§ Captain STREATFEILD
I beg to move,That this House warmly endorses the policy of safeguarding industries and, in view of its proved success, urges the necessity for the widest extension of this policy, consistent with the Prime Minister's pledges, as the only political means of accelerating the advent of prosperity, of maintaining the standard of living of the wage-earners and reducing unemployment, and of promoting national economy.I am afraid that the subject now under discussion is one of which we have heard
§ a good deal quite lately. I think I am right in saying that this is the fourth or fifth occasion on which we have talked of the principle of safeguarding since the House met six weeks ago, and in that connection I sincerely hope that the significance of the frequency with which the subject has been raised will not be lost on my right hon. Friends on the Treasury Bench, and that they will regard it as indicative of the feeling of this House on this subject. We started this year with a great deal more justification for hope for the trade of this country than for a good many years past. In 1927 we have turned a debit of £7,000,000 into a credit turnover of no less than £103,000,000, and I think that is an achievement of which the Government can justly be proud and upon which we, their supporters, can 467 congratulate them, and some commendation, I think, might also come from hon. Members opposite. But although we have an improvement, we cannot ignore the fact that that improvement is not universal and is not spread out evenly throughout the industries of this country. There are far too many which are still in a bad state, particularly the large staple industries.
§ The improvement is no justification for letting well alone, for merely sitting down to see what further improvements may develop. I believe that that improvement can be very much accelerated, and there is no shadow of doubt about the importance of it being accelerated. There is no need for me at this stage to dwell upon the vast changes that have taken place in the economic situation during the last 25 or 30 years, Hon. Members are all very well acquainted with them and are perfectly well aware how the European War has altered that economic situation throughout the world, just as it altered the map of Europe. Foreign countries which used to come to us to carry out large engineering contracts and which used to import large quantities of goods of all kinds are now doing these things for themselves, but what is of infinitely more importance, is that they are now doing these things for us as well. With a population very densely concentrated of some 45,000,000, this country forms a very large and convenient market for the industrial universe, and it is an expanding market, too. Our imports in 1923 amounted to £230,000,000, and in 1927 to £297,000,000.
§ What does it all come to? It means that from being the workshop of the world and infinitely the largest supplier throughout the world, we have descended to the humiliating position of being the dumping ground of the industrial universe—[Laughter]—Hon. Members may laugh, but it only shows that they seldom realise how serious the situation is. While we in this country are peacefully slumbering, and while some of us, especially at a late sitting, are snoring as well, behind the lowest tariff walls in Europe, the foreigner calmly steps over those walls and takes our markets. it, is far from my desire to approach this question with any animosity towards the foreigner. Nobody wants to look at it like that. We regard the foreigner in 468 the same way as a firm regards a trading rival, and we do not ask for the prohibition of his goods; we only ask for fair and equitable conditions. In this country we keep up our own markets by an expenditure of our own money, obtained by rates and taxes and so on, and yet the foreign manufacturer can come into this country and use those markets free, gratis and for nothing. No amount of cerebral activity can possibly call that fair and equitable.
§ What is the problem that confronts those who are interesting themselves in industrial matters to-day? We have to find same means of work for our own people, to pay wages to our own people, and we have also to find means of keeping our own profits for ourselves and, from those profits, of helping to swell our own exchequer. We have to set to, work to recapture the markets which are. ours by every moral and economic right. That is the problem, and it might be considered really comic and humorous if it were not so terribly true and real and tragic. Hon. Members opposite below the Gangway will agree that free trade has its merits; it would have its merits if it were universal, but so long as the foreign manufacturer is protected, so long as his workers arc content with a low standard of living, and to work longer hours for lower wages, and so long as foreign governments grant subsidies and the rates of exchange in foreign countries are below ours, it is folly in the extreme to labour under any ideas of free trade. It is unfair to the manufacturers and workers of this country, who are putting up such a splendid fight against economic odds.
§ In 1927 we imported into this country £297,000,000 worth of manufactured goods. A vast proportion of these goods were such that we could perfectly well make ourselves, and not only make ourselves, but, I suggest, make them a good deal better. What is the wages side of that question? At a low estimate, the purchase of these goods meant wages going abroad to the tune of some £130,000,000. What would that. mean to the unemployed? In one year it would mean employment for 900,000 people at a wage of £3 a. week, and I fail to see how, under the circumstances, hon. Members opposite can justify this export of wages. I notice that the Amendment from the hon. Members opposite talks about robbery; 469 if that be not robbery, I should like to know what it is. One often hears that tariffs mean unemployment. That, I suggest, has no foundation in fact. If hon. Members opposite say that it is true, how do they account for the fact that, since the termination of the coal stoppage, 600,000 men have been absorbed in industry and that, since the beginning of this year, the number taken on in industry is no less than 254,000?
§ Another aspect of the question is the establishment by foreign firms of factories in this country. Since we had our system of safeguarding, there have been five motor factories established, seven factories for manufacturing motor tyres, and one for artificial silk, while in artificial silk British factories that have been established, or are in course of being established, number something like a dozen. Think of the employment that that means! Think of the thousands that are getting work, and are being put into stable employment, who otherwise would never have got it at all. I really cannot believe that hon. Members opposite, both above and below the Gangway, mean by repealing the safeguarding Measures, to deprive the people of the work that is their right.
I should like to touch shortly on the granite industry, and to draw the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. H. Williams) to this matter. In the constituency which I have the honour to represent, there are two places where granite quarrying is carried on on an extensive scale—Creetown and Dalbeattie—and the unemployment there is worse than anywhere else in the constituency. We have to deal with granite curbs and setts and monumental stone, in regard to which the trade has been almost entirely taken by Scandinavia. I want to urge upon the hon. Gentleman that if any help is sought to be given to the granite industry by the imposition of duty on imported monumental stone, the help will be very little. I would urge that, if the monumental granite industry is to be helped, marble must come under the duty as well. I am inclined to believe that hon. Members opposite are beginning to think that there may be something behind the principle of the safeguarding of industries. I have here a report of the 59th annual Trade Union Congress held at Edinburgh last year, and there are one or two things in
it which are certainly interesting. Mr. W. H. Smith, of the Boot and Shoe Operatives, moved the following resolution:
That this Congress, recognising that the importation of commodities manufactured in other countries under conditions that are below those obtaining in this country"—
that is the important point—
(both in regard to wages and hours of labour) may have a detrimental effect upon the conditions established by trade unions at home, hereby requests the General Council, in conjunction with the Labour party, to conduct an inquiry into all aspects of this question, whereby the movement may, if possible, have a common policy in regard to the same, and report to the next Congress.
That is a very desirable indication. This Gentleman, in moving this resolution, refers to the conditions as constituting
a positive danger to the conditions we have established here at home.
Then again, Mr. A. Henderson, of the Transport Workers, at the same Conference, moved:
That this Congress directs the General Council to prepare a memorandum from all available information setting forth: (1), the effect of tariff restrictions on trade; (2), the effect of dumping front Great Britain to other countries, and from other countries to Great Britain ; (3), the effect of tariff movements on the stability of trade and employment.''
These two resolutions show how hon. Members opposite regard this question. Both were carried without a card vote by delegates representing some 4,164,000 workers. May I turn to the question of the general improvement in trade under the system of safeguarding. In the safeguarded commodities during the last year 1926–27, the decrease of imports has been no less than 28.4 per cent. The increase of exports was 11.1 per cent. There is a decrease of imports and an increase of exports, which is precisely not only what we wanted, but what we expected.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Does the figure 11.1 per cent. increase apply only to those industries that have been given Safeguarding Duties under the safeguarding procedure, or to the McKenna Duties as well?
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Captain STREATFEILD
Surely that merely enhances our point. I cannot con- 471 ceive how hon. Members opposite can wish to reverse that state of things. I see that in the Amendment which has been put down by hon. Members opposite below the Gangway, the old cry of the increase in the cost of living is raised. That is just the sort of golden eggshell we might expect from the Liberal party. Hon. Members who say that the cost of living is going up seem to neglect the fact that 12 or 14 commodities constitute the entire basis of the index figure, and they also neglect one point, namely, that of taxation. In 1925, the cost of living was 80 per cent. over the pre-War period; now it is 66 per cent. How does that show an increase in the cost of living? Why should prices rise? One has to remember that a great many foreign industries have been built up because of the British market, and that they have been expanded because their owners know that they can sell their goods in this country, and that, if that market be lost, they and their industries would be ruined; but, sooner than lose that market, they will pay the duty themselves. That and economic experience, show that prices do not tend to rise. In talking about the cost of living, I should like to refer to its first cousin, the standard of living. In this country, the wage earners are fortunate enough, I am glad to say, to enjoy a standard of living which is higher than in any other country except, perhaps, the United States of America. Incidentally, that is a heavily protected country.
§ Captain STREATFEILD
In this country the workers work shorter hours and have higher wages, and that is a state of affairs of which no one can complain. I, for one, want to see wages as high as industry can afford to pay.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) has spent far too much time in making rather vulgar interruptions. The House listens to him when he makes a speech, and he must try to listen when other hon. Members are speaking.
§ Captain STREATFEILD
I was saying, we want to see wages as high as industry can afford to pay, the highest standard of living we can get. I suggest that in production the costs of labour are the largest item. [Interruption.] They form the largest amount of the cost of production of any commodity, and in this respect we stand at a great disadvantage in comparison with our foreign competitors, who work longer hours for lower wages. The effect of that is to depress the pan of the scales. How are we to counterbalance that, and to bring the scales even? The time has arrived when hon. Members on all sides of the House have got to answer this question, Are we going to get rid of the disadvantage we are suffering from through our higher standard of living by reducing that standard of living to the level prevailing abroad and thereby be able to compete with other countries—[An Hon. MEMBER: "Where they have Protection?"]—or are we going to maintain that standard of living by the application of the principles of safeguarding? To my mind the answer is obvious. We on this side of the House absolutely refuse to lower the standard of living of the workers of this country. By widely extending the provisions of the safeguarding of industries legislation we can bring our industries on to a far better competitive level with foreign industries.
I commend this Motion with great confidence to the approval of the House. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and what we have had so far is good, very good; the only complaint I have to make is that there has not been enough of it. The time is now ripe to extend the principles of safeguarding. The past has been proved, and the future is waiting, waiting for the Government to extend the principles of safeguarding. The Socialist Amendment brings in the question of the most harmful —I suggest it with great respect—and onerous control. It mentions the termNational reorganisation of industry.I hope I am not too much behind the times, but I like to spend as short a time as possible over this question, and in order to save time I should prefer to express that "nationalisation." The Amendment tabled by the Liberal party would simply leave industry to stew in its own juice, to make the best of the fierce foreign competition with which it is faced 473 at the present time. Our proposals, on the other hand, are quite definite, and, moreover, they have been proved. One can get up and talk figures and theories for hours and hours, but I would remind hon. Members opposite that we have definite and clear proof on which to go. These proved proposals are definite, and as such I commend them to this House as being, in the terms of the Resolution,The only political means of accelerating the advent of prosperity.and what is every bit as important, maintaining the standard of living of the workers of this country.
I beg to second the Motion.
I do so with better heart because I cannot be accused of having anything to do with trade or of being a capitalist. I have had, however, a pretty wide experience of the world, and during a long lifetime I have seen trade and industry in many countries of the world, including most parts of our Empire. One thing which strikes me above everything else is how extraordinarily conservative the Liberals of this country are. They will not learn. It does not matter how often they have the example, they will not learn from experience. May I go back to what I will call the rise of free trade in this country? We have to. look back 80 years, to 1840. We have to recall the Budgets brought in by Sir Robert Peel in 1841 and 1845. We have to remember that the great Cobden, when he made his maiden speech in this House, in 1840, I think it was, spoke not as a free trader at all but as a pacifist. He wanted free trade throughout the world in order to bring peace to the world.
