretation that the right hon. Gentleman has put upon the article which be has read to the House. The right hon. Gentleman himself, in his Budget speech, gave us a definition of luxuries as a, thing that people need not have. Well, people must, have stockings.[An HON. MEMBER: "Woollen! "]The very interjection I was waitingfor—woolen stockings, cotton stockings. Why artificial 1531 silk stockings in many cases are cheaper than cotton and wool stockings. Therefore, it is simply a matter of choice. There is just as much sense in taxing cotton or woollens as a luxury as there is in taxing the commodity which the Chancellor of the Exchequer now proposes to tax. He tried, but with no very great success, to make out that artificial silk and natural silk were not one and the same, though so nearly alike. It is not the finished article that constitutes the difference. To describe artificial silk as being silk is, well, just a "terminological inexactitude." Suppose that artificial silk had been called "lustrous cotton," would the right hon. Gentleman have said it was silk? If it had been called, as it is called in the United States of America, "Rayon," would the right hon. Gentleman say it was natural silk? The fact of the matter is that artificial silk is a new industry, promising in a comparatively short time to be largely a substitute, probably at a cheaper price, for cotton and woollen goods. I repeat, therefore, if the right hon. Gentleman's sole purpose is to raise revenue by taxing this article, then, in pursuance of his fiscal policy, he might as well extend the taxation to wool and cotton goods.
How are we asked to vote this afternoon? He only asks us to vote on the principle. The principle upon which we are asked to vote is upon a tax upon the home produced manufactured article, a tax on a new and growing industry. The Chancellor of the Exchequer last week defended the reimposition of the duties in the motor industry on the ground that it was an industry that needed encouragement, therefore it needed to be protected. Now the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by this taxation, is seeking to destroy a new industry. He appears to be quite indifferent to the effect these proposals may have on employment. I was encouraged by one confession which the right hon. Gentleman made to hope that his proposals may do something to relieve unemployment, because it is perfectly evident that the Government are going to require the building of a large number of new Customs Houses, and, therefore, we may get some relief for the unemployed by the building of these in order to house these goods which are intended for export.
1532 This industry, as I have said, is a new one. It is a growing one. During the last two years it has expanded to the extent of 800 per cent. and increased by 100 per cent. during the last six months. The Chancellor of the Exchequer ridiculed the fear which has been expressed and warned the deputations which are to wait upon him in the next few days. I have every respect for the Customs and Revenue Department in their own line and in their own business, but they know nothing at all about the difficulties, the details and the technicalities of a trade like this. When the right hon. Gentleman meets these deputations, he will find that it is no political question but a question of trade, and he may rest assured that they will talk business. The right hon. Gentleman in the latter part of his speech dealt with the question of rebates. We shall require to see his proposals in print beforewecan understand them, but he tells us now it was never intended that the Resolution should mean what the Resolution says. For the Resolution, as the right hon. Gentleman admitted to me is clear. There is no ambiguity about it. It says:Articles not heretofore specified made wholly or in part of silk or artificial silk, a duty of 33i per cent. of the value of the article.The right hon. Gentleman says that this was never intended. He has been considering this matter for four months. I suppose that four months ago he made up his mind that this was never intended. but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will not mind if I call his attention to a statement made by the Customs authorities. This is a statement issued by a prominent official of the London Chamber of Commerce. He says:We received inquiries from many of our members interested in the silk trade as to hat was meant by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We immediately got on to the Customs to find out what was their interpretation of the statement, as this was most important to some of our members. The reply of the Customs was to the effect that all articles which contain any silk at all will be taxed 33i per cent. on the full value of the article itself.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
That was an erroneous statement which was made by the official at the Customs, who was apparently a junior official, the senior official who had been concerned in the preparation of these duties being in attendance at the House to advise. A 1533 telephone message was sent from the London Chamber of Commerce and an answer was given over the telephone to the effect that the interpretation of the duty was as has been stated. But that does not affect the validity of my statement that our intention was that a much lower rate should be imposed in certain cases, and that the matter would be reserved for discussion with the trade
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
It is a very great pity that after the statement to which I have referred was made public, so far as I have seen there has been no contradiction of it, and it is a very extraordinary thing that a junior official of the Customs should have authority to make important statements of that kind, leading people to make such an incorrect interpretation of the effect of these duties. But I would suggest that the changes indicated by the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon do not improve the position very much, because, so far as I understand, they simply amount to this, that there is to he a sort of graduated scale of duties, and that if an article contains 20 per cent. of silk, or more than that amount, it will pay the full duty. What does that mean? The whole article will be liable to duty, and 3311 per cent. will be payable upon the constituent parts of that article. Therefore, what the right hon. Gentleman is doing is not merely putting a duty upon silk, lout upon cotton and every other commodity that enters into the composition of an article, so that this is taxation not only of silk but also a taxation of wool and cotton.
How is that going to affect prices? The right bon Gentleman will hear from the trade how it is going to affect them. There is a certain type of stocking which is made of this socalled artificial silk which is sold at ls. Md. a pair. It is cheaper than cotton and cheaper than wool. The proposed duty will increase the price of that from 20. to 3d. according to the actual weight of silk whether artificial or natural. Other stockings of similar kinds will be increased by 21d. to 9d. wholesale and by from 3d. to ls. retail. I may just refer to an article by a textile correspondent in a leading Conservative newspaper "The Yorkshire Post." He details the duties charged on articles of different value, and shows that this tax is going to bear much more heavily upon the 1534 cheaper articles than it is upon the dearer articles, and that the commodities which are used by the workers will be subject to a tax from five to 10 times more than the rate of tax of the more expensive articles which are worn by the Income Tax payers. This is a proposal to tax the simple fir eries of working girls. We will debate the question of rebate whenwecome to the Finance Bill. In passing may I point out, without further comment, that I must not be interpreted as endorsing in the slightest degree the lightness with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer treated this matter. If, as I am sure he was, he was reading from the brief which had been supplied to him by his advisers, all I can say is that the Customs Authorities have had no experience in this matter. They are totally ignorant of the technicalities of the textile trade, and I am sure that when they attempt to apply this rebate system they will find it full of difficulty and insurmountable difficulty, and even if the difficulty is found to be not so great as is anticipated, there is no doubt that it is going to harass trade and going to put expense on the trade. It means as the right hon. Gentleman himself has admitted an increase of the revenue staff and it will mean that every exporting and manufacturing firm engaged to any considerable extent in this business will have to provide a special staff in order to deal with these dutiable matters.
The right hon. Gentleman told us many times in the course of his speech that he has an open mind with regard to the details of these proposals. He warns us again that he has behind him an obedient and servile majority upon which he can rely in order to carry these proposals, whatever the opinion of the House of Commons may be, and he is looking forward with glee to the next appeal to the country. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that we will do the same, and that if he pursues this policy in the next Budget of broadening the basis of taxation and relieving the rich by transferring the burden to the poor, the next appeal to the country will not justify his hopes. We have been told what a great asset this Budget would be to the Tory party at the next election in 1929. I can imagine the posters which the Tory party will put before the voters at the next election. "Under Toryism your handkerchiefs cost 1535 you more" "Under Toryism your stocking cost you more" If the right hon. Gentlemen beliveves that the taxed articals will not cost more, he has forgetten everything that he knew in his better days.
Does the right hon. Gentleman think now that by putting a tax on a commodity he will make it cheaper? The right hon. Gentleman says that he has got an open mind. Why cannot he admin that he has made a mistake? I am sure that nobody would think any the worse of him for doing that. I am that his reputation as a financial genius would not suffer. Let the right hon. Gentleman leave tariffs to those who believe in them. May I say to hon. Gentleman behind him who are going into the lobby to support his proposals, that they are under the grabest possible delusion if they think that the right hon. Gentleman, by pursuing this policy, is going to be an asset to their party. He is not. Theirs is not the party that is going to gain most by such a policy as this and, if there were nothing in the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman to inflict injury upon the poor, needy, hard working people of this country, I would welcome these proposals for the sake of the political advantage which they are bound to bring to our party.
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
I rise to speak in the Chamber for the first time, with considerable nervousness, especially on such a subject and in the presence of so many hon. Members who have spent a considerable portion of their lives in this industry. But I represent a constituency in a city in which artificial silk plays a predominant part. The industry to which I refer is the Leicester hosiery trade. In that industry there is today a considerable amount of unemployment. Before venturing to address the House I went to Leicester and during the weekend, was able to meet some of the chief men engaged in hosiery manufacture. These gentlemen naturally do not like to be taxed. Nobody likes to be taxed: hut they assure me that given a proper system of rebates—this is a matter as to which they had greater fears than anything else—they have no fear 1536 that these taxes will injuriously affect them.
There was hope in the first place that the taxes were in some measure meant to be protective. They were naturally disappointed when they found they were not to be protective. Much of the criticism in the country has arisen from this cause. On the one hand, it was said, "Protective taxes from a Government which is pledged against. Protection !" On the other hand people said, "We expect Protection and we are getting none." I want to put before the Chancellor of the Exchequer one or two points on behalf of my constituents. The first is with regard to Preference. At present no artificial silk at all is produced in our Colonies or Dominions, and the Leicester manufacturers are afraid that the United States may use Canada. as a back door for approaching then' markets. It would he of great value ifwewere able to get an assurance on the subject from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Another point is, that today the markets of this country are being flooded with cheap imported goods from the United States and elsewhere—goods which are being rushed in before this duty is operative. They cannot retaliate by laying up stocks of the raw material of their trade. They are at present rationed by Messrs. Courtauld, who are not able to supply the whole trade with what it requires, and are giving about 70 per cent. of the trade's demand. If foreign competitions have another two months in which to pour their imports into this country, the manufacturers of Leicester fear that for nine months or a year there will be very great depression. For the last rear or two they have been undergoing depression, and this country cannot afford to further depress industry. I urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take the very first opportunity of imposing this tax, in order to safeguard our trade from the dumping by foreign countries.
The right hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) said last week that he was afraid the ladies of this country might become dowdy and frowsy if this tax were sanctioned. I am able to reassure him on that: point, for T know that the manufacturers are not likely greatly to increase the price of their 1537 stockings. They have to supply a demand for goods of a certain price, not quality. What they will do, possibly, will be to reduce the amount of artificial silk in the stockings. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Aberavon would have no regrets if ladies were induced to wear rather longer skirts and have less silk in their stockings. Another point is that the manufacturers of woollen goods are doing none too well, and if artificial silk is taxed something will have to take its place.
§ Captain WATERHOUSE
It is infinitely better for people to be clothed in wool than in artificial silk. If because of any shortage people are persuaded to use wool instead of artificial silk, I am sure that would be for the benefit of everyone in the country. The last and chief point I want to make is this: Will the Chancellor of the Exchequer give an assurance that these duties will not prejudice the hosiery trade, or any other trade using artificial silk, should any of those trades come before the Ministry with a request for assistance under the Safeguarding of Industries Act? That is vital. We on this side of the House went before our constituents at the last Election with two promises. One was that no general system of Protection would be introduced, and the other, an equally solemn pledge, was that industries would be enabled to seek Protection under the Safeguarding of Industries Act. If I was told definitely that the hosiery or any other trade would be prejudiced in their case by this imposition of duties and excise, T would feel it my duty very carefully to reconsider how I should vote on this proposal
§ Mr. FENBY
I am glad to have an opportunity to express the opinion of the City of Bradford, of which I happen to be one of the representatives, against these proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My constituents appreciate very much the right hon. Gentleman's courtesy in promising to meet a deputation from the Chamber of Commerce of Bradford. Meanwhile there are one or two very prominent facts that I want to bring to his mind. In the opinion of men 1538 who are very well able to judge, the institution and development of the artificial silk industry during very difficult years has practically saved the Yorkshire trade. That is a fact to which I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give very careful consideration. He said, in introducing the Budget on 28th April, that he could hold out no promise of a rapid and substantial improvement in trade. By these proposed duties on silk he. is endeavouring to make his prophecy a fact. There is no doubt at all that, so far as trade and employment in the West Riding are concerned, they will be damaged irreparably, if these duties are imposed and so long as they continue. There are some things which are very uncertain about these proposals. What is it really that the Chancellor proposes to tax when he proposes to tax artificial silk Although the right hon. Gentleman estimates that in a full year the Revenue will be £7,000,000, it is very difficult to tell how much actually will be received.
