HC Deb 20 July 1927 vol 209 cc406-7
57. Sir F. WISE

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the increased production of rubber outside the restriction area and of the recent fall in the price of this commodity, he is contemplating the withdrawal or substantial modification of the restriction scheme in force?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)

No, Sir. In present circumstances I do not contemplate either the withdrawal of the scheme or any alteration in the pivotal price on which it is based or any other substantial variation in its provisions. In this connection, I would refer to the answer given on the 21st June last to a question addressed to me by the hon. and gallant Member for the Montrose District (Sir R. Hutchison), in which I stated that if any change in the scheme were to become necessary I should endeavour to give as long notice as possible. I shall certainly adhere to this undertaking in regard to any minor improvements in the working of the scheme which may be considered desirable as the result of experience, but I repeat that, as I stated in reply to a question addressed to me on the 22nd February of' this year by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Mr. Penny), that, so long as the conditions under which the present scheme is operating remain substantially the same, I do not propose to suggest any material modification in its provisions. I am not aware that any such alteration has taken place in those conditions in the interval.


In view of the serious, effect on the working of the Stevenson Restriction Scheme of the existence of an unknown number of unused coupons, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of limiting their availability for a definite period, of, say, three or six months only?


Since the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends are in competition, will he not leave the rubber producers entirely alone?


With regard to the first supplementary question, I would say the question of unused coupons has always been continuously considered in all its very difficult aspects by the Advisory Committee, and has been, naturally, also closely considered by myself, and will remain under consideration. I think the full and carefully considered answer I have given covers that point.

Brigadier-General CHARTERIS

Can the right hon. Gentleman state that the notice shall be as long as possible, and will extend, anyhow, into a matter of months, and not only into a matter of a few weeks?


There, again, I should not like to bind myself, but I contemplate that it certainly will be a matter of months.