HC Deb 06 July 1926 vol 197 cc2039-43

I beg to move to leave out the Clause.

This Clause seeks to reimpose, with modifications and for a period of 10 years, Part 1 of the Safeguarding of Industries Act. I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will continue to favour us with his presence, because on the Committee stage he left the whole defence to the President of the Board of Trade. I see that he flees from the wrath to come. On this particular Clause there is a substantial measure of agreement between different sides of the House. In addition to the members of the Labour Party, I believe nearly all the sections of the Liberal Party, and a substantial part of the party opposite regard these duties as Protectionist. Whereas we oppose the duties on that ground, hon. Members opposite rejoice in them on that ground; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, and a few others defend this Clause not because it is Protectionist but because in their view it is something quite different. They claim that in this way they are safeguarding the key industries of the country.

Without making a long speech I will summarise our principal case against this Clause. We say that these key industries have no reality in fact. A key industry is supposed to protect this country in time of war. If any one compares the kind of things which were necessary to carry on the late war with the things which would have been regarded as necessary in the war against Napoleon, it will be seen that it is quite impossible to predict what will be the key industries of a future war. What we regard as key industries at the present time may be of no importance in the terrible misfortune of any other war. In the second place, we say that even if there are such things as key industries this Clause does not safeguard them, for while it establishes a measure of protection it by no means insists that the manufacturers of this country shall make what will be the actual key things in times to come. They will only make the things which it is commercially profitable for them to make.

What is the defence of these duties? We believe they are really Protectionist in design. The Prime Minister, when they were originally imposed, said they were imposed for five years, and that at the end of that time the industries would stand on their feet. We are seeing today what generally takes place in matters of Protection. When the time comes for the industries to stand on their feet, so far from their doing so another term is given to them—in this case the 5 years' period is extended to 10 years. The case is still worse when we come to that part of sub-section (2) which deals with optical glass. There the duties have failed so palpably to achieve their object that it is useless merely to reimpose them, and they are not only continued for a longer period but are increased from 33⅓ per cent. to 50 per cent.

I am not going to give detailed reasons why we oppose this large increase in duties, but the duty on optical glass covers a large range of articles much wider than the key industries which they purport to represent. When it is realised that they deal with such things as small cameras and optical instruments it is evident that you cannot protect them by a duty of this kind. These duties are larger ad valorem on the cheap than on the dear articles on account of the proposal not only to tax the lens but the whole value of the camera in which the lens is included. You tax a pair of boots because there is a silk tag attached and you tax cameras because they contain lenses. When you come to the third Sub-section things are carried to a reductio ad absurdum simply because they are parts of an article which might contain optical glass.

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD OF TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)

There is only one statement made by the hon. Member who has just sat down and that is that at one time we were all

agreed about these duties and they were recommended by Balfour of Burleigh Committee. At one time the Leader of the Liberal Party recommended every one of these duties to the House although that party opposed them in the Safeguarding of Industries Bill. I claim that these duties have been successful. Under them industry has developed, research has been carried out and new processes have been started. What is more, in spite of the tax optical glass manufacture has progressed. Under these circumstances I think we should be very unwise, having regard to the experience of the past, both in peace and war, if we did not continue duties which have so successfully served their purpose.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes. 187; Noes, 98.

Division No. 331.] AYES. [11.35 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel Eden, Captain Anthony Kindersley, Major Guy M.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Edmondson, Major A. J. King, Captain Henry Douglas
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby) Eillot, Major Walter E. Knox, Sir Alfred
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Falle, Sir Bertram G. Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Apsley, Lord Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Little, Dr. E. Graham
Astor, Maj. Hon. John J.(Kent, Dover) Fermoy, Lord Loder, J. de V.
Atkinson, C. Fielden, E. B. Lougher, L.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Fraser, Captain lan MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Frece, Sir Walter de Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Bethel, A. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. MacDonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Betterton, Henry B. Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony McLean, Major A.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Galbraith, J. F. W. Macmillan, Captain H.
Blades, Sir George Rowland Gates, Percy McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John
Blundell, F. N. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Boothby, R. J. G. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Margesson, Captain D.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Goff, Sir Park Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Briggs, J. Harold Grace, John Merriman, F. B.
Briscoe, Richard George Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Meyer, Sir Frank
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Grotrian, H. Brent Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Monsell, Eyres, Cum. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Burman, J. B. Gunston, Captain D. W. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hail, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Morning Captain A. H.
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Hammersley, S. S. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Butt, Sir Alfred Hanbury, C. Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Campbell, E. T. Harland, A. Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Cavzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Nuttall, Ellis
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Harrison, G. J. C. O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hartington, Marquess of O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Pennefather, Sir John
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Henderson, Lieut-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Clayton, G. C. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Pielou, D. P.
Cocnrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Pliditeh, Sir Philip
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by) Power, Sir John Cecil
Cooper, A. Duff Hills, Major John Waller Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton
Cope, Mayor William Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Radford. E. A.
Cowper, J. B. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Raine, W.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hopkins, J. W. W. Remer, J. R.
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Rice, Sir Frederick
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Ropner, Major L.
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Dalkeith, Earl of Jacob, A. E. Salmon, Major I.
Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Dixey, A. C. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Sandeman, A. Stewart
Sanders, Sir Robert A. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Sanderson, Sir Frank Sugden, Sir Wilfred Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby) Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton) Williams, Herbert G. (Reacting)
Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W.) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South) Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)
Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y) Tinne, J. A. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Shepperson, E. W. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George
Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Slaney, Major P. Kenyon Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P. Wise, Sir Fredric
Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Waddington, R. Womersley, W. J.
Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'etand) Wallace, Captain D. E. Hood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)
Steel, Major Samuel Strang Waterhouse, Captain Charles Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Storry-Deans, R. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley) Wragg, Herbert
Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Streatfeild, Captain S. R. Wells, S. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Strickland, Sir Gerald Whaler, Major Sir Granville C. H. Major Sir Harry Barnston and
Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple Captain Bowyer.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Paling, W.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Grundy, T. W. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Ammon, Charles George Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Potts, John S.
Barnes, A. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Purcell, A. A.
Barr, J. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Batey, Joseph Hardie, George D. Riley, Ben
Benn. Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Harris, Percy A. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Salter, Dr. Alfred
Broad, F. A. Hayday, Arthur Sexton, James
Bromley, J. Hayes, John Henry Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Brown. James (Ayr and Bute) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Buchanan, G. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Charleton, H. C. Hirst, G. H. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Clowes, S. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Sitch, Charles H.
Cluse, W. S. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Compton, Joseph Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Stamford, T. W.
Crawfurd, H. E. John, William (Rhondda, West) Stephen, Campbell
Dalton, Hugh Jones, Henry Haydn (Merloneth) Sullivan, J.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sutton, J. E.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwiek) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Day, Colonel Harry Kelly, W. T. Tinker, John Joseph
Dunnico, H. Kennedy, T. Townend, A. E.
England, Colonel A. Lawrence, Susan Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer) Lawson, John James Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Fenby, T. D. Lee, F. Welsh, J. C.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Lindley, F. W. Wheatley, Rt. Hon J.
Gardner, J. P. Mac Laren, Andrew Wiggins, William Martin
Gibbins, Joseph Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Gillett, George M. Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Williams. T. (York, Don Valley)
Gosling, Harry Murnin, H.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Naylor, T. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenall, T. Oliver, George Harold Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Palin, John Henry Charles Edwards.

Ordered, "That further Consideration of the Bill, as amended, be now adjourned."—[Sir P. Cunliffe-Lister.]

Bill, as amended, to be further considered upon Monday next.