It is amazing, after the Budget statement of the right hon. Gentleman had appeared in the Press, what time it took those who were interested and actively engaged in this particular trade, to realise the seriousness and the import of the proposals for the taxation of silk. When they first considered the matter they came to the conclusion that it was very little use approaching the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to the proposals, because the proposals were too silly to he serious. But they have been weighing the matter, and after listening to or reading what seemed to be the intention of the Government, they are taking the matter very seriously indeed, because 80 per cent, of the manufacturers engaged in the Bradford trade are using this artificial silk. If these proposals are put into the Finance Bill, certainly the cost of the article will be increased, and price has a. very direct association with demand. In my opinion, and in the opinion of a good many people with whom I have taken counsel, the net result of these proposals will be to reduce trade and increase unemployment. More than that, as has been pointed out, it will mean an increase of officials, with an increased cost to the Exchequer, and, apart altogether from interference with the legitimate operations of industry and 1539 that additional expense, it will mean an added burden to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Surely these are very important points that ought to he considered?
Hesitation ought to be shown by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Department before they proceed with this very serious proposal. I was talking the other day to a West Riding manufacturer a very well known man who is largely engaged in the artificial silk industry. He said, "For the last year or two my trade has amounted to something like £100,000 a year in this particular branch. I can look forward, if these duties are imposed, to my trade being reduced to something like £10,000 in the coming year, a, very considerable reduction which will mean a very great increase in the number of people unemployed." It is said that these taxes are a kind of luxury tax. That cannot be contended for a minute. I have here some silk stockings, such as I saw that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had in his despatch box, I have a bill concerning them. I have also a pair of cashmere stockings here. One can see the difference between the price of the one and the price of the other. When you come to consider it as a matter of price, which can you expect the working woman to buy? The artificial silk stockings from the point of view of price, let alone from the point of view of material.
When you say that ladies need not pay the price unless they like, I answer that it is well known to men acquainted with the operatives, that during this generation there has been a complete change in the appearance, from the point of view of apparel, of the female operatives in the mills. They used to be pictured as going to their work with shawls on their heads and clogs on their feet. But today you have a great improvement. By the introduction of artificial silk, and by the cheapening of products, you have an altogether different appearance in the operative. She has been relieved of that class distinction which seemed to be very obvious between the girl working in an office or a shop, earning perhaps no more money and doing no more useful work, and the girl who was described merely as a mill operative. That class distinction has largely disappeared, thanks to 1540 the introduction of this particular commodity. The whole social status of the operative has been raised and improved. That is all to the good. At least employers and social reformers and students think so. I am very much concerned that nothing shall be done to reduce that improved standard of the mill operative that we have been all so pleased to observe
The Department of Overseas Trade, during the last few weeks, went to' the expense and trouble of holding an exhibition of foreign cloths in Manchester, for the Lancashire and Yorkshire trade The Department urged Lancashire and Yorkshire manufacturers to set about producing materials of the same character for the foreign trade. Those manufacturers, and particularly the Bradford manufacturers, have been endeavouring to do so, with a certain measure of success. But what is the use of the Department of Overseas Trade on the one hand organising an exhibition at the national expense in order to urge manufacturers to do certain things when, on the other hand, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is bringing in these proposals which will destroy any encouragement given by the Department of Overseas Trade. That seems to be a waste of expense and time. The Chancellor has often used a metaphor that this Budget balances one thing against another, as, for example, the alteration of the Death Duties with the alteration of the Supertax. I submit that in the case of the Bradford trade—and I think it applies to Yorkshire and Lancashire generally—in their strenuous competition with foreign rivals, the balance has been very even indeed and the effect of this proposal will be to sway the balance against them. We may say what we like about the amusement these proposals have caused, and it may be said they ought to be supported because this is a luxury tax, but the imposition of these duties will weigh the scale against Lancashire and Yorkshire and prevent them from competing successfully against foreign rivals.
What is the use of having a Ministry of Labour and a Department of Overseas Trade and of spending hours discussing ways and means of reducing unemployment if we are going by a vote of the House to impose a burden on this industry, which will increase its difficulties 1541 both in regard to obtaining fresh customers and keeping those it already possesses and which will increase unemployment? It appears to me to be the height of folly in these difficult times to upset the balance by the imposition of these duties. It is like putting a walking stick into the delicate mechanism of a watch. From the point of view of my own constituency and of the West Riding generally I hope the Chancellor will seriously consider the withdrawal of these proposed duties. Had the right hon. Gentleman still been the representative of North West Manchester in this House we might not have heard of the particular proposals which he has thought fit to include in this Budget. Had those proposals been foreshadowed or in any way hinted at in Lancashire and Yorkshire during the Election of last October the voting support which the right hon. Gentleman received would riot have been of the character he expects to find in the Division Lobbies today. The Prime Minister gave a solemn pledge that there should be no legislation of this disturbing and—I say it deliberately—protective character. Yorkshire and Lancashire expect the Prime Minister to see that even the Chancellor of the Exchequer keeps that pledge in the letter and in the spirit. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to think again and to weigh seriously the damage which will most certainly be done by these duties to a hardworking section of our industry at a most difficult period. I ask not for the modification but for the withdrawal of these proposals
§ Mr. E. R. BIRD
I am glad to have the opportunity of expressing the views held by the manufacturers in the Skipton Division of the West Riding of Yorkshire. I am afraid that for the first time, thought I have not been here very long, I shall have to vote against the Government on this Resolution, because the Skipton manufacturers regard the proposed duties as destructive of their trade. I can quite understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, before making his Budget speech, had to keep secret what was in his mind. The right hon. Gentleman has Told us that he did consult various people in the natural silk trade and the artificial silk trade, but I suggest that he must have consulted theoretical experts and not practical men. I know that he could not have done so, but had he been able to visit the West Riding and to go into this 1542 matter with the manufacturers, he would have found that these proposals were of the utmost concern to them. It is necessary to go back a little to see how the West Riding came into this trade. It is a new industry. It is not an artificial silk industry by itself; it is artificial silk combined, in the case of my constituency, with cotton, and the industry has only been in existence for the last five or six years. When the War came to an end the manufacturers of the West Riding, and, I believe, also of Lancashire, found that their old staple industry was gone. Their printed cottons could not be produced in competition with foreign rivals, and that trade having gone to the places where those goods are consumed, they had to look for something else. The ingenuity of manufacturers and producers and the inherited ability of the operatives founded this new industry.
Samples have been shown in the House of highly coloured goods. I have in my hand specimens of the raw material of this trade. This is the raw material which in the West Riding is worked up with the cotton, and not only does the process help the artificial silk, but it helps the cotton as well. In many cases, without this artificial silk it would not be possible to sell the cottons at all. I had the pleasure of showing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his room various samples of the so called luxury articles. In the Chancellor's Budget speech he stated that these duties were not going to fall on the mass of the people, meaning really that these were luxury articles. In my locker I have samples of materials priced and sold at a. profit by the manufacturer at 41d. per yard. That is not a luxury article; it is not even sold in this country. It is sold abroad to cover large parts of the figures of the native women. That is what it is sold for at 4d. a yard, and it cannot be characterised as a luxury. I have other samples of material sold in this country at 101d. a yard, and that cannot be considered as a luxury trade. I have said that this is really a new industry, and I am informed by the manufacturers that if this tax goes on to the raw material of the trade it means the death of this new child. At the present time in the cotton industry about. 50 per cent. of the looms are employed. There has been an upward curve in the last two or three years, a very gradual 1543 one, taking in a few more looms each year. If the raw material of this trade is to be taxed, that upward curve will become a downward curve.
I understand while I was out of the House getting a little refreshment after having been for some time attempting to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, the right hon. Gentleman the late Chancellor of the Exchequer made a point which I should like to emphasise. This is a tax on a raw material, and the example taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of sugar, is not comparable. I should like to hear the right hon. Gentleman take cotton or wool as a comparison and to see if he would like to put wool or cotton into the same category as that in which he is trying to put artificial silk. What is the amount which the right hon. Gentleman hopes to get by this tax? The amount, we are told, is £7,000,000, which I understand is divided between natural silk and artificial silk in the proportion of onehalf from each. It would not be very difficult to find something else to tax for the purpose or raising £3,500,000. An export duty on whisky would have brought in quite that amount, would not have hurt anybody in this country and would not have created the unemployment which this tax most certainly will create.
It is said that the manufacturers are to get something in the nature of a drawback. No doubt there will be repayments in respect of the export trade, hut as some hon. Members will know, especially those who are Yorkshiremen themselves, or who represent Yorkshire Divisions, it will take a lot of ingenuity on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he meets the deputations at the end of the week, to make them believe that they are going to get "owt for owt." You can show anything by figures. After all. that is the business of the figure merchants, but it will take something to make hardheaded Yorkshiremen believe that they are going to get something more than they are going to pay. If the Chancellor proposes to give a rebate. that is going to cut down the amount of revenue He cannot have it both ways: he cannot make the rebates without affecting the balance which he is going to receive. Further, in connection with the rebates I am told they are quite impracticable, 1544 and that it is impossible to work them out equitably and in such a way as to avoid serious inconvenience to the manufacturers and delay in repayments. It will require quite a large staff to work out these rebates. I hope, therefore, the Chancellor will go into the matter thoroughly with the manufacturers, and that he will realise that a Yorkshireman likes to be left alone and does not like these proposals of "something for nothing."
The effects of this proposed duty—we will assume for the moment that it has gone through—will be., even according to the Chancellor, to reduce consumption.It follows from that that you are going to increase your overhead charges, because, after all, overhead charges are affected by production, and if you decrease your production, you are going to increase your overhead charges. You are going to make unemployment in the textile trade, because they will not be able to work at a profit, and instead of there being 50 per cent, of looms cut out, as there are at the moment, there will be many more than 50 per cent. It affects also not only the cotton hut the dyeing trade. because, if you decrease the amount of cotton plus artificial silk for dyeing. that will affect their industry as well. It will reduce them to a state of not being able to compete in the foreign market, because at present their profits are cut so very small. that they compete now at a. cut price of 1 '32nd of a penny per yard so as to get the order, and if you put the very slightest increase on their overhead charges, you will make that. 1/32nd of a penny per yard a minus quantity.
