§ 24 and 25. Brigadier - General Sir HENRY CROFT
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he has received a resolution, unanimously adopted by 14 trade unions and the employers' associations concerned in the Nottingham lace industry, expressing apprehension as to the possibility of the safeguarding duty lapsing in July, 1930, and urging that, in the interests of employment, the duty should be maintained until the fullest possible inquiries as to the operation of the duty have been made; if so, whether these representations have received the consideration of His Majesty's Government; and what reply has been made to them;
(2) whether he has received joint representations from employers and workers in the cutlery trade in Sheffield requesting that they should be allowed to place before him information in regard to the improved conditions of employment and production in the industry since the imposition of a safeguarding duty; whether he has agreed to receive such a deputation; and, if so, whether he will make available the information submitted to him?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
The reply to the first part of both questions is in the affirmative. As was pointed out to the hon. and gallant Member by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on the 19th December, the policy of the Government in relation to the safeguarding duties is well known, and I fear no useful purpose would be served by receiving a deputation such as is suggested.
§ Sir H. CROFT
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this joint request 836 from the trade unions and the employers asked that a Committee should be set up to inquire into the actual results, as promised by the Balfour Committee, and is the right hon. Gentleman not prepared to receive a deputation as mentioned in the second question, in view of the fact that it comes from employer and employed and that his right hon. Colleague has received a purely party committee?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I have replied to many questions by the hon. and gallant Gentleman on that point. I am always willing to meet deputations, but in this case the Government have definitely declared its policy, and to receive deputations in these circumstances would, I suggest, be a waste of time.
§ Sir H. CROFT
On a point of Order. These two questions were answered together by my consent, at the request of the right hon. Gentleman. I have been allowed to ask only one supplementary question, and this is a matter affecting the whole of the trade unions in these industries.