At that particular period, two great things had happened in the world. We had discovered and utilised steam, and the use of steam had enabled us to wed coal and iron together, and that wedding of coal and iron has produced our wealth. From that wedding of coal and iron our machinery was produced, and our great cotton industry was built up. We had the markets of the world then. There was no one to compete with us, and free trade was the obvious thing for us. Then the world was our customer; to-day we are customers of the world. If we go hack to see the reason why we rose to that prosperity, I know that hon. Members of 474 the Labour party will not want me to talk about the "industrial period" because we know and we admit—at least I would —that during that period never were men ground down as were the workers of that day. But, remember, that was the period of the Manchester School, of free trade and low wages; they always have gone together. If we look at what America did and why she did it when she broke with us, we shall have an example of what can happen both to industry and to the workers in industry. America has never forgotten Washington's first message to Congress in 1789, in which he said:Our manufactures should be promoted and protected.That gave America the greatest of all markets, the home market. The home market is the most valuable market, because it causes a circulation of money at home. High wages are essential to a home market, because unless you have high wages you have no money to spend in the home market. America has always been a protected country, except when a Liberal administration came into power in 1893, lasting till 1896. That was absolutely disastrous not only to the trade of that country but to the workers. I am going to quote a trade union worker to show what he says about it. Sam Gompers said:Three million men are now idle.He was speaking two years after the introduction of Free Trade. [HON. MEMBERS: "There are five millions now."]Two thousand million dollars in wages were lost and output is down 44 per cent. Wages fell 69 per cent.Mark that! Free Trade and low wages.The National Debt increased by 53,000,000 dollars and business lost 3,600,000,000 dollars.That was the result of the experiment with Free Trade in America. The swing of the pendulum brought in McKinley, and he brought in the McKinley tariff, and we saw the immediate effects of that tariff. What did it do? It at once restored things. In July wages increased—on the average, by 15,000,000 dollars a year. The labour savings banks deposits doubled in seven years. [Interruption.] I do not want to go into too many other examples. Germany introduced Pro- 475 tection in 1880, and her trade went from nothing up to the magnificent trade she had in the year when war broke out. Mr. Schneider, the Minister of Commerce, speaking in 1914: said:German industry is flourishing … more posts than men to fill them and unemployment is local and scattered.That was the result of Protection in Germany. With immense precautions we have made an experiment, and what I ask the Government to-night is: Is that experiment a success or is it a failure? If it is a success, then the country ought to know it, and the Government ought to inform the country that this is the road and the only road back to prosperity, big trade and high wages. If it is a failure, they should plainly tell the country that it is a failure, and go back to the old method of Free Trade. We must work on a common-sense system. It is no good acting on party lines in this matter. If this is the best thing, let us have it; if it is not, let us thrash out the subject and find out what is the position.
I do not want to weary the House with a lot of figures but I am going to take one or two simple cases which are convincing. Take the question of tyres. We put a duty on tyres rather late, after a great deal of examination. The immediate result was that five of the biggest foreign firms who sell us tyres at once opened businesses over here — the Michelin Company, at Stoke-on-Trent, the Pirelli, an Italian company, I think, at East Leigh, the Indian tyre near Glasgow, the Overman at Birmingham and the Goodyear at Birmingham. The Goodyear firm alone produce 2,000 tyres a day and employ 1,000 men. There are 1,000 men employed in making a foreign tyre in this country, and, what is the main point, they are paying their money to us, to our workers.
§ Colonel APPLIN
If we protected other industries we could absorb more men. I want to see the men who are out of work absorbed, and I am going to show presently how they can be absorbed. You cannot absorb dockers into the tyre industry, and I was not 476 suggesting it. One of the main arguments against Protection is that it raises prices. What has it done with tyre prices? It has reduced the price by from 5 to 15 per cent. I shall ask the hon. Gentleman on the Treasury Bench to verify all these figures from his returns. It is estimated that the foreign motor companies and tyre companies established since the introduction of safeguarding and the passing of the McKenna Duties are employing at least 13,000 workers.
§ Colonel APPLIN
There are 3,000 more employed now in the musical industry than in 1925. Our exports of musical instruments in 1923 amounted to £1,658,000, and in 1927, after safeguarding, they had risen to £2,734,000. I will now take the cotton industry, which has always been frightened by Protection. Some time ago I went over to Rio de Janeiro accompanied by two gentlemen who were experts in the cotton trade. I have heard it stated that you cannot make anything over 80 in cotton outside Lancashire, but I have visited a place where they were making cotton over 120, which is as fine as the finest cotton made in this country. That cotton was being made with coloured labour which was paid very low wages. Not only this, but English machinery was being used, and the men supervising that machinery were experts from our own country. Under those conditions, what chance have we in the cotton trade?
A few days ago, I was speaking at a meeting in London, and, when 1 got on to the platform, the chairman, who was a local draper, handed me a small parcel. I said, "What is in this parcel?" and he replied, "It contains a pair of bed sheets for a double bed; they are hemstitched and made of the finest material." I said, "They are beautiful linen," and he answered, "They are not linen but cotton, and what do you think is the price of them?" I said, "I could not say," and he replied, "I am selling those sheets at 12s. 11d. a pair; they are the finest hem-stitched cotton sheets, and they come from Soviet Russia." That makes us think. In my own constituency we have the second biggest factory in the country for making furniture by machinery. The works are run entirely 477 by electricity, and everything is done by machinery. The manager of that factory told me that they were paying their men 1s. 9d. per hour. On one piece of furniture there was a beautiful panel of leaves made by machinery, and the manager told me he could show to me a wardrobe imported from Belgium in competition with his own article containing that panel. In Belgium they were only paying their workmen 5d. per hour. That is the kind of competition we have to meet. The only reason this factory was able to compete with Belgian manufacturers was because they had up-to-date electrical machinery, while the Belgians were working under old-fashioned methods. That is a factory which hon. Members can go and see for themselves.
There is another factory in my constituency which is just going to commence work. It used to be a derelict building with no roof on it, and it was suddenly bought by a Dutchman. I afterwards found out who he was, and it seems that this man bought the factory in order to make bacon-cutting machines which used to he made in Holland. I took the trouble to find out from his daughter while she was visiting this country why her father had taken a factory over here, and she said, "A Conservative Government is coming into power in England, and they will put a duty on everything. The reason my father is erecting his factory in this country is to ensure that we shall not have our bacon machines shut out from the British market by a tax." In this ease, you find 500 or 600 men employed making foreign machines, and they are being paid wages which would otherwise have been paid to foreign workmen. That is an indication what safeguarding can do.
I dare say some hon. Members have received a mirror together with a letter containing a picture of a prospective candidate and a covering letter asking whether in view of votes for women he would like to send out some vanity bag mirrors to future electors. The letter states that one can obtain these mirrors at 17s. 6d. per gross, but they can be supplied at. 10s. 6d. per gross if one will accept foreign goods. It appears that the words "Foreign, Made Abroad," were stamped on the boxes and not on the mirrors, which would give the impression that the mirrors were made in 478 England, but that was the difference between the foreign and the English made mirrors. Of course, for an extra charge you could have anything printed on the back of these mirrors, and, in view of the fact that the Conservative Government are going to give votes to women, a Conservative candidate could print on the back of the mirrors, "I gave you the vote; give it back to me."
I do not want to weary the House with more figures, but I should just like to take four main features, and ask the Government. if they will verify what I am saying. In the first place, with regard to employment, taking the four safeguarded industries fur which we have figures—namely, motors, silk, lace, and musical instruments—the number of people employed has increased by 28,801, or 10.2 per cent. If this policy were applied to the other industries which are not now safeguarded, but which are insured industries, it would mean that 500,000 men would be employed right away, provided that the same thing happened, and I want to ask, have we any reason to suppose that it will not happen in other industries? Now let us take the next question, the question of exports. We find that the exports of safeguarded goods have increased by 11.1 per cent., while, on the other hand, we rind that. the exports of non-safeguarded goods have declined by 9 per cent. during the same period.
There is another point, arid a very important one, though it is usually neglected. That is the question of revenue. We often forget, in talking of safeguarding, and the many benefits that are to be 'obtained from it, the great benefit of getting a revenue paid by the foreigner. [Interruption.] if we make and sell the same thing at the same price, the foreigner must be paying it. Perhaps I may be allowed to give the figures. We have got £11,711,805 in revenue out of this policy. Lastly, there is the question of price. The price has fallen in the ease of every commodity taxed except two, namely, high-class French silk stockings—I really do not know why the price of these has gone up —and pianos. I have taken the trouble to find out why the price of pianos has gone up. There has not been an increase in the price of pianos all round, but it simply means that, where we used to buy 479 the cheaper pianos from abroad, we now produce these here at a lower price. But the higher-class pianos, of well-known German makes, costing 150 guineas, still come in and pay the duty, and that, consequently, has put up the price of these pianos.
I trust that I have shown to the Government that this safeguarding experiment., small as it has been, has been an enormous success. I want them to. realise that in 1927 we imported no less than £297,000,000 worth of manufactured goods, the production of which employed over 1,000,000 foreign workers. Why should not our English workers have produced those goods? I would ask the Government whether, if these figures are correct, they will consider them. In our great basic industry, the industry which made us great, the winning of coal and iron, these two parts are now divorced. I will not go into the reasons why they quarrelled, but, if we could bring them back once more into wedlock, coal and iron, and protect our steel, we should reabsorb our unemployed, and get back to that prosperity and happiness which this country has a right to have.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I beg to move, in line 1, to leave out from the. word "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words:recognising that the policy called the safeguarding of industries is protection, and that protection has been proved by the practical experience of this and other countries to be harmful to industry, conducive to inefficiency, productive of unemployment, a means of robbing the public for the benefit of a few, and of degrading the standard of living of the wage-earners, strongly opposes such a policy, and calls for a national re-organisation of industry based on sound economic principles.I hope that the hon. and gallant Member for Enfield (Colonel Applin) who has just sat down will not regard it as being in the least offensive if I say that he began his speech by saying that he had no knowledge of trade, and that I am quite sure that everything he said after that observation has proved the truth of it. I doubt whether, in the long history of the British Parliament a Motion was ever submitted which contained such a farrago. of nonsense as that which has just been proposed. It consists entirely of unfounded claims, of statements which have no justification in fact. If the hon. 480 and gallant Member responsible for it had been gifted with a slight sense of humour, he might have been saved from making such an exhibition. There is only one omission from the Motion. After claiming that the extension of Protection would solve the industrial problem, abolish unemployment, maintain the standard of living of the wage-earners, and promote national economy—after claiming that it was the only political means of doing that—he might have added, "and of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven."
Claims have been made which cannot be supported by fact. There was a remarkable similarity in the figures given by the Mover and by the Seconder of this Motion, and the conclusion that one drew from that was that these figures' had been supplied from a common source. They certainly have not been derived from the official figures of the Board of Trade, and they certainly have not been gathered from answers that have been given to questions by the representatives of the Board of Trade. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Motion, and his Seconder, say that they want facts. I will try to give them facts. They both made an apology for troubling the House with figures. I shall make no apology for giving figures, because this is a question that can be settled only by figures, that can be tested only by figures. I will take, first of all, the case of the motor-car industry, because that is one which has received the advantages of a high Protective tariff for a good many years, and it is the most substantial of the industries which are now safeguarded. And, with regard to the use of the word "safeguarded," may I say this, that the two speeches which have been delivered have been full-blooded Protectionist speeches. It is not the safeguarding of an efficient industry which is exposed to unfair foreign competition that the two hon. and gallant Members want, but. Protection. They have argued—at any rate, they have given the impression, and I do not think they deny the accuracy of that impression—that what they want is the protection of every industry. Indeed, the hon. and gallant Member who spoke last gave us a calculation as to what the effect would be if the Import Duties were extended to all the industries of this country. Therefore, what we are arguing to-night is 481 not an extension of safeguarding under the Prime Minister's pledge at the last General Election. We are arguing Protection, and that is the question I want to discuss.