The trade of the country had been looking forward to this Budget really with hopes. They thought that some effort was going to be made to do something for the terrible unemployment in the textile trade: and I are only sneaking so far as the textile trade is concerned. They had looked forward with hopes, but that hit of bread they hoped to get has been turned to a stone. They hope still that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have the pluck to admit that he was wrong, and—I believe the ex-Chancellor made the same observation —it requires a brave man to admit that he was wrong, and it requires an honest man to admit that he was wrong. I do 1545 appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer —and I am sure he has the courage—to be both, and to free the textile trade, this new industry of cotton and silk, from the tax that he proposes to put on their raw material, to give them a chance—and they are only in their infancy—to get on, and not to take the advice of the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Berner). The 'hon. Member for Macclesfield took part of the credit to himself in the Budget Debate when he said that he had been pressing upon Chancellors of the Exchequer for the last six years, I think, to tax silk. I can quite understand his feelings, speaking for the silk trade, for, after all, artificial silk is the biggest competitor of the silk trade, and I can quite understand his being anxious, if silk is going to be taxed, that artificial silk should he taxed also, but I ask the Chancellor not to take any notice of the hon. Member for Macclesfield. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to leave the West Riding of Yorkshire and the Lancashire trade to work out their own salvation, to give them that bit of hope for which they have been looking, to be the honest., brave man that we know he is, and, when he meets the manufacturers at the end of this week, to listen to everything they have to say, to weigh it up with his experts—but not with his theoretical experts—and to chop these duties on the raw material of a new industry
§ Mr. ROBERT YOUNG
I do not profess to know anything about the technique or the technicalities of the silk or artificial silk industry, and I would not have intervened in this Debate were it not that, arising out of the Budget, I have learned that there is a silk mill in my constituency. It is true that it has been a silk mill only for the last month or two. Ever since I went down there, this big mill has lain derelict, no work of any description being done, and now, immediately it has started, along comes the Budget, and my correspondent, whoisthe manager of this mill, infers that this Budget is a bad thing for them. I read the correspondence to mean that, had the Chancellor's proposals been merely protective, they might have been of some use, but that, as an excise duty has also been imposed, the Budget is of no use, but an injury to the silk industry in my constituency. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has told us that the pur 1546 pose of the Customs and Excise duties is to cause, as far as possible, no difference between one manufacturer and another in relation to their costs, and, as far as I understand it., the only persons who are to suffer by this tax are the consumers.
Might I point out to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who represents the Chancellor on the Front Bench at the moment, that a, very large number of these consumers are people who will not benefit by one single cent from anything that is in the Budget? A very large number of those consumers are people using cheap commodities, as mentioned by the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer this evening, people who do not come within the ambit of Income Tax at all, or people who, if they are married, receive allowances for families, etc., that do not bring them into the Income Tax scale. These people will be penalised. They are receiving nothing from any relief offered by the Chancellor in relation to Income Tax, because their incomes are smaller than the income that brings them under the tax, and a very large number of them will thereby he penalised in the use of these artificial silk commodities. I agree with the hon. Member for Skipton (Mr. E. R. Bird), who has just spoken, and I fail to see how the manufacturers of artificial silk and artificial silk waste will nut suffer by the imposition of these duties. It seems to me that, if von are going to rule out a section of the consuming public, the effect must hefellby the producers, and that, as a result, they will have fewer orders, and there will he greater unemployment.
The matter that I wish specially to bring before the Financial Secretary is this: This afternoon there was a statement made that a certain definition could not he given, and the hon. Member for Mossley (Mr. Hopkinson) told us something about the viscous process, forcing whatever it is through small orifices. There is more than one process, I learn. There is the viscous process and there is the acetic process of making artificial silk waste, and I am informed by my correspondent that the acetic process leaves the manufacturer in a position to utilise that artificial silk waste to make artificial silk, whereas those who use the other process are not in that position. They have to sell out to the producers and 1547 manufacturers of cotton and other yarns, and they are not in a position to turn it into artificial silk. It is cut up into short lengths and woven into other yarns, and they say that, as a result of that, the 2s. 6d., added to the 1s. 3d., the approximate price per lb. of the artificial silk waste at the moment, will result in the killing of the industry; and incidentally they say that it is a subsidy to the acetic process users against the users of the viscous method. These words are rather a nuisance in some ways. "Viscous," I believe means sticky, and the acetic process is something vinegary, so that I am glad I am not occupied in that particular trade. However, I want the Financial Secretary to the Treasury kindly to consider that point. If it be true that one process is being penalised as against another, then I am certain that the Chancellor of the Exchequer never intended that to occur.
I am told, in relation to artificial silk itself, that there are several qualities. I am told in the correspondence that the difference in price, in relation to these qualities, from the highest to the lowest is 6d. per lb., and that. if this tax is to be put on to the lowest quality of artificial silk, it must necessarily limit its consumption, and, as a result., cause dislocation and injury in the trade. T trust, therefore, with others who have spoken, again confessing that I am not in any wayas, faitwith the silk industry, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will consider very seriously what this tax is going to mean to the trade and industry of the country. We were told this afternoon that the people who were going to pay for this silk tax were the people who were getting it on the other hand, because of the increase from a tenth to a sixth in the allowances on Income Tax, but, as I have pointed out, there are thousands. and, probably, hundreds of thousands, who do not come within the ambit of the Income Tax scale at all, and who will have to pay as a result of the tax on silk. I have only risen to put that technical point that has been urged to me, about the one process against the other, and I hope the proposal will be so considered that any injustice to that portion of the community who are receiving no benefit from the Budget will he taken into consideration
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
As a cotton spinner and as a representative of a cotton spinning constituency, my intention is to confine my observations to an examination of the probable effect of the proposed taxes on silk and artificial silk on the cotton trade. Let me make my position quite clear with respect to the general principle. It is proposed that silk, a material which is undoubtedly a luxury, because it is in no real sense necessary, should be taxed, and it is also proposed that artificial silk, whose main purpose is that it is used as a substitute for real silk, should also be taxed, but to a lesser degree. To reinforce my statement that artificial silk is chiefly used as a substitute for real silk or natural silk, I will quote the authority which has been twice previously quoted today, namely, Mr. Courtauld. Writing in the "Manchester Guardian" Commercial on the 5th March, Mr. Courtauld said:Artificial silk is predominantly an ornamental fibre. It is a little disturbing to know that stockings and jumpers amount to about half of the present. world consumption. The chief reason, apart from competitive merits, for the expansion in the use of artificial silk which has taken place in the course of a few years, is to be found the increased spending power of women, at any rate, in English-speaking countries.Now, accepting that statement, I am prepared to say there is nothing in principle in these taxes on artificial silk and real silk which is objectionable, and that the two fibres are suitable media for revenue producing purposes. would like to consider the repercussion of this proposed legislation on the cotton trade. It is not necessary for me to discuss the tax on natural silk, because it is admitted there is no effect on the cotton trade from the tax on real silk, and, again, there is no objection to the tax on real silk raised from Lancashire. But in regard to the tax on artificial silk, it is a very different matter. Lancashire is said to be up in arms against the tax on artificial silk. If so, what is it up in arms against? Before I proceed with the economic arguments, I would like to mention three of the practical suggestions against the possibility of an easy putting into force of a tax on artificial silk. First of all, it is said it is impossible to define. feel quite confident that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has many definitions of artificial silk which could be equitably 1549 and efficiently brought into use to define The commercial product which is known as artificial silk, and I am prepared to give a definition here which, to my mind, completely satisfies the four artificial silks of commerce with which I am personally acquainted. It does more. It satisfies a number of experimental artificial silks which have not yet reached the commercial stage. I define it as filaments of cellulose resolidified from various solutions. It is a very simple definition, and one which, I think, meets the case
The second practical difficulty which is suggested is that it would be impossible for the Customs authorities adequately, capably or easily to check the analyses of artificial silk content stated by the exporter or manufacturer to be contained in any particular mixed material. That is an objection which, to my mind, is quite unreal. I have no knowledge of the modern methods of commercial analysis of textiles. My experience of this matter dates from before the War, but in those days it was a comparatively simple matter to ascertain the artificial silk contents of any mixed material, and if the House will bear with me while I attempt a semi scientific explanation of how such a procedure can take place, I will tell them. Assume we have got a piece of material which the manufacturer states has a certain percentage of artificial silk, and the Customs authorities wish to check that percentage. In my days, which were pre War, it was a very simple matter. A small sample of material was taken, the weight ascertained, and the material put intoaheating chamber and kept at a uniform temperature of 200 degrees centigrade for ten minutes. The effect of heating that material at that temperature for that time was completely to carbonise the whole of the artificial silk, and to leave the other fibers practically unaffected.By gently rubbing, the artificial silk could be dispersed from the material. A second weighing of the sample, and an application of the simple rule of three, gave straight away the artificial silk composition of the material in question.
Then take the case of real silk. Real silk is soluble in alkaline, copper glycerol reagent. Artificial silk is not; nor is cotton, and it can he easily appreciated that the matter of analysing 1550 these fabrics is not a matter of insuperable difficulty, as is suggested. The third practical difficulty which is suggested is the method of the application of the rebate, and I admit there is some anxietyinLancashire in connection with the rebate. We have heard today from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he is prepared to consider the representations which are going to be made to him in that respect. A simple affidavit, with a sample of the cloth, to the Customs authorities would practically get over the difficulty, but these are points which I am glad to know the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to take into consideration, and I feel that when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has met the practical points which Lancashire is prepared to put to him, no real difficulties on this score can be expected.
May I return to a consideration of the economic effect of this legislation on the cotton trade of Lancashire? It is Weil to get this matter in proportion, because the whole of the artificial silk trade put together is not 1 per cent. of the cotton trade. I agree with the statements which have been generally circulated in the Press that artificial silk is a valuable handmaiden to the sterner stuff which clothes the people of the world, namely, cotton. In passing, I would like to say that artificial silk is not a true raw material. The raw material, aswehave learnt, is either wood, or, in some cases, cotton. It is an important manufacture, of which a little over 20,000,000 lbs. weight was manufactured in this country in 1924. I agree that ill-effects to the cotton trade and to the allied woollen trade would result if the effect of this legislation was to check the growth in this country of the production of artificial silk in comparison with the growth of production of artificial silk in other countries. If, however, the result of this legislation is to stimulate the growth of artificial silk, then we may expect that the cotton trade and the allied woollen trade will receive benefit. My contention is that, in spite of a temporary falling off in the demand for goods made from wholly artificial silk, which may result from this tax, the ultimate effect will be really to stimulate the production of artificial silk in this country, and I will give the grounds for my view. In the year 1921 we exported very much more artificial silk than we imported. 1551 In 1924 the export of artificial silk yarns from this country was 6,250,000 lbs. weight, and the imports 10,281,000 lbs. it will be realised that we have changed our position within the last few years. We have tremendously increased our demand for artificial silk, so that today the home supply of artificial silk is approximately between 3,750,000 and 4,000,000 lbs. weight short of the home demand. A consideration of the figures of imports from Italy of artificial silk yarns is interesting. In 1921 Italy imported into this country 67,000 lbs. weight of artificial yarns. That is the total figure of the whole of the firms manufacturing artificial yarns in Italy which imported into this country. In 1924, the last year for which we have the figures, the amount was 4,420,000. It will thus be appreciated that there is a very great amount of artificial silk yarns coming into this country from foreign sources. It will also be appreciated that the home production is not capable of supplyiug the home demand. That is the situation today.
Turning from that, and looking towards the time when this legislation conies into force, we have to consider the effect of it in respect of tissues and other articles which contain artificial or real silk. There will be a very marked preference for the English manufacturer, as a result of which lie will be stimulated to produce these goods. The gravamen of the objection raised by Lancashire is based on the ground, and assumption, that there is going to be an increased demand in this country for artificial silk. But it is known that there is going to be a rebate. That rebate, I think, will cover the manufacturer in respect of overhead cost. They assume that, in spite of all, there is going to be an increased demand for artificial silk here. If that is not the case, there is no ground for suggesting that the price of the materials in which artificial silk yarns are used is going to be increased. I think in some measure they are right; but taking it from the longest and broadest point of view, I think the ultimate object realised will be to stimulate the production of artificial silk yarns in this country.
