HC Deb 07 December 1927 vol 211 cc1381-2
45 and 46. Mr. DIXEY

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he is aware that safeguarding is the only solution for the iron and steel trade; and, in view of the importance of this matter, will he consider giving a day for the discussion of the same?

(2) whether he is aware that the position of the iron and steel trade grows more precarious daily, and that the trade is now unanimously in favour of safeguarding; and, in view of the necessity of this industry to the country and its importance to a revival in the home coal trade, he will suggest a reconsideration of the safeguarding of this industry by the Cabinet Committee?


Before Question 45 is answered, may I draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to its wording and ask whether a question which states something as a fact which is, to say the least, highly dubious, is allowed to be put on the Order Paper?


Many hon. Members put statements in questions on their own authority which I should think were rather doubtful, but in all cases they take the responsibility themselves.


Is it not a fact that an hon. Member must make himself responsible for the accuracy of statements which are put forward as facts? Should I be allowed, for instance, to ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that his policy is wholly futile?


I will deal with the hon. and gallant Member's question when I see it.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

I have nothing to add to the statement which I made in this House on 10th November in answer to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Flint (Mr. Goodman Roberts).


Is my right hon. Friend aware of the promise given by the Government as regard safeguarding, and does he not consider that equally important?


Is my right hon. Friend aware that 4,000,000 tons of foreign steel were imported into this country during the last year, while there are some 100,000 steel workers out of employment here, and does he not think that that new fact requires the urgent and immediate attention of the Government?


Whether or not safeguarding is a solution for the difficulties in the steel trade, would it certainly not be the cause of the dissolution of the Conservative Government?

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT rose


Hon. Members must find some other time for a fiscal debate.