§ 53. Mr. DOUGLAS HACKING
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received resolution from the Cotton Spinners' and Manufacturers' Association stating that, owing to the uncertainty caused by the threatened removal of the duties on silk and artificial silk, trade in fabrics containing silk and artificial silk has been almost entirely suspended; that thousands of looms in Lancashire are, as a consequence, now idle; requesting that the duties be retained and asking for a statement to that effect to be made at the earliest possible moment; and, if so, what reply he has sent or proposes to send?
§ 55. Sir GERALD HURST
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received a copy of a resolution passed on 4th February by the central committee of the Cotton Spinners' and Manufacturers' Association, Manchester, protesting against the uncertainty as to the continuance of duties on silk and artificial silk?
§ Mr. P. SNOWDEN
I would refer the hon. Members to the answer which I gave yesterday to the hon. Member for Middle-ton and Prestwich (Sir N. Sandeman), of which I am sending them copies.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to persist in keeping these important trades in harassing uncertainty from motives of personal vanity and arrogance?
§ Mr. THURTLE
On a point of Order. May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether, when a right hon. Gentleman has improperly imputed motives, he may be asked to withdraw or not?
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
On a further point of Order. Seeing that the former Chancellor of the Exchequer took up an adamantine attitude in the same way, by refusing to give any explanation, should he not be asked to withdraw his words?
§ Mr. HACKING
Is the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware that since his speech in December last the traders in Manchester have completely changed their views? Has the Chancellor of the Exchequer changed his views?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
There is nothing that has detracted from the value and importance of the satisfaction that was expressed to me by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce upon the statement that I made in December. I believe it is the fact that 14 men met in an upper room in King Street, Manchester, and passed a resolution asking that the duties should not be repealed, and next morning one of the Tory newspapers came out with a cross-page heading in inch type, "Lancashire declares for Protection."
§ Mr. HACKING
Has the right hon. Gentleman read the speech made by the President of the Chamber of Commerce yesterday in Manchester; and is he aware that his action is solely responsible for thousands of people being out of work?
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I am well aware of the continuous propaganda which has been carried on with regard to these duties, and also of the intimidation, but, if those who are conducting this propaganda think that they are going to impress me by it, they are greatly mistaken. I had an experience of this sort during the time when the McKenna Duties were under discussion five years ago, which will last me for a lifetime.
§ Sir PHILIP CUNLIFFE-LISTER
Does the right hon. Gentleman include the Lord Privy Seal among the number of his intimidators?