True, it has been suggested that there is a great measure of preference in con 1552 nection with this. I agree. These proposals do to that extent impinge on the impeccable Puritanism of the Free Trade of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley and other hon. Members. But I am not concerned with the Free Traders but with the industries. The more the Free Trade ideas of the hon. Members are shocked and startled, the greater is the foundation for my statement that the effect of this Resolution will be to stimulate the production to which I have referred. We have learned today from one or two hon. Members' speeches—and it is common knowledge throughout the country—that the Lancashire staple trade is at a very great disadvantage due to the fact that it depends so much on forign sources for its supply of raw materials. This Resolution to my mind, strangely enough is, by its contradiction of the principles of the Manchester Free Trade school, going to put this new growing textile industry into such a position that it will not have to rely in the future on those foreign sources of supply. I am prepared to say —and, as representing a cotton spinning constituency, I speak with a full sense of responsibility—that the suggested taxes a silk and artificial silk, embracing as they do a large measure of protection for the home manufacturer, and with the promise of adequate safeguards for the export trade, with the consideration of those matters which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to give: I am prepared to say that they are in no sense. inimical to the best interests of the Lancashire cotton trade
§ Mr. FORREST
I regret I am unable to address the House with the technical knowledge of the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. It does, however, strike me as somewhat peculiar that a cotton spinner, representing a cotton spinning constituency, should have given expression to the opinions that he has when one reads of Lancashire's fears. One also reads of the various committees of the Lancashire cotton trade that have unanimously passed resolutions recording their opposition to any excise duty on yarns, or the fabrics contained in artificial silk yarns. I cannot, I say, speak with the technical knowledge of the hon. Gentleman. But I can speak, as one representing a West Biding of Yorkshire woollen constituency, where the trade is fearing this tax on 1553 artificial silk. I am not concerned, perhaps, to deal with pure silks, but purely with artificial silks. The Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon spoke of the ways and means by which this tax would be collected. He said it would be quite a simple matter. I would respectfully suggest, as a manufacturer of 30 years standing, that precisely the last thing that the manufacturer desires to do is to give away one of his trade secrets which may be of great importance to him, and which may have cost him considerable time and money in order to arrive at. It may be that by his brains he has invented or arranged a design with the minimum of silk in its production, but with a maximum effect of silk in it, and, having to disclose the percentage of silk, he gives away that secret. In that respect, in my opinion, it is very unfair on the efficient manufacturer; it is putting a premium on him in favour of the inefficient manufacturer.
This tax is proposed as a luxury tax. The reason I oppose it is that I think it is a tax on the poor purely and simply. I do not think it can be seriously debated that artificial and pure silks are so worked in the course of manufacture that it is impossible to differentiate between the two. I do not think it can be seriously challenged that the artificial silk which figures so very largely in the dress of working women and girls and helps feminine adornment in the most attractive form, and provides the woman and the girl with the artificial silk stockings of which we have heard so much this afternoon, is a luxury. I was interested to find that the wholesale price of artificial silk stockings was 22s. 11d. per dozen pairs. Those are in this country 2s. 11d. a pair. I suggest that if 33per cent. is put on that, that will probably bring them to 3s. l1d. This makes them further out of the reach of our workingclass feminine population. I suggest that the tax is unfair as between the pure and the artificial silk manufacturer. The proposed excise duty on artificial silk is 2s. 6d., which is 40 per cent. on its present price, or about 6s. in the 'Real silk, which I suggest is the real luxury article, and the only luxury article, in this proposed tax, is to be taxed at the rate of only 17 per cent. So here we have the luxury, if you like to call it such, of the poor taxed at the rate of 90 per cent. and that. of the 1554 rich taxed at the rate of 17 per cent. The artificial silk trade is, admittedly, a home industry
A very large proportion of the raw material is provided at home, and yet we are going to penalise this industry, so large a proportion of the raw material of which is provided at home, and to handicap it in favour of cotton and wool on which we spend, I suppose, about £150,000,000 a year. Why should we handicap thus trade at a time when every other country is making a great effort to stimulate it, and when we are making a great effort to stimulate it, when it is making strides unparelleled in the industrial history of this country? Within the past few years the artificial silk industry has increased 200 per cent. and within the past two years it has increased 800 per cent. in the value of the trade done. Every month improved and additional ways of using artificial silk are being brought into operation, and in the West Riding of Yorkshire we are undoubtedly feeling a beneficial effect from the ingenious manner in which we are now able to use this new material in putting our products [in a more attractive form before our customers, both at home and abroad. T quite agree with the hon. Member for Shipley (Mr. Mackinder) when he said the textile industry, like many industries at the moment, is in the slough of despond so far as trade is concerned; and yet here we have a serious proposal which will probably have the effect of checking the resuscitation of the textile industry of the West Eiding at a time when it needs stimulating
Then, it seems to me, we could argue about this being a method of undermining Free Trade. Undoubtedly it is a very insidious way of introducing tariffs by a. method which may have very undermining effects. But I do not suppose that this is the moment to argue that point.
There is only one other question I wish to mention, and that is one of which I gave the Chancellor notice this morning, and which I had hoped to put in the form of a private question this afternoon, but Mr. Speaker, no doubt for very good and proper reasons, suggested that it should be raised in the Debate. T understand that artificial silk, being made from cellulose acetate, if it is not already taxed under the German Reparation Scheme, 1555 should be. What I would like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer is whether, if it is already taxed under the German Reparation Scheme, this proposed duty is an additional duty to the tax under that scheme? If it is not already taxed, I shall be glad if he will explain it
§ Sir HENRY BUCKINGHAM
I rise not so much to discuss the merits of the proposed taxes, for I think we are justified in taking them already as being accomplished facts, but I wish to relieve the House of a certain sense of anxiety which must have come upon it during the Debate. If there is any representative of the Customs beneath the gallery, I would like to relieve his mind, because he must be in the depths of despair if he has been listening to the accounts which nearly every Member who has spoken has given of the difficulties of rebates on export trade.
I would like to say this about the taxes before I say anything about the export trade—that I do not believe a single jumper or a single pair of stockings the less will be sold in this country owing to the imposition of these taxes
§ Sir H. BUCKINGHAM
The hon. Member opposite says, "Oh, nonsense." From my knowledge of the sex which she adorns, I feel quite convinced that if a woman wants a pair of silk stockings or a new jumper she is not going to refuse to buy it because it costs her a few pence more
§ Miss WILKINSON
It may be all right among the ladies the hon. Gentleman knows, but when a girl is getting 25s. a week, and has no margin whatever, how can he say that an extra 6d. a pair does not make all the difference in the world to her
§ Sir H. BUCKINGHAM
I must confess that I was alarmed, when I first heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget statement about these duties, as to how they would affect the export trade. I feel perfectly certain there is 1556 not a single Member of this House, to whatever party he belongs, who would vote for these duties if it was felt they were going to do any damage to the export trade.Wehave heard this afternoon from the Chancellor of the Exchequer a statement which has satisfied me, at any rate, entirely, for if I understood his suggestion correctly, exported goods are to get a drawback of the amount of the duty payable upon the manufactured article, instead of simply the amount of duty paid upon the raw material from which that article is made. As far as I have been able to check it since the statement was made, in respect of articles on which I can give a personal expression of opinion, that difference should be amply sufficient to cover wastage in the manufacture, and also the various profits which must be added to the cost of the duties owing to the various hands through which the silks will pass before they reach the manufactured stage.
I want to reassure the House on one matter. An hon. Member behind me who spoke against these duties, went so far as to say that it would be quite impracticable to arrange these rebates. After a good many years' personal experience of these matters, for my firm has been engaged in exporting goods made from all silk materials, partly silk, and partly artificial silk, in every market of the world, I can assure the House the' we have to make out the declarations for foreign markets in what turns out to be quite a simple way, and that procedure would apply equally well to making out declarations for demanding rebates from the Customs. It is only a matter of estimating, and every manufacturer must know exactly the proportion of silk, and the proportion of cotton in an article, for it is part of his business to do so. Therefore the manufacturer will have to supply the proportions of raw silk or other materials in any particular article he makes and his declaration will be accepted by the Customs. It is done every day in various markets of the world, where it is necessary to provide this information for the benefit of the Customs in the country into which the goods are being imported.
I hope the House will feel satisfied on this point, and I trust that any Customs expert who may be in the House will feel 1557 satisfied and perhaps be able to pass a less sleepless night than he would have done if I had not made these few remarks. It is only a matter of ordinary routine, and if the Customs officer will only come I o see my shipping manager he will be able to show him how simple the thing is, and how reasonable and easy it is to carry out. I should like to ask the Financial Secretary whether it will be possible to arrange for duties upon silks, or artificial silks connected with contracts placed some time ago before these duties were announced which, owing to the process of manufacture, could not be delivered here before the 1st June, whether in those eases it will be possible for such contracts to come in without paying duty, if; it can be clearly shown that those contracts were placed before there was any question of these duties being imposed
§ Mr. J. H. HUDSON
The attitude of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he announced the imposition of the Silk Tax seemed to me very much like the attitude of the little boy in the nursery rhyme of "Little Jack Homer," because the right lion. Gentleman's plum was meant to have been a plum which had not been discovered by any previous Chancellor of the Exchequer for the last 100 years, and for the time being he was particularly proud of it, but under the onslaught against this proposal as much from the benches opposite as from these benches—I particularly of the attack made by the hon. Member for Skipton (Mr. E. R. Bird), who knows a good deal about the cotton trade which is carried on in several parts of his constituency—and under those attacks it is pretty evident the Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot continue to maintain the feeling of self-satisfaction that seemed to pervade the announcement when first the proposal for this tax was put forward. I see the right hon. Gentleman is undergoing a process of relaxation, to my mind not nearly enough, in view of the requests made to him by the Bradford and the Yorkshire traders generally, and it is only after great pressure that the right hon. Gentleman has indicated his willingness to see these deputations personally.
I feel that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in endeavouring to find new taxes and new means of raising public revenue, has probably on this occasion 1558 committed a more serious breach against those Free Trade principles which he professes to stand by than any preceding Chancellor connected with the party opposite. The right hon. Gentleman has pretended to balance his Budget on all sides. He has told us, for example, that while he proposes to put on a luxury tax in the form of a silk tax on the working people he will 14alance the burden by taking something off the Income Tax. I wonder if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has considered for a moment how much balance there is against the taxes that he saves to those who pay Income Tax in the case, for example, of the tax that will fall upon the silk stripe in a piece of woollen goods exported to the Argentine, and yet it is upon goods of that sort that this tax ultimately will fall. I want to suggest that from the point of view of our trade and commerce, particularly in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the most serious consequence may arise in connection with this proposal. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself has tried to make out a case that this tax is not strictly protective, but purely for the purpose of raising revenue. Unfortunately, however, for the right hon. Gentleman several of his supporters are far more frank about the matter than he is himself. I see that the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) recently wrote a letter to his constituents, which was published in the "Manchester Guardian" a week ago, in which he said he had seen Mr. Chamberlain, and ho wroteMr. Churchill informs me that the intention of the duty is to give a 15 per cent. protection to the sill: trade, and it has been very carefully considered.I should like to know from the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether such a statement has been made in so exact a form as that referred to by the hon. Member for Macclesfield in a letter to his constituents. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that this tax will give a 15 per cent. protection to the silk trade, I would like to ask the Prime Minister how far he can make a statement of that sort fit in with the very definite pledge which he gave to the House of Commons and the country regarding Protection. It is clear that hon. Members who support the Chancellor of the Exchequer believe that whatever the Chancellor may say there 1559 is quite a definite protective character about these proposals.