The motor-car industry has been protected by a high tariff longer than any other of the protected industries, and, therefore, it affords a good test whether this policy has been successful. There is an unwarranted assumption that hon. Members on the other side always make. They jump to the conclusion that, if there has been an improvement in an industry which enjoys the benefit of a tariff, that improvement is wholly due to the effect of the tariff. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Because there are thousands of factors always operating which influence prices, influence markets and influence the operations of trade. All these might have the effect, apart altogether from tariffs, of reducing prices and causing a temporary stimulus to trade. The motor-car industry is one of that character. I can perhaps make this point not in my own words but in the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He put the point with remarkable lucidity and with incontestable force of argument in an observation he made in a recent Budget speech. He said, speaking of motor cars:It would be foolish for anyone to close his eyes to the actual facts that we have experienced with regard to these duties, but it would be imprudent to attempt to draw a general and unchanging rule from them. The conditions observable are those which apply to trades in a rapid and general state of expansion, through a change in world habits. It is obvious that if a few industries are selected out of all the industries in this country, and for various reasons are given this advantage, they get the advantages of a protective tariff on their own production and do not get any of the disadvantages or conditions which would arise if Protection were extended to every other conceivable article.The reduction of prices of motor cars in recent years is due to the fact that it is an expanding industry. It is an industry where improvements are constantly being made. Its expansion is not due to these two causes only. It is due to the fact that the motor car producers enjoy all the benefits of Free Trade in every one of the articles they use in the construction of their cars. I have conceded, in agreeing with the Chancellor of the Ex- 482 chequer, that a protective duty may be an advantage to the industry to which it is applied, but I am going to contend, not only in regard to motor cars but in regard to every other protected industry, that the application of a tariff on those articles has been a. decided disadvantage to the protected industry. Facts and figures will prove that.
This motor car industry, except for a brief interegnum, has enjoyed protection for about 13 years. What is the purpose of that protection? It is to keep out foreign imports, and the first test I want to apply is, "Has the tariff succeeded in keeping out foreign motor cars?" In the first eight months of 1926 the number of motor cars imported into this country was 6,803. In the first eight months of last year the number was 15,433. Has the effect of a tariff succeeded in keeping out imports? Take the export trade. It is often argued in our Debates on the application of safeguarding duties that the imposition of a duty, by securing the home market to the home manufacturer. will enable him to dump his surplus production at a very cheap rate in foreign markets, or in other words, that it would help the export trade. Let us test that again by facts in regard to the motor industry. In 1925, 11,112 motor cars were exported. Last year the number was 9,926. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about chassis?"] There is an increase in the number of chassis, but out of about 13,000, 11,000 went to Australia, and that was to supply a temporary and a sudden demand which now has fallen off. What are the figures? As a matter of fact we are losing the Australian market. I speak from memory, but I think the number of ears imported into Australia from the United States of America is about three times greater than the number sent from this country. In the first quarter of last year our export of cars to Australia was 27½ per cent. It continued to fall until in the last quarter it had fallen to 16 per cent. I saw some remarkable figures in regard to our trade in motor cars with Brazil the other day. It appears that the visit of the hon. Member and his friends did not do much to increase the trade in motor cars, at any rate, in Brazil, with this country. Last year, Brazil imported 33,000 motor cars——
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
—and 162 of them came from this country. So that in that respect the import duty has not given such a demand to the export market. What is the present state of the industry? Let us take the opinion of men who really ought to know something about the trade. I read the report of the speech of the chairman of the S.T.D. Motors the other day. This is a short extract:I suppose most of you know that, generally speaking, the trade at the present time is by no means good, and that, with the exception of a very few of the more fortunate concerns, business has shown a distinct falling-off all round, and as a consequence results have naturally not been so satisfactory. This applies particularly to the small and medium-sized car manufacturers, and may be accounted for by over-production and consequent price cutting.About the same time the Standard Company's balance sheet was published. That, again, showed the benefit that has been derived by this very well-known company from the imposition of a tariff upon foreign cars. They reported a loss for the year of £118,000, which is just about half the amount of their capital. Another well-known firm, the Crossley, published their balance sheet a few weeks ago, and last year they reported a loss of over £50,000.
In regard to employment, during the 12 months that the duties were off motor cars, employment increased to a greater extent than in any other year. Those who were in the House at that time and remember the ramping, raging, lying campaign that took place during the time that the repeal of the duties was being discussed in this House, will remember the very prominent part that Mr. Morris took. Some of you remember, and I remember very well, getting shoals of printed post-cards every day purporting to be sent by workmen, showing that if the duties were repealed they would lose their employment. Mr. Morris permitted himself to state that if the duties were repealed 2,000,000 men would be thrown out of employment. Last year Mr. Morris made a public appeal for capital, and he published particulars in regard to previous output prospects and the like. Of course, when that prospectus was compiled, Mr. Morris, had forgotton all about 484 what he had been saying only about 18 months before. I was interested in reading the figures in the prospectus. I find that in 1923–4 the output of the Morris factory was 36,401 cars, and during the year that the duties were off, when everyone of his workmen was to be unemployed, he states in the prospectus that the output increased from 36,000 to 49,755. The total exports in the year before the duties were taken off was 3,300 cars. What happened when the duties were taken off? In the following years his exports reached the figure of 7,416. In regard to unemployment, I find that during the time the duties were off, unemployment in these and in other trades which had been relieved from the burden of duties, fell. It fell from 10.2 to 7.5.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I should be very glad indeed. I have already made a statement that employment increased more in the year during the time the duties were off than in any other year. If the hon. Member wants the figures he can have them if he takes the trouble to refer to the OFFICIAL REPORT of the 29th February, 1928, column 410. So much for motors. These facts disprove every single claim which has been made in the two speeches which have preceded mine. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The result has been what one expected. Even if a tariff were imposed on an industry of this character, there would be some expansion, but the expansion has not been as great either in production or in export as was the case when the duties were repealed.
I am not going to say very much about lace. Perhaps the most significant comment that has been made about the application of the Safeguarding Duties upon lace was the silence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject when he visited Nottingham and addressed a meeting there in the Autumn of last year. If this action on the part of the Government, in the knowledge of the Nottingham people, had conferred great benefits upon the industry there, surely the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have claimed due credit for it. He said never a word. Now what about lace? The Nottingham lace industry is one which depends for the disposal of the greater part of its output on the foreign market. Since 1925, exports fell—here I 485 am quoting from a reply given by the President of the Board of Trade last year —from just under £2,200,000 to £1,763,000. The re-export trade has practically been destroyed. Hon. Members appear to attach great importance to the employment which the Safeguarding Duties are supposed to have given. May I, at this point, refer to a reply which was given on the 29th February of this year, in page 410 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, by the Minister of Labour? That. is not very long ago and can readily be checked. The Minister of Labour, in a tabulated statement, gave the figures, in regard to the lace trade, of the estimated number of insured workpeople in July of different years. In the year 1924, the number of insured people in the lace trade was 20,350.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The estimated number of insured people. The point is whether the industry is now employing a larger number of people. In 1925, the number insured was 19,500; in the next year there had been a drop of nearly 1,000 and in 1927 there had been a further drop of 700. How can anybody of common sense make a statement that the application of this duty for the Safeguarding of Industries has provided more employment? In the annual review of the lace trade, which is published by the "Nottingham Guardian" some very extraordinary figures are given. It is quite true that taking the books of the Employment Exchange there apparently was an increase in the number of men employed, but there was an extraordinary decline in the number of women, boys and girls employed. The number of women employed had dropped from 8,000 to 6,900, the boys by nearly a quarter of the number and the girls by about one-half. That means that there has been a change in fashion. That is the explanation.
One hon. Member intervened in the Debate last year and referred to a change in the fashion in regard to curtains. I give the statement for what it is worth, because I cannot vouch for the accuracy of it, but I am told that the trade in the ordinary lace curtain—and this is supported by the decline in the number of boys, girls and women 486 employed—has fallen off very considerably, whereas the trade to which the hon. Member referred has had an extension during the last few years, and that is the trade in which the men are employed. Therefore, safeguarding has had nothing whatever to do with the improvement in that branch of the Nottingham lace trade.
Now a few words about gloves. May I remind hon. Members again that the professed purpose of the Safeguarding Duties is to stop imports; but they have not stopped imports in the glove trade. In the first nine months of last year 721,000 dozen pairs of gloves were imported.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I am speaking of leather gloves, whereas I am told, and I got the information from a reliable source from someone in the trade that during the same period the total home production was only just a little over one-half. Therefore, the Safeguarding Duties have not materially increased the home production. Just to give an illustration of the reckless statements that are being made in support of the Safeguarding Duties, may I quote from a speech that was delivered by the right hon. Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) on the 27th January this year. He was speaking in Somerset and said, in reference to the safeguarding of industries, thatThe effect upon this industry"—that is, the glove trade—has been that formerly there was unemployment, and now them is none. Now, they are reintroducing the system of having apprentices, for the first time for many years.It is interesting to note that in a weekly newspaper which, I understand, reported the right hon. Gentleman's speech, there appeared a report of the meeting of the Yeovil Local Unemployment Committee, which was held three days after the right hon. Gentleman spoke. He stated that there. was no unemployment and that the Safeguarding Duties 'had solved the unemployment problem in the glove industry. This is what the report of the meeting of the Yeovil Local Unemployment. Committee says:The total number unemployed was stated to be 520, showing an increase of 83 for the whole year. The increase was 487 mainly due to continued depression in the glove industry.The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade asked me whether my figures referred to the leather glove trade. They do. What about fabric gloves? Has the Duty stopped imports? In 1926, the imports amounted in value to £460,000, and the operation of the duty had raised the value of the imports in the following year to £633,000. I might continue to refer to artificial silk, etc., but I will say no more on that point.
In reply to statements made in the course of this Debate, I will summarise the figures, and I will deal with the figures that were given by two hon. Members who said that there had been an increase in the exports of goods which came under the Safeguarding Duties. Take lace. There has been a decline in exports of 32 per cent. [HON. MEMBERS: "In what period?"] I am comparing 1927 with 1924. In cutlery there has been an increase of 3 per cent. I am taking 1924 because that was the year on which the applicants for these Duties based their case. In regard to gloves there has been a decrease in exports of 13 per cent.; gas mantles, 14 per cent.; and wrapping paper, 43 per cent. The hon. Member who moved the Motion talked about the increase of trade which had recently manifested itself, and be referred to the better state of our credit. Does the hon. Member know to what extent that has been affected by the trade in industries which are safeguarded? Can the hon. Member tell me what percentage of the whole production of the whole national output it is? Does the hon. Member know that it is so infinitesimal as scarcely to affect our imports and exports at all? As a matter of fact, it amounts to about 3 per cent., that is the figure which was given by the Board of Trade in answer to a question some time ago.