Let me examine for a moment or two how these proposals will work out in relation to the industries of the district from which I come. I live. in Lancashire and I represent a Yorkshire constituency, and I have lived in the same area all my life, and I claim to know a little more than most people of what goes on in that area and I know what the public feel there. Take the case of the cotton industry. I have certain relatives working in the very Division represented by the hon. Member for Skipton, who attacked the Chancellor of the Exchequer so strongly just now. I hear from them that the competition in the cotton trade and the desire to find markets is so very keen that a 3s. margin on the price offered for a piece of cloth is enough to love an order for cloth in that trade
§ Mr. HUDSON
My hon. Friend the Member for Stockport says that 6d. is enough. If 6d. per piece will cause the loss of orders in the cotton trade, what 1611 be the effect of the proposals which the Chancellor of the Exchequer now makes? I will take an example of a piece of cloth 90 yards in length, containing, as it will, 7 lbs. of silk mixed in with the general texture of the cloth. There are many cases of this sort of production in the Lancashire area. It is proposed that, if this silk be bought at home, 2s. 6d. per lb. shall be charged upon it, and 3s.—I speak of artificial silk —if it be imported from abroad. On the basis of 7 lbs. in a piece of cloth 90 yards long, the difference in price would be from 17s. 6d. to 21s. per piece, and the hon. Member for Stockport, who knows what he is speaking of in this matter, agrees that a 6d. margin—I put it at 3s. to 5s.—will he enough to lose an order for cotton goods. Need I say more than this, that the imposition of this silk tax will, as the Lancashire representatives in the cotton trade are saying, make it very difficult for them to compete in the open market, and will intensify the unemployment and short time that now exists there and the Government will be defi- 1560 nitely contributing to the worsening of those problems for which they were sent here to find a solution
§ Mr. HUDSON
I could not give the total weight, but in a piece 90 yards long on the average, the total weight of silk would be 7 lbs. It does not seem to me that the weight of the cotton, for the purpose of my argument, conies into the question at all. It is 7 lbs. of silk in a length of 90 yards
§ Mr. HUDSON
Yes, it is used for decorative purposes. Let me now turn over the Pennines to the woollen and worsted trades, and here I may speak more particularly of my own constituency of Huddersfield. Huddersfield, during the last few years, has been developing this trade, until it now produces some of the most artistic woollen fabrics of any town in the world—beautiful, fine woollen cloths with real silk stripes, or with artificial silk stripes, that have wide markets in this country, and even wider markets abroad. If there be any considerable taxation upon silk or artificial silk, then, just as in Larmshire, new and serious burdens will be placed upon this trade. May I note, in passing, that, in connection with the application of artificial silk and real silk to this industry, we find opportunities for the development of the highest type of skill amongst the textile workers. A textile worker who is always engaged in producing cloth without pattern, without design, naturally works upon a rather monotonous process. The development of the textile industry in England has been in the direction of giving more and more opportunities, through design in the cloth, for, the development of taste and the development of high skill amongst the operatives concerned. The greatest capital that this country possesses. the greatest capital value in my own constituency of Huddersfield. is the skill of the workers. If anything he done to industry so that the workers are forced back again to a lower type of production, and engaged upon monotonous processes rather than upon more highly-developed processes, it will undermine the best 1561 capital value, from the point of view of production, that this nation possesses.
I want to suggest that this Silk Tax, in a very particular way, is going to undermine that great position. It is very difficult to quote in these Debates in the House of Commons the opinions of private firms upon this question of the Silk Tax, or upon any question connected with taxation, because we have had so much exaggeration upon these issues. We remember so well the statements of Mr. Morris last year, and the avidity with which they were accepted and repeated in Debates in this House. That makes it almost impossible now to give the evidence of any great manufacturing firm when we come to deal with questions of this sort, and I frankly admit that I quote evidence with diffidence. I will, however, essay the task in one case. There is in my constituency an old-established firm, with a Quaker tradition, whose nay is still nay and whose yea is still yea. This firm would desire, if it were possible, to use in its industry Messrs. Courtauld's artificial silk fibre, but as a matter of fact they cannot get deliveries from Messrs. Courtauld's; the demand is so great that it is absolutely necessary for them to get; supplies from abroad. Within a day or two of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement, the price of a certain type of yarn that this firm use went up from 5s. 11d. to 8s. 6d. It is true that there has been a. reduction since. but not by any means to the original 5s. 11d.
The firm to which I am referring is engaged in turning this silk fibre into yarn by what is called a beaming process, so that it may be transmitted directly to the manufacturers and made into cloth. Some samples were sent on to me, but I do not propose to add any fresh ones to the display that there has been in this Debate. A sample, however, was sent to me of a piece of cloth that could be used for a lining to a coat in our home trade, or could be used as an ordinary textile for outside wear in the foreign trade. Messrs. Isaac Robson and Sons—that is the. name of the firm—state that 80 per cent. of this material, with its artificial silk ornamentation, goes abroad at present, and 20 per cent. remains at home. It will be extremely difficult to 1562 decide at any particular moment whether that percentage will remain constant. Possibly, when the silk is actually on the looms, the manufacturer does not know whether he is going to sell for the home or the foreign trade. The destination may be either, according to circumstances; but, taking into account these general considerations, I am informed by this firm that the 100 men, women and boys that they employ in beaming for the ultimate purpose of manufacture cannot possibly carry on if this tariff remains. May I weary the House for just a moment by quoting from a letter that has been sent to me by the head of this firm? He says that:The effect of the duty already has been to stop further orders Other continental firms have withdrawn their prices altogether, and unless the matter is put right speedily there will be a stoppage of this business.I felt I could quote the evidence of this firm as a reliable firm which would not exaggerate in a matter of this sort. I know it to be a type of many firms in Yorkshire, and it will therefore not surprise the House when I inform then, that I have received the following resolution from the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce
§ Mr. W. GREENWOOD
May I ask if the firm the hon. Member has mentioned is a firm of manufacturers or dyers?
§ Mr. HUDSON
They are a firm of dyers, and are, engagedinweaving the silk fibre, which they supply to manufacturers. The Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce resolution runs as follows:That the Council of this Chamber strongly 'protests against the proposed import duty on raw silk and silk waste, also against the proposed Excise Duty on silk and artificial silk yarns, and further that the proposed duties are inimical to the interests of the textile trade, inasmuch as they will increase costs of production and prevent, the use of silk in the design of wool textiles.I am certain that the promises which were made by the Prime Minister to deal with unemployment, at least within the powers that it was possible to deal with it, cannot be carried out if these duties are persisted in. I have tried to show, from the evidence of Lancashire and Yorkshire, that it will be difficult for traders to get orders in these commodities if the pro 1563 posals are persisted in, and I think it can be taken for granted that in a year or two's time, unless a very radical modification is made, I suggest unless an entire withdrawal is effected, there is bound to he an increase in the unemployment figures, particularly in the textile trades to which I have referred.
There is one aspect of these duties, and indeed of the. Free Trade question in general, which seems to be very much missed in Debates on this subject. I refer not merely to the question of the profit and loss account of Free Trade, IAA to the international effect of a breach of Free Trade—to the effect as it is seen in the worsening of our relations with foreign countries. It is clear already from the protests which have come from France— [Laughter.] This is the party which a little while ago was speaking of France our Ally and of the necessity of having a good understanding with France! I am informing the House that in France serious resentment is being expressed at these proposals. It is this side of the breach of the policy of Free Trade that I find most objectionable. I do not know what the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to do in the future regarding the French. debt and the interest upon it, hilt I am certain that if he makes an arrangement for France to pay interest upon its debt it will have to pay ultimately in the export of commodities, directly to us or indirectly through some other nation
§ Mr. HUDSON
I. was trying to show that the tax upon silk, which is going to keep out the French commodity in the long run, stands in the way of whatever financial arrangements the Chancellor might try to effect with regard to the problem of the settlement of the French debt. I bring it in only as an illustration of the general point that a breach of the principles of Free Trade is not only had for the unemployed and for the trader but bad for our international relations, and unless we can return to the opportunities thatwehave taken in the past of giving ourselves the maximum relations with foreign countries through the 1564 free intercourse of our good' we cannot expect, through any other agency that we can try to adopt in our international relations, to make good the disadvantages which will come to us as a result of pursuing a policy of this sort
§ Sir ROBERT BIRD
I shall not endeavour to emulate the hon. Member who has just resumed his seat in a very wide review of international economics and financial relations. We have listened today to many speeches from others who are qualified to speak for the textile trades and also those who are engaged in export trade, but I have not heard a point of view put from those who are either engaged in the actual manufacture of artificial silk in the centres where that manufacture takes place and who are dependent upon it. In Wolverhampton there is in course of erection a factory on a grandiose scale for the manufacture of artificial silk. It is to employ some five or six thousand workpeople, and it was the intention of those responsible for its erection, on its completion, immediately to start to build another factory upon a site adjacent. I and my constituents are very particularly concerned with the effect of the proposed Excise duties on artificial silk and the prejudicial effect we think these duties will have upon the reduction that is taking place in the unemployment which is so prevalent in a constituency like mine. While I have been in the House unemployment in Wolverhampton has fluctuated round about 10,000. It. is a little less than that now, but not very materially so, and when no longer ago than last Christmas a sort of fairy godmother appeared in Wolverhampton and purchased a site of some 80 acres, and with almost magical swiftness there appeared on that site the beginning of this grandiose construction, among that large body of unemployed there arose a large measure of hope and they felt there was something in sight which would bring an end to the suffering they had patiently undergone for so many years.
What happened on the announcement of these duties? All preparations for the construction of a second factory have been stopped. The clearing of the site no longer continues, and the completion of the factory, already in course of erection, 1565 proceeds atareduced speed. I have a profound admiration for the structure of the Budget and a still greater admiration for the ingenuity with which my right hon. Friend has put it together, but it seems to me that in the proposal to impose excise ditties upon artificial silk there is a real contradiction of the policy of this Government and of the Conservative party. We have had many Debates in the last few years, and discussed many schemes which would do something to alleviate unemployment—trade facilities, export credits, relief works, and only a. few weeks ago a Bill to subsidise the British sugar industry.
What is the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposing to do now? He is proposing to put a burden upon the one industry in this country which, not only shows vitality, but has shown enormous expansion during a comparatively short space of time. We have heard figures from both sides of the House indicative of this phenomenal development. Some 100 per cent. expansion took place in the last six months and 800 per cent. in the last few years. That phenomenal and sensational expansion is due to two causes. One cause is the very attractive product which we all agree artificial silk provides, but, above everything, it is due to the extraordinary cheapness of that product. I think I am correct in stating, because I speak on authority, that until so recently as 12 or 15 months ago the actual production of artificial silk was in excess of the actual demand, and there had accumulated, not only in this country, but also in the United States of America a very large surplus stock which the public was not consuming. The manufacturers of artificial silk were able to make a very considerable reduction in price, and it is while that reduction of price has been in operation that the sensational development has taken place
I think that fact, which cannot be controverted, is a complete answer to the contention to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if I judged his remarks correctly this afternoon, still clings, that artificial silk is something in the nature of a luxury. I regard with very considable misgivings the effect of an excise duty upon the development of the artificial silk trade. In the Chancellor of the 1566 Exchequer's Budget statement, speaking of the result of the tax, he said:
I expect—I am bound to expect—that the imposition of this duty will lead to certain decline in consumption.—I OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th April, 1925; col. 67, Vol. 183.]
That was his fear. He said this afternoon that when all had been done the Government did not desire to arrest or restrict the development of this industry, although lie said previously that he regarded that as inevitable. I find considerable difficulty in reconciling his two statements. He has told us nothing this afternoon which in any way goes to reassure me, in the face of the statement he made two weeks ago. In my view, his original statement was the correct one, and it is upon those grounds that so far as I am personally concerned, and representing those who looked for this development in the artificial silk industry to put, in a large measure, an end to their sufferings, that, failing some much more reassuring statement than we have had this afternoon, I shall oppose in the Lobby the imposition of these Excise Duties on artificial silk.
This is a purely British industry. We have not to thank some German professor or some foreign scientist for making the discovery upon which the industry is founded, and then later on, as has been the case so frequently in recent years, seeking to establish the industry in this country. The artificial silk industry has had its origin in British discoveries. in British initiative, British resource, and, above all. British courage in the face of great technical difficulties. Only some eight or nine years ago it was not a commercial proposition. I, who know something of the difficulties through which manufacturers have passed, am perhaps in a better position than most. hon. Members to realise the enormous amount of courage that has been shown in the establishment of this industry.
The raw material for the industry, for the most part, cars be found in this country, and when it is not found in this country, at any rate, so far as the wood process is concerned, and that is one from which the greater part of the artificial silk is manufactured, the material can be found in temperate climates within our own Dominions and Colonies, and within our own shores. It has this further advantage, that the industry is stable in the sense that it. is not dependent upon 1567 crops, and upon the climatic conditions which affect those crops, or upon disease. Finally, the material is such that it is free from speculative manipulation, either in this country or regions beyond the seas. Therefore, by seeking to impose this Excise Duty, it seems to me that we are contradicting the declared policy of the Conservative party and of the Government, and I shall mark my protest against that in the Lobby
§ Sir ALFRED MOND
I want to congratulate the hon. Member who has just sat down upon having the courage to announce that he will support his protest against these duties in the Division Lobby. I have no doubt that, coining from a constituency where he can see, as many of us do in other parts of the country, growing under his eyes great new factories which were going to employ thousands of workmen in this country, at a time of the greatest trade depression, he must share with me and with thousands of people outside, amazement at the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in endeavouring to impose a. duty so harmful to British industry, so destructive of employment, and so incapable of being carried out as the Excise Duty on artificial silk.
I have listened to several speeches made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this subject. He was kind enough in my absence the other day to accuse me of intellectual anarchy. As far as this Duty is concerned, I accuse him of intellectual paralysis. It is only complete and abyssmal ignorance about the conditions of British industry and continued obstinacy in a course which the whole country considers wrong, which enabled him to speak for an hour and practically announce nothing except that. his Schedule had disappeared, that he did not know what duties he was going to levy or what rebates he was going to give, but that he was going to discuss the matter with the industries affected, and, finally, he hoped by the extraordinary process of jugglery, which he mistakes for finance all through this Budget, to equate, equilibrate—I do not know what other word he will find—and to placate all the people who are up against him. What the final result will be we have not the slightest idea. He, today was strong in his upholding of 1568 his Free Trade faith, which he demonstrated most strongly in his speech on the McKenna Duties the other day. On the other hand, the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr.Remer) seems to have a knowledge of what is going to be imposed. I wonder which policy will be followed—that of the Member for Macclesfield or the Free Trade policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Behind the scenes, not political but a business bargain will have to be driven; then, I suppose, at some future day, when the House of Commons is asked to legislate, it will be given some opportunity of knowing what it is all about. At any rate, one thingwedo know, that whoever votes for these Resolutions accepts the principle of imposing an entirely unnecessary duty in this country.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to imagine that he is doing something marvellous in imposing this duty. I suppose he has studied the financial record of his great predecessor, Mr. Gladstone, who spent much of his time in abolishing Duties and _simplifying them. He is anxious to launch on a reverse course and fill us with new Duties, of such importance and vast scope that in a Budget of £800,000,000 he may probably bring in £7,000,000. He takes credit to himself and in thundering tones, and with all the eloquence he commands, he tries to persuade the House that this miserable, mis-shapen, badly-begotten baby of his is a giant which is going to relieve the Income Tax by taking it off his banking account. and putting it on his wife's underwear. T should have thought it would have been much cheaper to do the other thing. He cannot be serious. His argument is apparently that our Income Tax is so heavy a burden and Super-tax is crushing down our millionaires, that he must reduce the scale and put it on the same people in another form, and he is going to dislocate industry, create new Customs Duties, and multiply officials in order to achieve such an object.
The right hon. Gentleman is playing with the House in putting forward such a proposition. He mast realise by now that he is being entirely misled. He has not yet defined what he means by artificial silk. I can understand his reticence. I may say with some technical knowledge that he will not find it easy to define There may be 20 processes 1569 none of which will cover the definition. We would like to have a scientific definition. After all, there is no real relation between the two articles. The right hon. Gentleman said they must stand and fall together. He must surely be convinced by this time that that is not the case. Heavy taxation of this kind must reduce consumption, not merely in the industry itself, but in industries assimilated to it. I wondered one moment whether this was an attempt to get back on Lawns-hire for having once rejected him
The right hon. Gentleman would have us believe that the carefully-arranged rebates which he referred to would cause no difficult- and work smoothly, and he made an entirely misleading and an entirely fallacious comparison with sugar. It is really extraordinary that the right hon. Gentleman should try to compare the conditions of silk and sugar—the degrees of sugar are extremely simple to ascertain by polarisation—an industry which is comparatively small when compared with, our textile industry. The right hon. Gentleman says he is not going to hinder the industry. I wish he would let that delusion drop. Every duty put on trade to-day is deadly in the present state of competition. You are hanging on by your eyelids in many of these things. It really is not right that the right lion. Gentleman in order to produce his Budget should introduce a tax which, on his own showing, will in the first year only provide from artificial silk £1,500,000. He knows that he has got more than that in hand as a surplus in uncollected taxation. Is he afraid that if he docs not get a duty on artificial silk it will replace real silk? It may be that one is used for the other, and one is substituted for the other for the purpose of deluding the unwary customer. The right hon. Gentleman said he was. going to change all his schedules. There are a number of cases which are really worthy of his attention. I had a communication this morning on the real silk case, from which it would appear that by the right hon. Gentleman's method of taxation the poor woman's silk will be taxed 200 per cent, and the wealthy woman's silk taxed by only 5 per cent. There is only one import duty on tissue wholly or partly discharged of 7s. 9d. for I lb. weight 1570 Apparently the qualities that are manufactured under this class vary considerably, with the result that you get the very cheap sort manufactured at a selling price of 7½d. per yard, on which there is a tax equal to Is. 3d., or 200 per cent, of the cost of the article, while at the other end of the scale you will get a piece of silk selling for from 10s. to 15s. per yard and the taxation on that will only work out at 5 per cent, I cannot imagine a more extraordinary r. suit. The greater the luxury, the lighter the tax; the less the luxury, the higher the tax
I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that, having graded his raw materials, he will now have to grade his intermediaries in the same way. The more you go into a tax of this kind where ever you touch it the more the difficulties and the perplexities increase. I have got here an article of the cheapest kind made of silk waste which is going to be taxed very heavily under the right hon. Gentleman's scale. This heavy tax will be placed on what is not a luxury material at all but is material of the cheapest kind. Wherever you touch this subject the same difficulty arises. However ingenious the right hon. Gentleman is— and I have no doubt that he is as ingenious in the Council Chamber as he is in Debate—no sooner h.-u; he got over one difficulty than he meets with another, and as soon as he has equalised one part of his problem, he finds that there is something else which has not been equalised.
The right hon. Gentleman at one time was very eloquent on the question of the difficulties of tariffs. The difficulties of tariffs are not necessarily due to the wickedness of their promoters, but to the imbecility of their advocates. There are very largo technical difficulties, and there are special difficulties of administration. The right hon. Gentleman is landing himself into all kinds of difficulties and producing all sorts of complications which will reveal the most staggering inconsistency when the system is being worked out. We shall not accept the principles of the right hon. Gentleman's Resolution. We shall give them no assent at this time or at any other stage. Those who assent to them now, as he cooed to them to do with all the mental reservations which they like in their minds, will be led down a slippery 1571 path by a very clever bright-haired angel, and when they get to the bottom instead of the pleasant fields which they expect they will find a devastated wilderness in which their feet will be caught in all kinds of traps. They had better make up their minds here and now as to whether they are going to have the schedules as we now see them, or any other schedules, and had better register their protest and get these unfortunate taxes buried as soon as it decently can be done by the right hon. Gentleman. We will give him all the time necessary in order that he may buy his mourning weeds and order the necessary hearse, and we will provide a wreath with R.I.P. on it
§ Mr. RAMSDEN
Representing a constituency in the West Riding of Yorkshire I would like to say a few words on this subject. I have listened with great interest to the speeches made this evening from all sides of the House and also by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I must confess at the present moment that I am not at all enamoured of the silk duties as they appear on the Paper, and I do hope that the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be carried out and that during the different stages which the Resolutions have to go through before they become effective very serious alterations will be made in them. I believe myself that this industry, particularly the artificial silk part of it, is one which may be of very great assistance to this country at the present moment, and I do hope that nothing will be done that will in any way interfere with it. So far as the West Riding is concerned, artificial silk has to a certain extent taken the place of the old raw materials, such as wool and cotton. and by the very cheap price at which this material can he obtained it plays a very important part in finding business just now where it would otherwise have been very difficult to obtain it.
The textile industry in the Wrest Riding of Yorkshire is suffering at present very much indeed. and I do hope that everything will he avoided in the future stages which will make it more difficult for us to sell these products. So far as the expart trade is concerned. I wish—and I am sure that all other Members do—that a very practical system of obtaining rebate will be put into operation. I think that all of 1572 us have experienced, in trying to obtain a refund of money from the Government, how very difficult it is. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in his speech said that it would be very easy indeed to make a claim for this rebate. I am not so sure that this would be as easy as he thinks. But T do feel that it would not be easy to obtain the repayment of any claim, and something of more practical nature than we are accustomed to will be necessary unless there is going to be a very severe handicap to our export trade.