§ Captain STREATFEILD
That is in spite of the Duties. We had been led by the right hon. Gentleman to suppose that these Duties are doing a tremendous amount of harm, yet out of his own mouth he has admitted that they have effected some slight improvement.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
Not at all. The hon. Member has misunderstood the point. The point I am making is this, that if 488 there has been a increase in the export of goods which we manufacture under the protection of these tariffs, it cannot account for the improvement in trade, which he himself admitted. That improvement in trade has come from the industries which have not enjoyed the advantage of safeguarding. That is the important point. Let us take the general trade figures for the last two months; a list was issued a few days ago. Take the iron and steel trade, for the protection of which hon. Members opposite are always seeking. Let us compare the first two months of this year with the first two months of 1925. If I take 1926 hon. Members opposite will at once shout "coal strike." They will shout all the same, however. Compare these two periods. The production has increased by 16 per cent. and unemployment has declined by 25 per cent. Will any hon. Member who follows me in this Debate kindly give me one instance of a protected industry. showing an improvement comparable to that. If these figures had occurred in a. safeguarded industry, they would have been trotted out as proving that the improvement was wholly due to the operation of the Duty. Take iron and steel trade generally. The exports in February this year were over £1,000,000 more than in the corresponding period of 1925. Take machinery; in February the increase in exports of machinery were just over £500,000 more; cotton textiles just under £1,000,000 more, and woollen textiles £326,000. If hon. Members were able to point to figures like these in a safeguarded industry, they would claim that it was wholly due to the operation of the Duty. These increases took place in the first two months of this year in non-protected trades.
But what happened in your protected industries? Look at the returns for the last month in regard to motor cars. Your experts are down by £305,000. I have never been able to understand the mentality of Protectionists. They want to do the most contradictory things. In the speech of the hon. and gallant Member who moved this Motion, we have the familiar but ridiculous statement that if certain articles imported into this country had been produced here, a larger volume of employment would have been provided for British workmen. The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. 489 Croft)is always making that statement. What does it mean? The hon. and learned Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Wardlaw-Milne) has also said it. Those who make that statement evidently think that these imports come into this country and that nothing is sent out to pay for them. The hon. and learned Member for Kidderminster says that we must stop the foreigner from "throwing his goods into our back yard." I wish I had a. neighbour who would throw pianos and motor cars into my back garden, and never expect me to throw anything back. That is precisely the mental condition of the Protectionists. It has never entered into their conception, or they have not the mentality to grasp it, the elementary fact that trade is an exchange of goods.
If it be to the disadvantage of a country to import goods, if it is the case that the importation or the export of goods is a had thing, is injurious, then there is not a country in the world which is guilty of it to the same extent as this country. We exported last year about £600,000,000 of manufactured goods; threw them over the garden wall into somebody's back garden, but we were not so foolish—we shall be if we accept the full Protectionist régime—as not to expect goods in return. A good deal has been said about prices, and whether prices have risen or not. The Chancellor of the Exchequer made a statement in his, Budget speech last year which will be well remembered. He said thatIf prices have fallen that is no proof that these results are due to Protection.The then Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade made a public comment on that observation to this effect, "Well, it is only the ignorant observation of a Free Trader." Hon. Members have quoted figures this evening, but they were import prices, before the duty has been put on, and, of course, import prices, as everybody knows, are constantly varying with every market fluctuation. The purpose of the duty is to raise prices. If it does not, it fails in its purpose. I would like to read what puts in a nutshell the whole Protectionist case:What is a protective policy? A protective policy, as I understand it, is a policy which aims at supporting or creating home industries by raising home prices. The object of Protection is to encourage home industries. The means by which it attains 490 that object is by so arranging import duties that the prices obtained in those industries are raised. If home prices are not raised, industry is not encouraged. If industry is encouraged it is by raising prices. That is, in a nutshell, Protection properly understood.Do hon. Members agree with the statement? [HON. MEMBERS: "No !"] Then they had 'better reconcile their views with the expressed view of the ablest Member of the British Government, the Earl of Balfour. Is it suggested that the Earl of Balfour is like some other Members of of the Government, saying one thing on one day and another thing on another day? If hon. Members do not accept the opinion of the Earl of Balfour, I am sure they will not object to the opinion of the latest and most distinguished recruit to their party, the right hon. Member for Carmarthen (Sir A. Mond), who said in this House:Certainly a duty will have the effect of raising prices. Of course it will raise prices. It is bound to do so. That is the object of it. If it does not do that, there will be no point in it. I make a present of that to hon. Members opposite.That is quite true. Protection is demanded so as to keep out imported goods, to prevent foreign goods from underselling home goods. The only way to keep out foreign goods is either by prohibition of imports—that is ruled out by the hon. and gallant Member who moved the Resolution—or making them too dear to buy. [HON. MEMBERS: "No"] If they are not too dear to buy the people. of this country will continue to buy in the foreign market, and the whole purpose of the duty has been lost. There is no doubt at all that when it comes to the practical issue Protectionists have to admit that a duty will raise the price. Have hon. Members forgotten the incident on the Finance Bill of last year, when Tory Member after Tory Member got up to protest against the continuance of the import duty on wrapping paper? They said that this paper was used as the raw material of certain manufactures. If that duty raised the price of wrapping paper, a similar duty put on other goods would have the same effect on the prices of those goods. As a matter of fact it is no use, and it is not even necessary, to quote figures. It is simply a question of common sense. You cannot at the same time be keeping out goods by means of a tariff and be letting them in, for that would defeat the purpose for which a duty 491 is imposed. An hon. Member made an interjection some time ago about the foreigner paying the duty. Again, the effect of Protection would be defeated, because if the foreigner paid the duty he would send into this country articles at the same price at which they were sent in before the duty was imposed.
§ Commander BELLAIRS
On a point of Order. This is a Private Members' night, and the right hon. Gentleman has already spoken for 52 minutes.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
The Resolution raises one other point with which I want to deal. The hon. and gallant Member who put forward the Resolution said that his proposal would lessen unemployment. I marvel at the audacity of Protectionists who put forward that view. It is wholly contrary to world-wide experience. The hon. Member himself admitted that wages were far lower in all protected countries —[HON. MEMBERS: "Not America!"]—with the exception of America, of course, the greatest Free Trade country in the world. But what is the state of things in the United States of America now? Has a Protective policy against foreign countries solved the unemployment problem there? [HON. MEMBERS: "Of course it has !"] There are more than 4,000,000 workpeople out of employment in the United States to-day. The official figures were published only a week or two ago in regard to unemployment in Germany, and there the total is about 2,000,000. Moreover, the Prime Minister in the letter that he sent to Ilford at the time of the recent by-election, pointed to the fact that the standard of living in this country was twice as high as in any of the Protected countries of the Continent, that employment was increasing here while it was decreasing in those countries, and he said, "This is the answer to those who say that no improvement is possible under the existing economic system."
Those who have spoken in favour of the Resolution have not produced one shread of reliable evidence to support the statement that they have made. All the facts prove the contrary of what they have said. Yet I am glad that this discussion has been raised. The speeches 492 made by the Mover and Seconder of the Resolution were not safeguarding speeches; they were full-blooded Protectionist speeches. We ought to have a declaration on this question, and we ought to have a responsible Member of the Government present to make it. The Mover of the Resolution began his speech by saying that his observations were mainly directed to the Government. This is a ginger Motion, a Motion by the die-hards, the out-and-out Protectionists, to ginger up the Government in regard to Protection. I hope the Government will give their support to the Resolution; there is nothing I would like better. Then we should know where we are. The Government would not camouflage Protection at the next election under the euphemism of safeguarding. Every time the question of Protection has been put before the country, it has been overwhelmingly defeated. The people to-day are not as ignorant as the advocates of Tariff Reform imagine. They know that the effect of Protection is what we declare it to be—more unemployment, lower wages, and an increase in the cost of living. Therefore, I repeat that I hope the Government will give their support to this Resolution, and that the Tory party will go to the country at the next election with Protection emblazoned on their banner. If they do, then the defeat of which they are already assured will be doubly assured.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
It is somewhat of an ordeal for a maiden speaker to follow the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) on a subject of which he is such an acknowledged master, but I am glad to do so for several reasons, both for the pleasure of hearing him, and also in the belief that that speech may do something to confirm the ranks of his own party. He has spoken of gingering speeches directed to hon. Gentlemen on the Government Front Bench. I think a certain amount of gingering in the direction of Free Trade is needed among his own supporters. I have just come from a contest in which Free Trade and, it is true, Tariff Reform as well, were both alluded to as dope and something which did not, one way or the other, matter in the least. As long as that kind of conversation goes on, it is a good thing that the influence of the right hon. Gentle- 493 man should be directed to what is, after all, one of the most fundamental propositions affecting the welfare of the working classes.
The right hon. Gentleman has chosen to assume that the Motion, as put by the Mover and Seconder, does not mean what it says, and that they are going out for Protection without any regard to the Prime Minister's pledge. I should be very sorry to think that, because the Motion itself says:The widest extension … consistent with the Prime Minister's pledges.I am glad they recognise that such pledges have been given, but what do they imagine these pledges amount to? The pledge, in terms, was to impose, not a general tariff, but safeguarding, but that is of no value to the country or to this House unless we have some kind of definition of what safeguarding means. Fortunately there is a White Paper in existence in which the Government have laid down the conditions which safeguarding must satisfy, and which differentiate it from a general tariff. I am bound to wonder whether hon. Members opposite mean that this White Paper is not being properly administered by the Board of Trade and by the tribunals—whether they are saying that the tribunals are full of cantankerous Free Traders who always turn down the applications of every trade—or whether it is the conditions themselves of which they are complaining. There are some things which have to be dons in order to extend safeguarding. The applicant industry has only to put its case and to prove it, but, unfortunately, it would appear that the cases possible for safeguarding are drying up and the safeguarding is coming to an end, because new industries are finding that they cannot to-day pass the tests laid down.
Is there any one of these conditions which is to be abolished as unsuitable Are the Government to be asked to impose a tariff on industries which are not of substantial importance? If industries which are not of substantial importance are to be protected, one will come in the end to keeping out all kinds of tropical fruit in order to foster an entirely unnatural industry under glass. There must be some kind of substantiality in the case. Secondly, "where foreign goods are being imported in abnormal quanti- 494 ties." But, surely, the whole idea of this safeguarding legislation was that it was an abnormal situation being dealt with and that was why the Safeguarding Duties were imposed. Surely that test is necessary. Then, "where goods are being sold at prices below the proper prices." Surely British industry has not come to the stage when it requires to be protected against the more expensive goods from abroad? Then, "where employment in the manufacture or production is seriously affected in this country." Surely that is the whole essence of the case. I do hope that hon. Members opposite look at it from that point of view. Their safeguarding is put forward, not from the point of view of making profits for a few rich men, but to give employment to a lot of poor people. That is the point, and if that be so, then they will not ask that these conditions should be ignored. Further, "where exceptional competition comes from countries where conditions render competition unfair." Are our industries to demand protection against fair competition? On these benches we have sometimes been accused of giving an unduly gloomy picture of British industries, but surely it is taking a very gloomy view if they are to demand to be protected against competition of any kind even under conditions in foreign countries which are absolutely equivalent to our own.
Lastly, and this is the most important of all, "where the imposition of the duty would have a serious effect on other employment in this country." I cannot help thinking that that is the condition that some hon. Members would like to see ignored, because it is that condition which is preventing the application of safeguarding to a great many industries which they have in mind. Surely it is a policy of despair and a policy of recklessness that every industry should be free to come to the Board of Trade and to the tribunal and demand Protection, absolutely irrespective of the effect on the employment in other industries? If none of these tests can be abolished and none of these barbed-wire entanglements, as they have been called, can be removed by the bombardment from hon. Members opposite, then what is it that this Motion proposes to do? The position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley, is that it must be an invitation to the Government 495 not merely to alter the conditions of the pledges but to disregard them altogether.
The Motion speaks of the proved success, and the Amendment speaks of the proved failure. There is a fairly clear issue, and in support of the right hon. Gentleman I have here the November, 1927, issue of the "Ministry of Labour Gazette"—the last issue containing the full year's statistics. It gives an interesting table of industries in which increases have occurred and that is followed by industries in which decreases have occurred. Hon. Gentlemen opposite will be distressed to find that four of their pet safeguarded industries are on the black list. In that second list there are paper, chemicals, watches and clocks and jewellery, and lace—all included in the list in which decreases have occurred under the Safeguarding Duties. I do not contend that the mere fact that you find, in a list of industries where decreases have occurred, industries which are safeguarded industries proves in itself that safeguarding is causing it. As the right hon. Gentleman said, there are an infinite number of factors affecting the rise and fall of an industry, and all that we on this side ask is that hon. Members opposite should realise that that applies to an increase as well as to a decrease, and when you are dealing with trades like the motor trade and the artificial silk trade, which have the whole world before them and are opening up altogether new demands, you can expect an increase whatever the tariff conditions may be.
The right hon. Gentleman has dealt with the condition of the motor trade, which is a growing industry, and in a leading article in the "Times" on the 17th of this month, hon. Members may have seen a glowing article about the artificial silk trade, showing how it was bound to grow. It said slippers were covered with it, shoes were laced with it and the material was used for stockings, corsets, suspenders, garters and in lace and, embroidery. With an industry of that universal application one would expect an increase whether there was a tariff or not. It is, in point of fact, only in those industries that you find an increase taking place. I summarise the actual figures with regard to employ- 496 ment in these industries, and I am bound to say that it is the direct figures of those employed in industry, even more than the figures of retained imports and re-exports, which interest me in this matter. To find out how many people are actually employed under Free Trade and under a tariff is, after all, the essence and the kernel of the whole matter. Other things are subsidiary to that great problem. The figures with regard to silk show that in the two years before the duty was imposed, the increase was 9,250. It was an expanding industry. In the two years afterwards, the increase was 8,520. In other words, the increase goes on but is not maintained at the same pace.
Surely, one can summarise the state of the industries to which these duties have been applied in this way—either they are progressive, or they are stationary, or they are decreasing, and it will be found that where they are progressive industries the progress goes on but not at the same pace; where they are stationary they remain stationary, and where they are decreasing they go on declining, tariff or no tariff. That is what the figures show. In musical instruments from July, 1924, to July, 1925, we get a figure of 1,710 increase, and the average of the three protected years is 1,410. There, again, you find a decreased progress. In cutlery, for the two years before the duty the figure is 3,780, and for the two years after the duty it is 1,320—a very heavy falling off in the progress of the industry. Now I come to the decreases. In wrapping paper, from July, 1923, to July, 1926, there is a decrease of 27 per annum, but in the year 1926–27 there is a decrease of 530— when the industry had the tariff. Chemicals have been protected ever since 1923 and employment has been decreasing ever since 1923. The industry winds up 8,590 to the bad. Lace, from July, 1924, to July, 1925, decreased by 870, but here is a crumb of comfort for hon. Members opposite. The average for the three protected years is a decrease of 733, so that there was a very slight check in the falling-off in that one industry. I submit that these figures prove that you cannot make any substantial difference; that, as I have said, the progressive industry goes on progressing and the declining industry goes on 497 declining, and that, even within the safeguarded industries themselves, you find no positive benefit.
If that be the case, then it is proof of failure. If you do not get your benefit within the margin of the protected industry, you must take into account all the outside effects upon other industries, to which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley has referred so well that it is unnecessary for me to follow him. It is unnecessary for me to follow up the figures of exports which the right hon. Gentleman has given, but I ask hon. Members opposite, when they have digested them—if they can digest those facts and figures with regard to the safeguarded industries—to think a little of those industries which cannot be safeguarded. We have heard of the sheltered industries. I ask hon. Members to think of the unshelterables. There is the great industry of coal. It has to fight its battle against foreign competition in foreign markets where no duty of this kind can reach it. How is it going to he helped at this time when the loss of the export trade is the greatest handicap which it has to meet if we, by a policy of refusing to take other goods from abroad, are going to make it more difficult for that industry to send its goods abroad.
What of iron and steel? I represent a part of the country where that is the paramount industry, and I speak with considerable feeling upon it. Here again is an unshelterable industry. You cannot bring iron and steel under a safeguarding duty. I seem to hear a murmur of dissent, but a special committee has sat on this matter and has found that it could not be done. The Prime Minister has said so three times in answer to questions in this House, and, although I am not protesting that what the right hon. Gentleman says three times is necessarily infallible, yet when it is a matter of giving an interpretation of his own pledges, I should imagine that he is at least as good a judge as any hon. Member opposite. The right hon. Gentleman did not stop there. He did not announce this verdict as something arbitrary. He gave a reason, and the reason was because of the repercussions—that is a splendid word which exactly fits the case —upon other industries. In those repercussions upon other industries, the 498 North-East area would immediately be struck by the cutting off of the supply of the products upon which it so much depends.
Those industries which depend on iron and steel are at the present moment in the most unfortunate position that can possibly he imagined. They are faced with taxes upon the things which they buy, and they cannot get any protection of the things which they sell. Of all the fiscal positions in which any population could be placed, there is none worse than that. Then, if all other industries are finally brought in, if hon. Members opposite do push the Prime Minister to break his pledge and include raw materials like iron and steel, there is still one Cinderella of industry which they will never bring in, and that is agriculture. I do not hear anyone say, "Why not?" No one means to suggest now that food is going to he taxed, and, if hon. Members opposite make that suggestion, we shall be glad to meet them upon it. But just consider for a moment the effect upon agriculturists, if, one by one, other industries are taxed, so that they have to pay increasingly on the things they use, and they are left finally without protection, but, because the tariff wall has a gap just opposite this industry, and nowhere else, foreign competition is diverted artificially, so that the goods are forced to flow in along the line of least resistance and compete with agriculture more severely than is the case to-day. I wonder what the Government's agricultural supporters—what the National Farmers' Union—would have to say. I should not, of course, include the National Farmers' Union among their supporters any longer. That is another source of annoyance with which they may have to deal.
All the figures which can be produced with regard to exports, reduction of imports, and reduction of retained imports, amount to one thing in the end. They have this common feature. They all show a check upon the movement and handling of goods, and as long as that is recognised even hon. Members opposite must see—their own figures prove it—that you are striking a blow at the docks, at shipping, at warehousemen, at all kinds of internal transport, and at the shipbuilding industry. That industry will build fewer ships because there will be fewer loads for the ships to carry; 499 and therefore, once again, you affect the iron and steel industry of which shipbuilding is still the best customer. There are all these disadvantages and nothing to gain. An attempt has been made, but I think has already been defeated in the very speeches in which it was announced, to maintain that the standard of living is in some way protected by the extension of these duties. But hon. Members opposite, including the Mover and Seconder, at the same time have pointed to the tariff countries as examples of a low standard of living. When they suggest that the price of the goods is not really raised under this system, one is driven to the conclusion that they can never have attended the hearing of any of the applications which are made for duties before the committees appointed to investigate these matters. Hon. Members will find, if they go there, that the one cry is, "We cannot compete with these cheap goods. Here are these miserable foreigners sending in their goods at prices, such as sheets at 12s. a pair and mirrors at 10s. 6d. a gross, and so forth."
We know the indignation at these prices displayed by an hon. Member who sits below me. These are instances of the kind of foreign goods which arouse their indignation, and when they have got their duties, there can only he one of two results. Either they exclude the goods altogether, and so cause a scarcity, or else they put the price up and cause dearness; and then they come and say they are making no attempt at reducing the standard of living. It has been proved conclusively in the course of this Debate already that if they do not alter the standard of living in that direction, they are failing in their primary object of protecting the home market. Therefore, on all these grounds, because the duties have failed in the very industries to which they have been applied, because they are bound to have the most disastrous effect upon other industries, particularly those which live by the export trade, because the application of these duties must lower the standard of living, and because, when you come to the question of revenue, it is the most burdensome and the least democratic of all possible ways of collecting taxes, for all these reasons, I hope the House will oppose the Motion.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
May I, in the first place, tender to the hon. Member for Middlesbrough West (Mr. Griffith), who has just sat down, the cordial congratulations, not only of myself, but certainly of the whole House, on the admirable maiden speech which he has made? May I congratulate him also on something even more remarkable, namely, that no member of his party has had such a large audience among his own party as he has had to-night for a long time past? The right hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) took exception to the fact that there was no responsible Minister present. I do not know whether he intended to be discourteous or amusing, but in neither case does it matter very much, because the principle in this country is that responsibility is collective, and in that respect, therefore, I must claim to be a responsible Minister. May I point out to him that the last speaker has shown a most admirable example in not being too free with the time of the House? I think it is perfectly intolerable that on a private Members' night one Member, the right hon. Gentleman opposite, should be so indignant at the imposition of a 33⅓ per cent. duty that he takes up that proportion of the time of the Debate.
With regard to the speech of the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough, I am glad that he studies that very valuable publication, the "Ministry of Labour Gazette," but I would ask him to study it more carefully. He took statistics with regard to the chemical industry, the paper industry, and the clocks and watches industry, and he treated those statistics as if they related to the safeguarded industries. The only branch of the chemical industry which is safeguarded is that of fine chemicals, which employs and is never likely to employ more than a trifling percentage of the total number engaged in the industry. The great bulk of those statistics relate to heavy chemicals, and so those statistics have no bearing on the subject matter under discussion. With regard to paper and paper making and the rest of it, those statistics cover the whole of the paper industry, whereas it is only a comparatively small section which is protected, and once again the statistics are without significance so far as this Debate is concerned. With regard to clocks and watches, included with that section are jewellery and plate, which are very much 501 more important sections than clocks and watches by themselves. It is evident, when we have had a period of suppression of our spending power as a result of the events of 1926, that one of the things on which people save is jewellery, and to mix up the statistics with regard to clocks and watches, which are a comparatively small section, with the very much larger jewellery statistics, shows that the hon. Member, with profound respect to him, should take a little more care in studying the "Labour Gazette."
With regard to lace, the hon. Member was wrong in precisely the way in which the right hon. Gentleman opposite was wrong. The right hon. Gentleman opposite, or his friends, ask questions in this House, and they draw them in the right way so as to get the answer in the form that suits them best. [An HON. MEMBER: "Do you never do that?"] Probably I have done the same thing myself, but that is no reason why I should not expose the iniquity of other hon. Members. Let us take these figures with regard to lace. The statistics quoted by the right hon. Gentleman are quite correct. They are the statistics of the people registered as belonging to the industry. The lace industry has been declining for the last 20 years. Roughly speaking, at the time when the safeguarding duty was imposed, the number of people employed was half what it was 20 years previously. There has been a constant drift of people out of the industry. The number of people registered in the industry is the number on the 1st July in each year who were actually at work in the industry, or who, when they were last at work, had been at work in that industry. The fair thing to do is to deduct from the number registered as belonging to the industry the number who are out of work, and the difference represents the number in work, apart from some small, trifling error due to unrecorded unemployment or sickness. If that fair test be applied, it will be found that, in spite of the fact that the lace industry has been declining steadily for many years, the number at work in it to-day is greater than it was when the duty was first imposed.
I think the House ought to be very grateful to the hon. and gallant Member for Galloway (Captain Streatfeild) for 502 giving us an opportunity to discuss this matter, and that the House rejoices in that opportunity is shown by the very large attendance of Members of all parties which has been present throughout the Debate. I feel that the more we discuss this matter the better. The hon. and gallant Member for Enfield (Colonel Applin), who seconded the Motion, drew attention to the position with regard to prices, and I think I am right in saying that, broadly speaking, the statements he made with regard to prices were accurate, but I hope before I sit down to be able to discuss that matter at a little greater length.
Now I would like to devote a few moments to what I would call the responsible Member of the Opposition, who honoured me by his presence to-night. He reminds me of Galileo, or rather Galileo's critics. Galileo was a great scientist who discovered something about gravitation. He discovered that in a vacuum a feather and a lump of lead would reach the ground at the same time if dropped together from the same height. The ancient philosophers did not believe that to be.possible. They worked it out in their heads, without reference to practical experience, and when they saw the experiment actually performed before their eyes, they would not believe it. The right hon. Gentleman opposite is the ancient philosopher of Free Trade. Evidence has no effect on his mind; he is perfectly impervious to it. If I may say so with respect., on this subject he is really rather an intellectual snob. He addressed us on the motor trade from half-past eight until ten minutes to nine, in which period he said with great emphasis that the matter had to be tested by figures, but it was not until he had been speaking for 20 minutes that he got on to the figures.
His statistics were interesting, but he sounded as if he had been assisted in the preparation of his great speech, not by cue person, but by several persons. The gentleman whom he consulted first had only got the book from the Vote Office up to August, 1927, because he took the first eight months of 1927. But why stand fast at the first eight months when he can get them to the end of February? When he went later on, he got another book he got the whole of 1927 and compared it with 1925. Then, a little later 503 on, he took February of this year and compared it with February of last year. If you are examining this question on a scientific basis, why not choose your times uniformly throughout? When he was talking about the export of motor cars, he forgot the chassis. The body of a motor car may be very attractive to sit in, but if you want to make any progress, you must have a, chassis, and I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman forgot the chassis, because he is a reactionary in this matter.
Of course, there has been a tendency for the export of complete motor cars to decline, because a great many countries which are relatively non-industrial countries find that they are in a position to build bodies on chassis made in the industrial countries. Therefore, there has been a definite tendency for some decline to take place in the export of complete cars, accompanied by an expansion of the exports of chassis. If that be the case, no fair controversalist will select from the statistics merely figures that fit in with his argument. If he surveys the position as a whole with regard to motor cars, he will find that the value or the exports in 1927 was far greater than in any previous year, and that the figure representing volume shows that expansion is greater, because we have to take into account the constant drop in prices, which means that the expansion in value represents a far greater figure in actual volume of exports. The right hon. Gentleman did not tell us anything about that. Then he drew attention to the fact that certain motor car firms have done badly. It is true that 1927 was not a very satistory year, from the point of view of the motor car trade in this country. Why? You cannot buy motor cars unless you have the money. It is true that, in these days, the possession of a motor car is no proof of wealth; it only proves that you have paid the first instalment; but even then, broadly speaking, the sales of motor cars tend to increase when the country has had a period of prosperity Naturally, motor cars tend to be bought rather more by the well-to-do section of the community than by the rest.
It is broadly true that in 1927 the dividends of a great many concerns of all kinds were substantially reduced, as a result of the events of 1926, and the level of purchasing power of people who are 504 the buyers of motor cars was reduced, but, having regard to all these circumstances, despite the adverse condition in the market, the British motor car production shows a substantial increase in 1927 over any previous year. The right hon. Gentleman overlooked that fact. Then he goes on to suggest that the Lace Duty has not been successful. I have already given some figures with regard to the expansion of employment. In round figures, 1,000 people more are at work in the lace trade than when the duty was imposed. The right hon. Gentleman draws attention to the fact that there has been some diminution in exports. I am not going to deal with this matter at great length, because my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade dealt with it in a recent Debate. The exports of lace from all the lace-producing countries have been declining of recent years, particularly to the United States, which has in the past been a large consumer. We have not suffered in this respect more seriously than France. The apparent decline in the re-export trade is very largely due to the fact that, the moment an article becomes dutiable, the bulk of the re-export takes place in bond and the goods transhipped in bond vanish from the figures of exports and imports.
I was surprised at what the right hon. Gentleman said with regard to gloves. I hope that I did not misunderstand him, but he seemed to imply that the industry has suffered from some reaction. I have in front of me statistics prepared on the highest possible authority—that of the Joint Industrial Council of the industry. The duty which was imposed as from December 22nd, 1925, came into effective operation on the 1st of January, 1926, so that we can regard the fourth quarter of 1925 as a period before the imposition of the duty. The production of leather gloves in the fourth quarter of 1925 was 102,000 dozen pairs. I am leaving out the odd numbers. In the fourth quarter of 1927, it was 134,000 dozen pairs, which was an expansion of nearly a third. In the case of fabric gloves—where, if you examine only the import and export returns, apparently the figure is not likely to be so good as when you come to production—you find an expansion from 24,000 dozen pairs in the fourth quarter of 1925 to 56,000 dozen pairs in the fourth quarter of 1927. In 505 the face of those authoritative figures of the expansion in production, which is reflected in the expansion of employment, what is the use of the right hon. Gentleman trying to represent that the glove industry has not benefited? On the question of prices the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough made a statement in which he said that if you had safeguarding applied, the people in the other industries would suffer because they would have to pay more. No hon. or right hon. Gentleman in this House is entitled to make that statement any more, unless he proves it. For 60 or 70 years, merely by asserting loudly the statement that an import duty necessarily raises prices, the Free Trade people have humbugged the inhabitants of the United Kingdom.
Let us have a look at some of the facts. Motor cars to-day are, in sterling value, cheaper than in 1914. If you make a correction for the change in the value of money, motor cars are 40 per cent. cheaper than in 1914. In the case of motor cycles, the 2¼ h.p. machines were, in 1912 £42, in 1913 £40, and in 1927 £36. The 3½ h.p. motor cycle shows a similar reduction; in the case of the 6 h.p. motor cycles these is a slight increase, and the 7 h.p. are the same price. There is no increase there in prices as the result of the duties. Motor tyres have only recently become liable for duty. After the duty was imposed, foreign motor companies increased their prices by about 10 per cent. The duty imposed was 33⅓ per cent. They raised their prices only 10 per cent., so at worst, the consumer was only bearing 10 per cent., and someone else—the foreign producer and the various people handling them, possibly—were bearing the remainder, but they did not persist in that policy for very long. They persisted for a few months only. In other words, they failed to profit by the tax, their prices were forced up, and they made a larger reduction than the previous increase, with the result that the prices are lower than at any time when the duty was imposed. The bulk of the home producers of motor tyres have been brought into line with the foreign firms. It is true it did not apply to all sizes and types of tyres, but there is a general reduction of about 5 per cent. The price of rubber has varied to a certain extent, but the heavy drop has 506 taken place since we have collected these statistics.
Take the case of pianos. The prices were reduced by British makers on several of their models in the latter part of 1925 and again in 1926. They also report that the German manufacturers, in their efforts to retain a hold on the British market, reduced their prices in April, 1926, by some 14 per cent. on the average.
We come now to artificial silk yarn. The average export value of artificial silk yarn, and that is a fair measure of the general price prevailing—it is not always easy to get exact prices—has fallen from 6.4 shillings per lb. in 1925 to 4.3 shillings per lb. in 1927. Apply the test not to silk yarn but to that form of artificial silk of which we see most in these days. I understand that you can buy artificial silk stockings at nearly any price, down to 6d. each—is. a pair, but they have to be sold at 6d. each on account of the policy of Mr. Woolworth. It is universally known by every one of these young women who are shortly to be enfranchised that there has been a substantial cut in the price of their stockings since the duty went on. I have not forgotten that famous occasion in 1925 when the other hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) paralysed us and terrified us by producing for our edification samples of stockings, and telling us what the young women would do if the Silk Duties were imposed. All her predictions have been falsified, and I rejoice as much for my political sake as for the sake of her own pocket, because she has benefited along with the rest of those who buy silk, artificial or otherwise.
Mr. WI LL I AM S
My business is to promote the sale of artificial silk stockings and every other commodity. When we come to gloves it is difficult to say what is meant by prices. It is easy to deal with certain standard prices in certain industries. There is the price of Manitoba wheat. Is not that the standard by which you measure the price of wheat? And there there is a standard for cotton. But in the case of the bulk of these safeguarded articles they are individual articles, each of which has its own personality, and price com- 507 parisons become exceedingly difficult. I am perfectly certain that by a very careful selection one might prove anything. I have here a very large variety of prices. I do not know what all the names mean. Ladies' two dome chamois gloves have fallen from 52s. 6d. per dozen pairs in 1925 to 49s. 6d. Ladies' two dome nappa or suede gloves have dropped from 60s. to 58s. I do not want to weary the House with a lot of figures about glove, prices. Will hon. Members accept my assurance that the bulk of these statistics, practically the whole of these statistics, bear out the fact that there have been very substantial—no, not very substantial, but there have been reductions in the price of gloves?
Major-General Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON
Will the hon. Gentleman say what has been the reduction in the price of wheat between those years? [HON. MEMBERS: "That has nothing to do with it!"]
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am told by some of the farmers that it has gone down too much, but I ask the hon. and gallant Member for Montrose (Sir R. Hutchison)—I think it is he, but I am not quite certain, because he is in the shade, for the first time—to recall what was predicted by his colleagues when the Glove Duty was under discussion. They told us that in every case prices would go up. I am pointing out that they have gone down. Take the case of men's lisle one button gloves. These are foreign made, and the figures I am giving are the foreign manufacturers' net prices to the wholesalers. In 1925, at the time when there was no duty in force, the price per dozen pairs was 9s. 9d. Then the duty was imposed. I speak subject to correction, but I think the duty was a third of the value, and the price at which they were selling in 1926, a year later, was 10s. ld. There had been a rise of 4d., though the duty imposed had presumably worked out at 3s. 2d., or would have worked out at 3s. 2d. but for the fact that the foreign manufacturer cut his price, and, by cutting his price, to some extent reduced the burden of the duty, since the duty is not a specific duty but an ad valorem duty.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) asks a question. These are lisle One-button gloves, which I think are made of cotton. Yes, that is it. All I can say is I think that is correct, for these particular ones——
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I quite agree. Let us see if we can find some comparative figures. Yes, I think we have got some. There was an increase of 4d. in fabric gloves, though the duty was nominally 3s. 2d., so the presumption was that the other 2s. 9d. fell on the foreign manufacturer; but the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Preston, having a keen regard to his constituents, who possibly produce the raw material, says, "Let us he fair." All right, let us move on to leather. There is nothing like leather. Two-butt leather—whatever that may mean. Remember that leather has gone up in price. The price in 1925 was 27s. 10d.—these were French ones. In 1926 the price quoted by the manufacturers to the wholesalers was 30s. That is an increase of 2s. 2d. But the duty would he about 9s. 2d. There has only been that increase of 2s. 2d., despite an increase in the price of leather, which has gone in the opposite direction to the right hon. Gentleman's commodity. I hope he is paying careful attention now that the story works the other way round. Even in that case, the proportionate difference is not material.
What is the conclusion? The conclusion is this, that, broadly speaking, these import duties have not been borne by the British consumer. In some cases, as a matter of fact, prices have fallen because our own manufacturers have been enabled to manufacture under far more economic conditions than was possible to them before they had security in their own markets. The duty has been passed in part on to the foreign producer, in part, presumably, on to the importing merchant, and possibly, in some cases, on to the retailer. It has not been passed on to the consumer. The outstanding case which has always been put before the people of this country 509 in objection to any policy of safeguarding was that it would add to the burden of the consumer.
There is just one point with which I must differ with the hon. and gallant Member who moved the Motion. I cannot agree that safeguarding is the only political means of accelerating the advent of prosperity. I regard it as an important one, because it must be recognised that there are other causes than foreign competition which depress trade. For example, it is universally recognised how serious is the burden of local rates, particularly on the heavy industries, and, as has been stated in the King's Speech, this question is engaging the anxious attention of the Government. The Government have already announced that they do not propose to alter the general procedure laid down in the White Paper during the lifetime of the present Parliament Obviously, however, they will take into consideration all experience gained under that procedure in order to determine what method of procedure may be most convenient in the future for giving effect to the policy of safeguarding which has proved so beneficial.
§ Colonel CLIFTON BROWN
I am afraid that in the very few remarks I have to make to-night I shall please nobody on either side of the House. I am speaking as one of those—they are not so few as people think—who are Conservative Free Traders, and I view this Motion with—well, I object to it. I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) is not far wrong when he called it "undiluted nonsense." I must confess I agree with him about that, but I do not agree with him when he says that the Government will go to the country next time as the Protectionist party. That is my reason for getting up to-night—in order to make it clear that not everybody on this side is a Protectionist, that there are, at all events, some. Free Traders who are not going to be turned over by our friends -on this side. I want to remind those who support this Motion that by going in for Protection our party has always met disaster. The Seconder of this Motion went back to the time of Cobden. I do not propose to go back so far as that, but I remember that Disraeli, before he was Prime Minister, was a Protectionist. 510 When he became leader of the Conservative party he never touched Protection at all. After that, the Conservative party held office for some time and they did not touch Protection until 1896, when they took it up again. In 1910 they had two tries, and each time they failed. Since then, in 1923, the present Prime Minister had a flutter with it, but he was brought to earth rather rapidly that time, and I hope he will not touch it again. No doubt it will be argued that as the Conservative party has adopted Protection, and it has been passed in the House of Commons, the Government had better get a move on. I know that the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) sways the Conservative party at conferences with great ease, and arguments in favour of Protection which contain about 1 per cent. of intelligence and 99 per cent. of prejudice often raise loud cheers for a subject like Protection.
I was rather glad to notice that the Parliamentary Secretary, when replying to the Debate to-night, was very cautious as to what he said about the Government's activities on this subject. He told us a great deal about individual prices and figures, and he dealt with them with very great knowledge because he has been accustomed to dealing with them before he took office. He dealt with those statistics with a great deal of skill, but he was very careful when he came to forecasting what the Government was going to do. I sincerely trust that the Government will take note of the case which has been made out by the Opposition, and will do nothing in a hurry on this question. The whole subject has been discussed so widely that I have very little more to say. Everybody realises that it is easy to take one or two special trades and produce good results. I admit that the safeguarding duties have been very carefully applied, and it would have been a very extraordinary thing if they had not produced a successful result. A great tribute has been paid to the present scheme of safeguarding and the system of inquiries, but there is a strong argument for doing away with those inquiries because later on we may get quite different results.
Broadly speaking, as the case was made for a full Protectionist tariff by both the Mover and the Seconder of the Motion, it seems to me to be quite impossible to 511 go beyond the few Safeguarding Duties now in force without getting into industries whose products are themselves the raw materials of other industries, and that is bound to create hardships and difficulties far beyond the benefits conferred on any particular trade. Agriculture has been mentioned, but it must be remembered that there is no benefit at all that can be conferred upon agriculture in this way. It can only make the damage worse. When this country was a. Protective country, and the Corn Laws were in operation, we then said to the farmer, "If you have in the future to sell in the cheapest market, anyhow we will see that you buy your materials in the cheapest market, too." That was Free Trade. What are we going to do now if we extend safeguarding to agriculture? We are going to say to the agriculturist, "You will continue to sell your goods in the cheapest market, but we are going to see to it that you buy your materials in a dear market."
There is just one other point that I should like to make. I think that hon. Members who have been taking part in this Debate have rather forgotten that there is another pledge of the Prime Minister's which governs the situation to a certain extent. The Prime Minister said that the Government were not going to recommend a general tariff until there was clear evidence that the country—not the party, but the country—were disposed to change their minds on the subject. Has this House, as representing the country, changed its mind? The benches on both sides are full. Why are hon. Members here? Because they have their eye upon the country. They have realised that here is a half-volley given to them, if I may use that expression, and they only want the Government to take it up. I think I have said enough to make clear my point of view, with which some of my hon. Friends may not agree. The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Griffith), who spoke so well, referred to the Safeguarding Rules, of which I, too, for the sake of greater accuracy, have obtained a copy. I would like to know what the Mover, or the Seconder, or the supporters of this Motion would propose to do in regard to those Rules. Do they want to sweep them all away? If so. what do they propose to substitute in their place? That is rather an important 512 question, because lately in this House we have seen, in question after question from below the Gangway on each side, pressure put upon the Government to safeguard the steel industry. Is political pressure to be the new way of imposing duties? If it is desired to do away with Rules of this kind, what, else is there except political pressure? I should like very much to know what the supporters of this Motion would propose to set up in place of the White Paper.
I have mentioned, and others have mentioned, the question of steel. Like the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough, I come from a place which is not far from the steel industry. I live within seven miles of a very big steel-making district. I have in my constituency many workers in that industry, and I naturally follow its fortunes with interest. We hear questions in this House about the safeguarding of steel. I would like to ask, what is steel? We can run through a whole range of articles, numbering, I suppose, nearly 100, starting from pig iron, and passing on to plates, angles, and so on, right up to steel girders. Are you going to safeguard the lot? Is that the proposal, or are you only going to safeguard one or two? If only one or two, why not the lot? The proposers of the Motion are entirely lacking in accuracy. The public entirely fails to realise how many articles are covered by the name of steel.
Steel is going through an exceedingly difficult time, but other industries, too, have been through equally difficult times. Shipbuilding has been through just as bad a time as the steel industry is going through. Shipbuilding is getting right. Why? [An HON. MEMBER: "Free Trade"] No, I do not think it is Free Trade. They have cut here and cut there arid at last, on the Tyne, anyhow, shipbuilding is coining back into its own. A shipbroker said to me the other day, "We have been on the rocks for four years and we are just getting right. We have cut our costs and we have made all sorts of unimaginable economies. Now we are through and we see daylight." What is going to happen? To come along on top of that and propose to safeguard steel and put up the price of the plates that we use would be monstrously unjust. That is merely an illustration of the repercussions of safeguarding an 513 industry like steel. Why cannot the steel industry do what the shipbuilding industry has done for itself already? Why cannot they go in for a little reconstruction? They had to raise money at high prices just after the War and that is making the situation difficult more than anything else. Figures have been given showing their production. It is not their production, it is really their finance that is wrong. if they can reconstruct, the steel industry may come back to its own quicker than many people think. The Motion purports to indicate the only way by which we can secure economy, prosperity and all sorts of things. It seems to me in these very difficult times rather futile to say the only way is for industry to depend on State aid. It is far better to say to industry, "The only way is for you to depend upon yourselves," and to make industry understand that political action is not going to be of any use to them. If we can rub that in and make them drop political action they will come back to life and get through far quicker than by any other way.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I hope that the House will forgive me if I do not spend very much time in answering my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hexham (Colonel Brown), who has just sat down, because, after all, when an hon. Member stands up in this House and commences his remarks by saying that he cannot pay much attention to the unanimous votes of the National Unionist Association—the democratic organisation of his party—I think that he cannot claim to be expressing the democratic view of the party as a whole. I should like to ask him to consider in the days to come what he has to offer his constituency, where, I believe, there is great misery, not only among the steel workers but among the coal workers. I would ask him what he is going to do for them? I venture to think that they will not be quite satisfied if he merely tells them: "You ought to be more efficient, and that in spite of the fact that your industries are so depressed you ought to go on the market for millions of money to reconstruct your industries." Unless you are going to give them a breathing space, how are they to have a chance to carry out the reconstruction that he desires.
I am not going to say anything about agriculture. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why 514 not "] Why not? I hope hon. Members will forgive me. I am unfortunately suffering from a rather bad throat, and I cannot shout against the Liberal party. Although the Liberal party have come here in such large numbers to-night, I hope that one at a time will interrupt me. I am not going to deal with agriculture this evening, because it is not included in the Motion of my hon. and gallant Friend, for the very simple and explicit reason that the Prime Minister gave a very definite pledge that agriculture was not to be included and that no new duties were to be placed on foodstuffs. If the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) can find a loophole in that, I will be very glad to join him. He knows that I would like to see those Measures extended much further than is possible at present. Probably my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hex-ham agrees that to give agriculture a chance to revive you must try and relieve the great burden of rates. I do not know where he is going to get the money. Certainly not from the allied steel industry in the next six or seven months, I fear. I venture to suggest that he should consider whether the money for the relief of agriculture might not come from increased Customs duties from our foreign competitors in manufactured goods.
I should like to refer to the speech of the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Griffith). I think that everybody will agree that in form, in matter and in delivery it was an admirable example of what a maiden speech ought to be. I should also like to congratulate him, because I feel that he mug have won his victory very largely on his own personality. If there are some constituencies in this country which have suffered more than any others from our policy of free imports since the conclusion of the War, I fear that his constituency must be included amongst those unhappy neighbourhoods, especially when we remember the impassioned statements of the former Member, whose death all of us, of every party, deplore, and remember how, again and again, for the last six years he used to come down here and with such eloquence implore the Government to give special relief to the Borough of Middlesbrough. I think, therefore, the 515 hon. Gentleman is to be congratulated upon having won his constituency, although I think his friends who sit around him, perhaps, can hardly regard it as a very great victory for Free Trade as against Safeguarding.
§ Sir H. CROFT
Well, the majority was reduced from 9,000, I think, to 86, and since I hear the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs applauding my remarks, I would remind him that recently he has been adopting mathematical calculations, which, I think, have interested a great many people. For instance, in two previous by-elections, I think, he added together the votes of his own party and of the senior party of the Coalition and described it as the anti-Government majority. When we remember the great fund which was collected by the right hon. Gentleman which, on his own showing, was collected in order to fight and defeat Socialism, I must confess I can hardly understand how he is able to talk about this united anti-Government majority. I am credibly informed that during the Middlesbrough Election, not merely once but many times, Socialist speakers said that if they had their way they would have total prohibition of foreign steel. It is only fair, since arithmetical calculations are being made, that I should inform the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs that at the last Election the officials of the Socialist party declared that they stood neither for Protection nor for Free Trade. Therefore, I think we can claim that at Middlesbrough there was an anti-Free Trade majority of 8,000 votes.
I want to sum up our case. We do not submit a lot of the things that have been attributed to us to-night, but we do submit that it has been definitely proved by the Government policy of safeguarding that it is the one policy which at the same time can improve employment, can give fair play to British industry without affecting or harming any other industries, which can raise the standard of living or, at any rate, can maintain it amongst the workers of this country, and can provide real economy in order to restore the national finances. One word with regard to economy, because the right hon. Member for Colne 516 Valley (Mr. Snowden) who, I am sorry to say, is not present, was rather glib about that part of our Resolution. I submit, and my figure has been agreed to by the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes), that unemployment in this country is costing the taxpayers, the ratepayers and industry something in the neighbourhood of £100,000,000 a year. We have, as my hon. and gallant Friend stated earlier in the Debate, over 1,000,000 unemployed, and we import foreign manufactured goods which have employed more than 1,000,000 foreign workers. If we can solve this problem of unemployment by a wider system of safeguarding, then, by the great saving of the cost of the unemployed, by increased Customs revenue, which has already been so successful in its limited application, by an increase in the yield of Income Tax and Super-tax from the reviving industries to which we give security, we can not only reduce substantially direct taxation upon the workers and the poor of this country, but we can reduce the Income Tax by something like 1s. 6d in the pound. If we can do that, I think it will be agreed that it is a great economy. I invite any hon. Member of any party to tell me what other way there is of establishing a really great economy in these days. The right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, speaking the other day at Penmaenmawr, said:Protection hoped to develop industry by putting up prices, or by fixing prices at a high level.Something of the same kind was said by the right hon. Member for Coble Valley. I do not know from whom the right hon. Gentleman was quoting, but I do not believe that there is anybody who has been associated with the movement to try to get fair play for our industries in this country, who has ever expressed a desire that prices should be raised. On the contrary, we submit that what this country wants is a stabilisation of prices and that industry should be allowed to have an economic price. Not one of us, as far as I know, has asked for an increase in price, not even in connection with agriculture, although it is sometimes said so. In the Amendment the Socialist party seems very concerned to point out that safeguarding is Protection, but their Vote of Censure should not be against my bon. and gallant Friend who moved the Motion but against the right hon. 517 Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, who I think invented the word "safeguarding"; at any rate his Government was responsible for inventing it, and if there is to be any censure it should be on the benches immediately behind me. I do not want to drag into the discussion one or two small industries, because I believe we are all in a frame of mind, at any rate the Government and the official Opposition are—the Trade Union Congress have approved it—when we consider that we should look into these questions and see where we stand. I need hardly remind the House that a Committee was formed by the Socialist party to look into the question of sweated wages, and whether there should not be prohibition of cheap sweated foreign goods. I cannot remember who the Chairman of the Committee was.
Major-General Sir J. DAVIDSON
I think I am right in saying that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) was Chairman of that Committee, and that it recommended that there should be not a tariff but a prohibition on imported goods coming into this country manufactured under conditions which contravened the Washington Convention.
§ Sir H. CROFT
I am grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend because it proves that the right hon. Member for Colne Valley when he was attacking us for our moderation in safeguarding was all the time a Prohibitionist. I want briefly to deal with the six main points of Free Traders and apply them to the test of safeguarding in its proved success by His Majesty's Government. First, they have always told us that prices under any form of Protection must be raised and that the consumer must suffer. If we take that argument and apply it to the range of duties our opponents will admit that in the aggregate there has been no rise in prices and that, in fact, in many industries there has been a distinct decrease in prices. There may be one or two articles in which the prices have risen, but I am not going to argue that. I think gas mantles will be written on the tombstone of the Liberal party after the next election. Anyone interested in these questions will naturally do everything to see that the consumer is not ill- 518 affected, but we on these benches are more concerned with producers than we are with consumers. We are concerned for those who toil with brain and hand, who live by sweat and toil, and we leave the lilies of the field, thosewho toil not neither do they spin,''and those who grow fat on foreign merchantry, to the championship of the Liberal party, which we know will be very effective. But we do not pretend, and it would be absurd to imagine, that anyone who is responsible says that a duty necessarily lowers prices. What we do say is this: That we have absolute proof, in the scheme of duties that the Government have imposed, that you can produce largely and, therefore, cheaply only if your industries are given security against a flood of foreign goods produced under lower labour conditions.
A second point which the Free Traders have always advanced is this: They, say that since we so. largely depend on our overseas trade, tariffs would be ruinous, because they would restrict our export trade, as our power of sale would be affected by the rise in prices. I think that that is a fair description. Price has been adequately disposed of already. But let us examine exports. And may I remind Free Traders that this question of exports is their own particular great test? It is not a subject which we raise. We have had issued only about 10 days ago, a complete list of the exports, safeguarded goods, from this country, for the first six months of 1925 and also for 1926 and 1927. The satisfactory point is that in every single case, except that of fabric gloves, we find that exports have actually increased. I think that that is a fact which once and for all gets rid of the major contentions of the Free Traders. These figures cannot be.affected by any red herrings which may he drawn across the track. If the lion. Member for Anglesey (Sir R. Thomas) were here I should say not even £3,000,000 worth of red herrings.
I go further, and to this statement I particularly ask the attention of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), I challenge any Free Trade authority to deny the fact that, taking the whole period of years since we abandoned Protection in this country and adapted free imports, if you compare our total foreign trade, our exports 519 and our total foreign trade, with every one of our great protected rivals, they have every one increased their foreign trade, their overseas trade, to a greater extent than we have done. If that is true, I think hon. Gentlemen will agree that it cannot be pretended that the dock industry, the carrying industry, the shipping industry, is going to be affected. It absolutely cuts out that argument once and for all. Therefore, let us agree to get on with the business and not pretend that these arguments have the slightest significance.
Another thing which the Free Traders always claim is that the imposition of customs duties leads to inefficiency and eliminates competition. I mentioned this subject in the Debate on the Address, and I am glad to say that I was immediately contradicted by hon. Gentlemen on the Liberal benches, who no longer maintain that that is so with the safeguarding of industries. I was rather surprised at the time, but I have now discovered the reason. It is that their Yellow Book is based on the fact that the troubles of British industry now are due to inefficiency, vis-à-vis our protected rivals. Lack of competition is also an argument of which we are not likely to hear much again. I wonder if the House is aware that in the past three years over 30 foreign firms have brought their factories to this country, and are now manufacturing their goods here and employing over 20,000 British workers. To that extent, the whole of British industry has had a great advantage, and so also has the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who does not quite appreciate the value of it, though it means a noble contribution to the Exchequer. May I mention in this connection that an artificial silk expert in Holland, Mr. Verstyven, a few days ago completed the purchase of 21 acres of land near Nottingham for the purpose of building an artificial silk mill. He says:The new mill will be one of the best in Britain. It is the fifteenth of any size to be built in this country and three years ago there was only one. That is due to your Safeguarding of Industries Act.He referred, of course, to the Silk Duties, but it is permissible for a foreigner to make a mistake when we find even hon. Gentlemen above the 520 Gangway making the mistake. If that be the lack of competition in British industries, I venture to think we must rewrite the English dictionary. It also completely disposes of the fourth point which Free Traders make, which is, that the consumer and not the importer will pay the duty, even if you can produce the goods equally well yourselves in your own country. If the importer believed he could pass the duty on to the British consumer, why did he root up his factories and buy expensive factories in this country? He brought the industries here, as we said he would, in order to get inside our tariff and in order not to have to pay the duties. The fifth point which Free Traders have always told us is, that you cannot at the same time by imposing duties give employment and raise revenue. The answer to that is that, under the Government policy, you have given a greater amount of employment to scores of thousands of workers, brought hope and happiness once more to their dependants, and, at the same time, increased the revenue to the British Exchequer by foreign contributions amounting to something over£11,000,000 per annum.
Then there is the sixth and last point of the Free Traders—and we had it again to-night, for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley was most scornful when he said, "Do you imagine, if you are buying goods from abroad that they are merely throwing them over the wall? "and so on. Of course, it is obvious that goods are paid for by goods and services, and it is equally obvious that if you can produce goods in this country they are still paid for by British goods. In other words, if in London you are purchasing goods from Newcastle, the imports from Newcastle are paid for by the exports from London to Newcastle. I defy any economist to deny that is true. [Laughter.] Since I find that there is a certain amount of ribaldry among the ranks of Tuscany, I ask them, do they deny that if you sell rails from Middlesbrough in exchange for boots from Newcastle, that that is a double advantage to British labour, to British industry and to the British Exchequer? There is no answer, for the very simple reason that one who has been spoken of as the future Socialist Prime Minister—if there ever is one—used those 521 very words, and, of course, he is correct. I refer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley). The only difference between the policy of those who sit on these benches and that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs is that he wants an exchange of goods between Britain on the one side and Czechoslovakia on the other, while we want an exchange of goods between Britain on the one side and Britain on the other, if you can, and if not, with the British Empire overseas.
I am going to make a request to the Liberal party. Do they deny that you must give security to British industries where there is unfair competition caused by the dumping of goods below the cost of production? I gather that hon. Members agree to that proposal. Let it be placed upon the records of the House that the Liberal party no longer challenge the right of British industry to this protection. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Then all I can say to Members of the Liberal party is that there is a very serious revolt against their own leader because those were his exact words in a letter to Mr. Bonar Law in 1918. In conclusion I wish to say a word to His Majesty's Government. Grateful as we are for all they have done we ask them to realise that in the steel, textile, hosiery, jute and glass industries we are importing sufficient
foreign goods to employ the whole of the unemployed in those industries. I beg of the Government to consider that the steel trade is going through very serious circumstances. Comparing last year with 1923 we find that imports have been multiplied three and a-half times and in every branch of the industry their process has gone on. I ask the hon. and gallant Member for Hexham (Colonel Clifton Brown) is it to be said that this Government, with its great majority, and with its pledge to safeguard any efficient British industry, allowed the steel industry to perish, because they had not the courage to act? The hon. and gallant Member tells me of what Disraeli said as leader of the Conservative party, but I would remind him of what Disraeli said in his last great speech on this subject in this House:
it may he vain now in the midnight of Free Traders' intoxication to tell them that there will he an awakening of 'bitterness. it may be idle in the springtide of their economic frenzy to warn them of an ebb of trouble; but the dark inevitable hour will arrive and then, when their spirit is softened by misfortune, they will revert to those principles which made England great and which alone can keep her great.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 214: Noes, 130525
|Division No. 54.]||AYES.||[11.0pm.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Caine, Gordon Hall||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Albery. Irving James||Campbell, E. T.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Carver, Major W. H.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent"l)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R.(Prismih.S.)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Applln, Colonel R. V. K.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Apsley, Lord||Chapman, Sir S.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W||Chilcott, Sir Warden||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent,Dover)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Clarry, Reginald George||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Balniel, Lord||Clayton, G. C.||Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.|
|Banks, Reginald Mitchell||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cockerllt, Brig.-General sir George||Galbralth, J. F. W.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Ballairs, Commander Carlyon||Cooper. A. Duff||Gates, Percy|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cope, Major William||Gilmour. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Bennett, A. J.||Couper, J. B.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Berry, Sir George||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Bethel, A.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwlck)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Dalkelth, Earl of||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Dawson. Sir Philip||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Burman, J. B.||Dixey, A. C.||Harland, A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Drewe, C.||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Sanderson. Sir Frank|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Margesson, Captain D.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd,Henley)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Smith-Carington, Nevilie W.|
|Henderson, Lieut,-Col. Sir Vivian||Merriman, F. B.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Heneage. Lieut,-Col. Arthur P.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon- Sir D.(St.Marylebone)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sugden, Sir Wilfred|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Murchison, sir Kenneth||Sykes. Major-Gen, sir Frederick H.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Tasker, R. Infgo.|
|Hudson,Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Nield, Rt, Hon. Sir Herbert||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Oakley, T.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Pennefather, Sir John||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Penny, Frederick George||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Perring, Sir William George||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. p.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Waddington, R.|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Phlilpson, Mabel||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H.(Stoke New'gton)||Pilditch, Sir Philip||Ward, Lt..Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull>|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Preston, William||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Raine, Sir Walter||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Ramsden, E.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Reid. D. D. (County Down)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Long, Major Eric||Remer, J. R.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Lougher, Lewie||Rice, Sir Frederick||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|McLean, Major A.||Ruggles-Brise. Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Rye. F. G.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Salmon, Major I.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Captain Streatfeild and Brigadier|
|Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Sandeman, N. Stewart||General Sir Henry Croft.|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Sanden, Sir Robert A.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Murnin, H.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Blister)||Groves, T.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Baker, Walter||Grundy, T. W.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Barr. J.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Owen, Major G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Palin, John Henry|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Paling, W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Handle, George D.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Briant, Frank||Harris, Percy A.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hayday, Arthur||Potts, John S.|
|Bromfield, William||Hayes. John Henry||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bromley, J.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burniey)||Riley, Ben|
|Brown. James (Ayr and Bute)||Hirst, G. H.||Ritson, J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Robinson,W. C. (Yorks, W. R..Elland)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Runclman, Hilda (Cornwall, St.Ives)|
|Compton, Joseph||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Connolly, M.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cove, W. G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sexton, James|
|Crawturd, H. E.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Davles, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Day, Harry||Kelly, W. T.||Sinclair, Major sir A. (Caithness)|
|Dennison, R.||Kennedy, T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Duncan, C.||Kenwortny, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lansbury, George||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry|
|England, Colonel A.||Lawson, John James||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Lowth, T.||Stamford, T. w.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Lunn, William||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Forrest, W.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Mackinder, W.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Gibbint, Joseph||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Gillett, George M.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Gosling, Harry||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenall, T.||Maxton, James||Wallhead. Richard C.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Watts, Dr. T.||Wiggins, William Martin||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Watts, Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A.|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Barnes.|
|Welsh, J. C.||Windsor, Walter|
|Whiteley, W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.