All those who are engaged in this particular branch of commerce must know that they have great difficulty to en. counter now, particularly when times are so difficult, and I do not. want to see anything which will mean a great deal more correspondence and clerical work for these people. It is necessary that the forms, whatever they may be, shall he as simple as possible, for those who are trying to export goods at the present moment, not only those firms who happen to be fortunate enough to possess certain individuals, such as a shipping manager or an expert, who are probably able to obtain all the information which some Government Department might wish, but for the small men who are not accustomed to this kind of work. I hope that this matter will be very carefully considered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and that he will try to make it as simple and as practicable as he possibly can
§ Mr. W. C. ROBINSON
I wish to oppose these duties, and I do so as a textile worker. I have been connected with textiles all my life either as a worker in a mill or as an official of a trade union. I do not care whether it is Free Trade or Protection, but the thing I want is that the work people shall be kept employed and the mills be kept running. We have gone through very serious trouble in the textile industry and nobody knows that better than the occupants of the two Front Benches. Men and women have been unemployed for two or three years and have never earned a cent. Why? The right hon. Member for Car-marthen (Sir A. Mond) touched the kernel in his speech. I want to tell the Committee that the textile people of Lancashire and Yorkshire are opposed to these taxes, and if the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Hammersley) wants to make 1573 any statement upon this business, I can only refer him to his own Association, representatives of which are coming here on Friday, not to ask the Chancellor to impose these duties, but to ask him not to impose them
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension if he understands that the Association in question is coming down definitely to oppose the taxation suggested
§ Mr. ROBINSON
As recently as 12 o' clock today I had a joint meeting with the Association. I have been to both Associations. manufacturers' and spinners, and they asked me if I could be present on Friday, as they were coming down and wanted a textile man from the Opposition side to speak in favour of their proposals. I am here in this House, not only in the interests of operatives, but in the interests of men N ho own mills. Sonic of them have not had them running for years. They are getting going again more and more because we are getting orders for fancy materials, but as soon as they are getting to work this tax is proposed, and it is likely to be a great disadvantage. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to consider so much whether it is Free Trade or Protection, but to look at the industry of the country and toletthenationbe his first consideration. I appeal to him not to impose these taxes
§ Sir SAMUEL CHAPMAN
As a most loyal member of the Government party and as a follower of the right hon. Gentleman and one who does not wish to see this Budget destroyed either by the silken. cord of commerce or the silvern voice of Carnarvon and Caithness, I ask the right hon. Gentleman to be good enough to assure us sooner or later by actual facts and not by the good natured assertion that there will be no diminution of the artificial silk trade—I ask him, with all the vehemence I can command, to inquire most minutely into the problem whether or not this proposal will cause more unemployment than there is in the country at the present time. I shall read to the Chancellor of the Exchequer a statement which has been put into my hands by the biggest producers of artificial silk in this country. It is most important, and will the right hon. Gentleman. be 1574 good enough to take it into consideration most deeply Thisisthe statement:"The new Excise Duty now proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer will bring our prices higher than those ruling in 1924, when we could not sell our productions. and we are afraid that if this is insisted upon it will have a disastrous effect upon the trade.
§ Sir S. CHAPMAN
I do not like to hear those cheers. I pledged myself to support the Government, and I hope to do it even now. I hope that the right. hon. Gentleman will take into the most serious consideration the statements which are made by the producers of artificial silk. We have heard what the hon. Member for Wolverhampton said, that a mill was to be stopped. Will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries, so as to be perfectly certain, before he proceeds with these taxes, that we who want to support him will not be led into a morass? I have faith in the right hon. Gentleman, and, though I cannot support him at the moment, yet I hope that before the question is concluded I shall be one of his most faithful followers
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I shall not discuss the question of the effect of these duties upon employment in general. It appears to be perfectly clear that the further the Debate progresses the greater are the caves and the fissures in the right. hon. Gentleman's party. There are grave doubts in all quarters of the House as to what the effect of these duties is to be on the very vexed question of employment. But I want to discuss for a moment or two the right hon. Gentleman's grounds fur imposing these vexatious duties, which are causing alarm even amongst his own most loyal supporters. Why does he want to impose these duties at the risk of division in his own ranks? He desires to impose these duties because he wants to broaden the basis of taxation, and as the right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) said, to impose duties upon the poor in order to excuse payment by the excessively rich. In the course of his speech the right hon. Gentleman told us that he must have the money. He must have the paltry £7,000,000 that these duties will produce because of the necessity of balancing his Budget, and he has proceeded by a nice process of adjustment to play off one set 1575 of taxpayers as against another. These proposals come from a man who has deliberately thrown away over £7,000,000 of Super-tax and given it back to those who never even expected it. He has done this in a time of unprecedented bad trade and when unemployment is swelling in volume. [HON. MEMBERS: "Divide ! "] I wish to point out some of the arguments which have been advanced in support of this proposal. It has been admitted that there is a question of preferene involved in this matter. Why preference should be given to the manufacturers of artificial silk in this country I cannot for the life of me understand. The cotton trade has been piling up millions by overcharging
§ on this commodity, because there must have been what amounts to overcharging.[Interruption.]It can be seen from the Stock Exchange Year Book how their profits have mounted up and this great cotton trade which wantspreference—;HON.MEMBERS: "Divide ! "] This Budget is a class Budget. Right hon. Gentlemen opposite talk about a class war and they say that we preach a class war, but they practice it. This is a Park Lane Budget, and it taxes the cheap finery of the working women in order to relieve the Supertax payer
§ Question put, "That the word July ' stand part of the Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 331: Noes, 1631579
|Division. 92.]||AYES||[10.0 p.m|
|Acland-Troyte, Lleut.-Colonel||Campbell, E. T.||Ersklne, James Malcolm Montelth|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Cassels, J. D.||Evans, Captain A.(Cardiff, South)|
|Alexander, E. E.(Leyton)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Alexander, Sir Wm.(Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cayzer, Sir C.(Chester, City)||Fairfax. Captain J.G.|
|Allen, J.Sandeman (L'pool, W.Derby)||Cayzer,Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S.)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C.M. S.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Falls. Sir Charles F.|
|Appln, Colonel R.V. K||Cecil. Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Fermoy. Lord|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H.(Ox. Univ.)||Fielden,E. B.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, E||Chadwlck, Sir Robert Burton||Fleming, D.P|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Ford, P.J|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Charteris, Brigadier-General J||Forestier-Walker. L|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Foster, Sir Harry S|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Christie, J. A||Foxcrolt, Captain C. T|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Balnlel, Lord||Churchman, Sir Arthur C||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Clarry, Reginald George||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M||Clayton, G. C||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Barnett, Major Richard W||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gates, Percy|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H||Cochranc, Commander Hon. A. D||Gault, Lieut-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cockerlll, Brigadier-General G. K||Gee, Captain R.|
|Beckett, John(Gateshead)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Goff, Sir Park|
|Benn, Sir A. S.(Plymouth, Drake)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Bennett, A. J||Cooper, A. Duff||Grace, John|
|Berry, Sir George||Cope, Major William||Grant, J.A|
|Bethel). A||Couper, J. B||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Betterton, Henry B||Courtauld, Major J. S||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L||Greenwood. William (Stockport)|
|Bird, Sir R.B. (Wolverhampton. W.)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.)||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Craig. Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Grotrlan, H. Brent|
|Blundell, F. N||Cialk. Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Crolt||Crook, C. W||Gunston, Captain D. W|
|Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hacking Captain Douglas H|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E.W||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hammerslcy. S. S|
|Brass. Captain W||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Llndsey. Galnsbro)||Hanbury, C|
|Brassey. Sir Leonard||Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry||Hannon. Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William||Cllva Curzon. Captain Viscount||Harland, A|
|Brlscoe, Richard George||Dalkelth, Earl of||Harrison, G. J. C|
|Brlttaln, Sir Harry||Davidson, J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Brocklebank, C. E.R||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H||Harvey,G. (Lambeth, Kennlngton)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I||Davies, A. V.(Lancaster, Royton)||Harvey. Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset. Yeovll)||Haslam, Henry C|
|Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Davison, Sir W.H. (Kensington, 5.)||Hawke. John Anthony|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hoadlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M|
|Buckingham, Sir H||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan||Henderson. Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Bull,Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Drewe, C||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Bullock, Captain M||Eden, Captain Anthony||Heneagc. Lieut.-Col. Arthur p|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Edmondson, Major A. J||Henn, Sir Sydney H|
|Burney, Lleut.-Com. Charles D||Elliot, Captain Walter E||Hennessy, Ma]or J. R. G|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Ellis, R. G||Hennlker-Hughan. Vlce-Adm. Sir A|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Elveden, Viscount||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Calne, Gordon Hall||Ersklne, Lord(Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Herbert, S. (York, N.R. Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. C||Merriman, F. B.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hohler, sir Gerald Fltzroy||Meyer, Sir Frank||Slmms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine, C.|
|Holt, capt. H. P||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Homan, C. W. J||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Smlthers, Waldron|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Spender Clay, Colonel H.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sprot Sir Alexander|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F.(WIll'sden, E.)|
|Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney N.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Murchison, C. K.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Nail, Lieut. -Colonel Sir Joseph||Storry Deans, R.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Nelson, Sir Frank||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hurd Percy A.||Neville, R. J.||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hutchison, G.A.Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S,||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Nuttall, Ellis||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Oakley, T.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Jones, G. W. H.(Stoke Newington)||Pennefather, Sir John||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Thomson, Sir W.Mitchell-(Croydon, S.)|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tinne, J. A.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Vaughan-Morgan Col K. P.|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Phillpson, Mabel||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Pliditcn, Sir Philip||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Lane-Fox, Colonel George R.||Pownall, Lleut.-Colonel Attheton||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Preston, William||Warrender Sir Victor|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Price, Major C. W. M.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Raine, W.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carllsie)|
|Locker-Lampson. G. (Wood Green)||Rawson, Alfred Cooper||Wells, S.R.|
|Loder, J. de V.||Reid, capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Wheler, Major Granville C. H.|
|Looker, Herbert William||Remer, J. R.||White, Lieut-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Rentoul, G. S.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Luce Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wiliams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lumely, L. R.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wilson, Sir Charles H. (Leeds, Central)|
|MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wlnby, Colonel L. P.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ropner, Major L.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart,||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Winterton Rt. Hon. Earl|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Maclntyre, Ian||Rye, F. G.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|McLean, Major A.||Salmon, Major I.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Sridgwater)|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wood, E. (Chest'r, stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Savery, S. S.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.||Shaw, Capt. W. W.(Wilts, Westb'y)||Colonel Gibbs and Major Sir|
|Meller, R. J.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Harry Barnston.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cluse, W. S.||Gosling Harry|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Greenall, T.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)|
|Baker, G. (MOnmouth, Abertillery)||Connolly, M.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)|
|Barnes, A.||Crawfurd, H. E.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Barnes, A.||Crawfurd, H. E.||Criffiths, T.(Monmouth, Pontypoll)|
|Barr, J.||Dalton, Hugh||Groves, T.|
|Batey, Joseph||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Guest, J. (York Hemsworth)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Day, Colonel Harry||Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Dennison, R.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Duckworth, John||Hall, G. H.(Merthyr Tydvll)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Dunnlco, H.||Hardle, George D.|
|Broad, F. A.||Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Harney E. A.|
|Brornfield, William||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Harris, percy A.|
|Bromley, J.||Fenby, T. D.||Hastings, sir Patrick|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Forrest, W.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Cape, Thomas||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)|
|Charleton, H. C||Gibbins, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.|
|Clowes, S.||Gillett, George M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Paling, W||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Hudson, J.H.(Huddersfield)||Pethlck-Lawrence, F.W||Thomson, Trevelyan(Middlesbro.W.)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert(Montrose)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Thorne, G.R.(Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Joh,. William (Rhondda, West)||Potts, John S||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Johnston, Thomas(Dundee)||Richardson, R.(Houghton-le-Sprlng)||Thurtle, E|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Riley, Ben||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Sllvertown)||Ritson, J||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphllly)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretlord)||Varley, Frank B|
|Jones, T.I. Mardy(Pontyprldd)||Robinson,W.C.(Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Vlant, S.P|
|Kelly, W. T||Rose, Frank H||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Runciman, Rt. Hon||Walter Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Saklatvala, Shapurjl||Warne, G. H|
|Kirkwood, D||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Lansbury, George||Scrymgeour, E||Watson, W.M. (Duntermline)|
|Lawson, John James||Scurr, John||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Lee, F||Sexton, James||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Livingstone, A. M||Shlels, Dr. Drummond||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Lowth, T||Short, Alfred (Wadnesbury)||Westwood, J|
|Lunn, William||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Calthnesa)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J|
|Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J.R.(Aberavon)||Sltch, Charles H||Whlteley, W|
|Mackinder, W||Slesser, Sir Henry H||Wlgnall, James|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Smillle, Robert||Wilkinson, Ellen C|
|Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|March, S||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Williams, Dr. J. H.(Lianelly)|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Snell. Harry||Williams, T.(York, Don Valley)|
|Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllffe)|
|Montague, Frederick||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Wilson. R. i, Harrow)|
|Morris, R.H||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Windsor, Walter|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Stamlord, T. W||Wright, W|
|Naylor, T.E||Stephen, Campbell||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Sutton, J.E|
|Owen, Major G||Taylor, R.A||TELLERSFOR THENOES.—|
|Palin, John Henry||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Mr. Allen Parkinsonand Mr. T.Kennedy|
§ Amendment proposed: To leave out lines 18 to 20 inclusive.—(Mr.Pethick. Laurence)
§ Question put, "That the words pro1580
§ posed to be left out stand part of the Resolution
§ The House divided: Ayes. 333; Noes, 1001583
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cope, Major William|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T||Brocklebank, C.E. R||Coupcr, J. B|
|Alexander, E. E.(Leyton)||Brooke. Brigadier-General C.R. I||Courtauld, Major J. S|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brolln-Lindsay. Major H.||Courthope. Lieut.-Col. George L|
|Allen. J.Sandeman (L'pool, W.Derby)||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington,N.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C.M. S||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks. Newb'y)||Cralg, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K||Buckingham, Sir H||Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Crolt, Brigadier-General Sir H|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, E||Bullock, Captain M||Crook, C. W|
|Astbtiry, Lieut.-Commander F. W||Burgoyne, Lleut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Cronkc. J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Burney, Lleut.-Com. Charles D||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Butt, Sir Alfred||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Curtis-Bennelt. Sir Henry|
|Ballour, George (Hampslead)||Caine, Gordon Hall||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Balniel, Lord||Campbell, E. T||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cassels, J. D||Davidson, J.(Hertt'd, Hemel Hempst'd)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M||Cautiey, Sir Henry S||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H|
|Barnett, Major Richard W||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Davies, A. V. (Lancaster, Royton)|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Cayzer, Ma]. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)|
|Beamish, Captain T.P.H||Cazalet. Captain Victor A||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bellalrs, Commander Carlynn W||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox.Univ.)||Doyle, Sir N. Grattan|
|Benn, Sir A. S.(Plymouth, Drake)||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Drewe. C|
|Bennett, A. J||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Eden. Captain Anthony|
|Berry, Sir George||Chapman, Sir S||Edmondson, Major A. J|
|Bethell, A||Charteris, Brigadier-General J||Elliot. Captain Walter E|
|Betterton, Henry B||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Ellis. R. G|
|Blrchall, Major J. Dearman||Christie, J. A||Elveden, Viscount|
|Bird, Sir R.B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Erskine, Lord(Somerset, Weston-s-M.)|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Churchman, Sir Arthur C||Erskine. James Malcolm Montelth|
|Blundell, F. N.||Clarry, Reginald George||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)|
|Boothby, R.J.G||Clayton, G.C||Everard. W. Lindsay|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Fairfax, Captain J. G|
|Bowater, sir T. Vansittart||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A.D||Falle, Sir Bertram G|
|Bowyer, Capt. G.E. W||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K||Falls. Sir Charles F|
|Brass, Captain W||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Fermoy. Lord|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Fielden, E. B|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Cllve||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Fleming. D. P|
|Brlscoe, Richard George||Cooper, A. Duff||Ford, P. J|
|Forestier-Walker, L||Leigh, Sir John(Clapham)||Rye, F. G|
|Foster, Sir Harry S||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Salmon, Major I|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Samuel, A.M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Locker-Lampson, G.(Wood Green)||Samuel, Samuel(W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Loder, J. de V||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Fremantle, Lleut.-Colonol Francis E||Looker, Herbert William||Sanders, Sir Robert A|
|Ganronl, Sir John||Lougher, L||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Gates, Percy||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sandon, Lord|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavo D|
|Gee, Captain R||Lumley, L.R||Savery, S. S|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l. Exchange)|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macdonald, Capt P. D. (I. of W)||Shaw. R. G.(Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Gower, Sir Robort||Macdonald R. (Glasgow Cathcart)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Grace, John||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Weslb'y)|
|Grant, J. A||Maclntyre, Ian||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Greene, W. p. Crawford||McLean, Major A||Shepperson, E. W|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Sir H.(W'thVw, E)||Macmillan Captain H||Slmms, Dr. John M.(Co. Down)|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||McNelII, Rt. Hon Ronald John||Smith-Carlngton, Neville W|
|Grotrlan, H. Brent||Macquisten F. A||Smithers, Waldron|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F.E. (Brlstol.N.)||MacRobert, Alexander M||Spender Clay, Colonel H|
|Guinness. Rt. Hon. Walter E||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Gunston, Captain D. W||Maklns, Brlgadler-General E||Stanley, Col. Hon. GF. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Stanly, Lord (Fyde)|
|Hammersley, S. S||Margesson, Captain D||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hanbury, C||Marriott Sir A. R||. Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mason, Lleut.-Col. Glya K||Storry Deans, R|
|Harland, A||Meller R J||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel w. H|
|Harrison, G. J. C||Merrlman' F B||Strickland, Sir Gerald|
|Hartington, Marguess of||Mever Sir Frank||Stuart, Crichton, Lord C|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennlngton)||Miine J S Wardlaw-||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nalrn)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitrhell,W. Foot(SaffronWalden)||Styles, Captian H. Walter|
|Haslam, Henry C||Mitchell. Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Moore Sir Newton J||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel, C. M.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J.T. C||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Fredarick H|
|Henderson, Capt. R.R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Cllve||Tompieton, w. p|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H||Murchnon, C. K||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hennossy, Major J. R. G||Nail, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph||Thomson. F. C. (Aberdean, South)|
|Henniker-Hughan, Vlce-Adm. Sir A||Nelson Sir Frank||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchel H Croydon. S.)|
|Herbert, Dennis(Hertford, Watford)||Neville R J||Tinne, J. A|
|Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Newman, Sir. R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hoare, Lt-.Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Wallace, Captain D. E|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Ward, Col. L.(Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Nicholson William G. (Petersfield)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W|
|Hotcapt. H. P||Nleld, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Homan, C.W. J||Nuttal, Ellis||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hope, Capt. A. O.J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Oakiey T.||Waterhouse. Captain Charles|
|Hopkins,1.W. W||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Watson. Rt. Hon. W. (Carllsle)|
|Hortick, Lieut.-Colonel J.N||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Welts, S. R|
|Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Pennefather, Sir John||Wheler, Major Granville C. H|
|Hudson, capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||White Lieut,- colonel, G. Dalrymple|
|Hudson, R.S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Perklns, Colonel E K||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hume, Sir G. H||Peto, Basil E.(Devon, Barnstaple)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Peto, G. (Somerset Frome)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hurd, Percy A||Philipson, Mabel||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hurst, Gerald B||Pllditch Sir Philip||Winby, Colonel L. P|
|Hutchison, G.A, Clark (Mldl'n & P'bl's)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ilitle, Sir Edward M||Preston, William||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|luskip, Sir Thomas Walker H||price, Major C. W. M||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S||Ralne, W||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rawson, Alfred Cooper||Womerslcy, W. J|
|Jacob, A. E||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrlngton)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset. Bridgwater)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Reld,D. D. (County Down)||Wood. Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)|
|Jephcott, A. R||Remer, J.R||Wood. E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Jones. G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Remnant, Sir James||Wood. Sir Klngsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Joynson-Hlcks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Rentoul, G. S||Wood. Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)|
|Kidd, J. (Llnlithgow)||Rhys, Hon. C.A. U||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Richardson, Sir p. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Kinloch-Cooke. Sir Clement||Roberts, E.H.G.(Flint)||Yerburnh, Major Robert D. T|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Ropner, Major L|
|Lamb, J. Q||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A||TELLERSFOR THE AYES.-|
|Lane-Fox, Colonel George R||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Commander B. Eyres Monsell and Colonel Gibbs|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Brown, James (Ayr andBute)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Lelth)||Cape. Thomas|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Bird, E. ft. (Yorks, W.R., Sklpton)||Charleton, H. C|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W||Clowes, S|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertlllery)||Briant, Frank||Cluse,W. S|
|Barnes, A||Broad, F. A||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R|
|Barr, J||Bromfleld, William||Collins. Sir Godfrey (Greonock)|
|Batey, Joseph||Bromley, J||Connolly, M,|
|Cove, W.G||Kelly, W. T||Smlllie, Robert|
|Crawfurd, H. E||Kennedy, T||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Smith, H. B. Lees (Kelghley)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Kanyon, Barnet||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Davies, Rhys John(Westhoughton)||Klrkwood, D||Snell, Harry|
|? ay. Colonel Harry||Lansbury, George||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dennlson, R||Lawson, John James||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Duncan, C||Lee, f||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamln Charles|
|Dunnico, H||Livingstone, A. M||Stainlord, T. W|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Lowth, T||Stephen, Campbell|
|Fenby, T. D||Lunn, William||Suttcn, J. E|
|Forrest, W||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Aberavon)||Taylor, R. A|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Macklnder, W||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M||MacLaren, Andrew||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Gillett, George IYS||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I||Thorne, G.R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Gosling, Harry||March, S||Thorns, W. (West Hom. Plalstow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Win. (Edln., Cent.)||Maxton, James||Thurtle, E|
|Greenall, T||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Greenwood, A.(Nelson and Colne)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C.P|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Montague, Frederick||Varley, Frank B|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth. Pontypon!)||Morris, R.H||Vlant, S. P|
|Groves. T||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Grundy, T.W||Naylor, T. E||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)||Oliver, G Borge Harold||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermllne)|
|Guest. Dr. L. Haden (Southwark. N.)||Owen, Major G||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondde)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||palin, John Henry||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Paling, W||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Pethlck-Lawrcnce, F. W||Westwood, J|
|Hardle, George D||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J|
|Harney, E. A||Potts, John S||Whiteley, W|
|Harris, Percy A||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Sprlng)||Wignall, James|
|Hastings, Sir Patrick||Riley, Ben||Wilkinson, Ellen C|
|Hayes, John Henry||Ritson, J||Williams, C. p. (Denbigh, Wrexhamt|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks. W R., Eiland)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Rose, Frank H||Williams, Dr, J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Hirst, G. H||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Williams, T (York, Don Valley)|
|Hirst, W.(Bradlord,South)||Saklalvala, Shapurji||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllfle)|
|Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Saltcr. Dr. Alfred||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Hudderstield)||Scrymgoour, E||Windsor, Walter|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Scurr, John||Wright. W|
|John. William (Rhondda, West)||Sexton, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Jones, Henry Haydn(Merioneth)||Short, Alfred(Wednesbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Sllvertown)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphllly)||Sitch, Charles H||Warne|
|Jones, T. l. Mardy (Pontyprldd)||Slesscr, Sir Henry H|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution
I understand that, in accordance with an arrangement to which we are all parties. we are. not dividing on these other Amendments, but I wish to ask whether our rights to criticise and to raise the important points
§ in the Amendments will be fully safeguarded in the further stages of the Bill
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Any decision taken now does not withdraw any Amendment from the further stages of the Bill
§ Question put, "That this House cloth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 330; Noes, 166.1587
§ Order read for Further Consideration of Fifth Resolution: