§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ Viscount WOLMER
I was asking hon. Members opposite whether we could not found a common basis of agricultural policy on what I call the twin pillars of organisation and Protection. I hope before the Debate closes some hon. or right hon. Member opposite will tell us whether the Labour party are prepared to give Protection to agriculture if it is accompanied by organisation. The hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) told us yesterday that price was the factor that made the difference between profit and loss a statement with which I should think we all agree. How are you going to ensure better prices for the farmers and smallholders of this country without Protection? How are you going to insure that Protection shall not be abused, say hon. Members opposite, unless it is accompanied by organisation? If they would accept that principle and endeavour to apply it in a practical form, and not in the unpractical way of this Amendment, I certainly would go a very long way to try to get agreement between the two parties on that basis. I agree with the statement of the hon. Member that unless we deal with the problem of the home glut, unless we have organisation to eliminate a surplus which may be produced by a bumper harvest in any agricultural crop, keeping out foreign imports is no good by itself, but at the same time it is useless to try to eliminate a borne surplus if we allow foreign surpluses to come in without any control. Therefore, I submit that the two things must go together, and combined they can render a very valuable service to agriculture. The hon. Member seemed to think the Minister was against that principle. I do not believe that to be the case. I think the Minister has already shown what importance he attaches to organisation, and I hope he will be able to confirm this in what he says this afternoon.
I would like, if I may, to make this appeal to my right hon. Friend the Minister. We on these Benches have, 966 perhaps, been a little bit impatient, and, if you like, unreasonable, during the past few days in urging him to bring forward his full agricultural policy. We know that it cannot be produced quickly, because there are differences of opinion on certain subjects in the Cabinet, but surely I am right in thinking that on this question of organisation and marketing reform the Cabinet are united? The Labour representatives in the Cabinet are, of course, in favour of their own Bill, the Liberal representatives all supported it in the last Parliament, and I hope and believe that, if it were accompanied by Protection, the Conservative representatives in the Cabinet would not he averse to encouraging the principle of organisation. I agree that, if this Amendment was not made to apply to the whole of the 27 crops covered by the Financial Resolution, and if the principle of organisation was applied seriatim, there are several important crops covered by the Resolution where organisation could be applied, if accompanied by Protection, with very great benefit to the farmers. There are the cases of plums and black currants, which are perhaps the two most obvious instances. Of course, those are not the most important articles in regard to which organisation is required. I know that organisation is much more urgently required in regard to milk and potatoes, and, although I cannot deal with those articles on this Resolution, I hope the Minister will take steps on the first opportunity which he gets, to appoint reorganisation commissions in regard to the cases which I have mentioned. I hope this Amendment will not be pressed to a Division, and I ask hon. Members opposite to give their minds and their knowledge to the main problem, which is only touched in the Amendment, and that is organisation plus Protection. If hon. Members will approach the question, not from a party point of view, but from the point of view of what many of them believe to be best for agriculture, I am sure they will find many Members on these benches ready to meet them.
I wish to make a statement with regard to the position of Members sitting on the Opposition Benches. 967 The Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer), said that we on these benches, must realise that something should be done in the interest of British agriculture, but in our view there are other ways which are much better than the policy now being pursued by the Minister of Agriculture, who is attempting to save agriculture at the expense of the people's food. In the Resolution before us and the duties suggested, there is a large number of articles which to-day form the commonplace food of the working-class people, and if there is going to be duties placed upon those ordinary commonplace articles of food, better organisation ought to be the first consideration and not the last. It appears to those on this side of the House that the only reasonable safeguard of which the public can be assured, if these duties are levied on such articles of food as those which are mentioned in the Schedule, is the organisation sat up under the Marketing Act, and that should have been provided in the first instance. If there is to be Protection for agriculture of the very important kind involved in this Bill, surely we ought to have some security that the general public are not to be traded upon and fleeced as a result of the policy introduced by the Government.
What articles do we find included? It was suggested in speeches made yesterday that the articles involved in the Schedule were luxury articles and nonessential articles. I suggest that the fruit and vegetables dealt with in the Schedule are now the ordinary commonplace food of the working classes, and in more instances than one a large number of the articles are foodstuffs imported into this country at a time when, owing to climatic conditions, British agriculture is not able to produce those particular foods. Take, for example, tomatoes. It is true that tomatoes play a very important part in the food of working classes, and when these duties are put on, unless there is some reasonable control by the Marketing Board to see that the prices are reasonable, and not more than the duty is passed on to the public, we suggest that there will be a very grave danger, not of the general public being called upon to pay the extra duty, but of suffering through the lack of proper marketing organisation.
968 An hon. Member opposite has told us that when the Labour party were in office they paid no attention to the needs of British agriculture. That is not true, because the Labour party tried to do a great deal to improve British agriculture, but the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot and his friends prevented them from doing anything for agriculture on lines which were much better than those suggested by the duties which it is now proposed to place on very important commodities. We find that, in recent years, a large number of the articles in this Schedule have been increasing considerably in their production, and yet the working-classes have received no benefit from them. This Amendment, which I have pleasure in supporting, simply calls upon the Government to make provision for a marketing board to control and regulate both the transport and the prices of the articles dealt with, and this is the only possible way of preventing advantage being taken of the general consumers.
I should imagine that there are no Liberals in this House who can hope to face the electors unless they support this Amendment, which is so fair and just that it ought to command a large measure of support from every Member representing a working-class constituency. We were told during the election by important Ministers of State, including the Prime Minister, that no food taxes would be attempted until reasonable and fair consideration had been given to every item. Now we are told that we are dealing with an emergency Measure, and that therefore there is to be no reasonable consideration, but that the matter is to be left entirely in the hands of the Minister of Agriculture. I am afraid that the result will be that working-class people who, at the moment, are finding difficulty in purchasing the goods which are enumerated in the Schedule, will have to pay increased prices. I hope the House will give reasonable consideration to the Amendment, and support it, because we contend that this is the only possible way of reorganising agriculture on a sound basis, and at the same time protecting the interests of the consumers.
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir John Gilmour)
I cannot accept the Amendment for the reasons which have 969 already been very clearly explained by the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wollner). Let me remind the House at once that this proposal which is brought before Parliament has been brought in for the specific purpose of giving powers to deal with luxury and early imports in the months which must elapse between the time this House rises and when we meet again next year. I say at once that, if we were dealing with a problem which was being carried over for a longer period of time, there would be a good deal to be said from the point of view expressed by the hon. Member who moved this Amendment, and by the Noble Lord behind me, that we should, at any rate, endeavour, when we are passing protective measures for agriculture or indeed for any industry, insist that they should improve their methods of production, of marketing, and of sale. I am not in the least averse to encouraging marketing organisation, but, if one looks closely at this particular Amendment, and the object to which it is directed, it is perfectly clear that any scheme under the Marketing Act must be submitted, in the first instance, to the Minister of Agriculture, and that is bound to take up a considerable period of time. The Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot puts that period at about four or five months; indeed, it might, as I am advised, take considerably longer and even as long as eight months. Be that as it may, the House will see at once how impossible it is to apply it to the present circumstances, because, if this proposal were adopted, it would be impossible for the Minister to bring in any Order during the next few months, and it would really nullify the whole object of the proposals which we are bringing before the House. No Order could be made in respect of such articles as new potatoes, spring vegetables, strawberries or spring flowers.
As far as the wider and larger policy with regard to agriculture is concerned, I think it is reasonable that, if this House grants measures of Protection to the agricultural industry, we should expect that industry to co-operate with this House and with the Government in organising its production and marketing. I can assure Members of all parties in the House that I am only anxious to see 970 these things done. I want also to make it quite clear that I think it is essential that we should not enter upon the setting up of these commissions, which, after all, are going to cost some money, unless we are quite satisfied that there is a real earnest desire and some reasonable evidence that the industry itself will mean to work out the result arrived at by the reorganisation commission. It is obvious that, if you set up a reorganisation commission such as is suggested here, it does not follow that whatever comes out of it will be finally adopted; it has to go back to the industry. Therefore, in my judgment, it would not only be a waste of time and money, but would defeat its own purpose, unless these reorganisation schemes were entered into with some idea that the industry and those concerned were really going to help to hammer out a working scheme.
I must, on this occasion at any rate, reject the Amendment for the reasons which I have explained, and which I think must be convincing to the House. The hon. Gentleman who seconded the Amendment seemed to think that in dealing with these vegetables and fruits we are going to hit at the food of the very poorest people. That is not really so. I have put forward this scheme perfectly frankly and openly as a scheme to shut out from this country luxury products which the country could well do without, and particularly those early vegetables which compete, in a great many cases very unfairly, with our early produce, in regard to which, if I may say so, I think that, in fairness to our own people, we ought to give them some help and encouragement.
§ Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
The right hon. Gentleman has just told us that his proposals are intended only to prevent luxury articles from coming into this country, but the Resolution does not say that. The Schedule enumerates a long list of commodities which come in at all seasons of the year in regular deliveries from every part of the world, including a large part of the Empire as well as foreign countries. There is no suggestion in the Resolution from beginning to end that these products shall only be subject to the duty when they come in at certain seasons and compete unfairly with the produce of our own growers. We have to 971 examine the Resolution as it is, and, although the right hon. Gentleman has told us that it is brought forward for the specific purpose of dealing with luxury and early imports, he has not really described the position as it is. He has said that any scheme under the Agricultural Marketing Act must be prepared and submitted to the Minister. Has not the right hon. Gentleman yet prepared schemes for the immediate operation of the boards outlined in the first two or three paragraphs of that Act of Parliament? I should be abusing the time allotted to me if I read the Act and the references to those boards, but the right hon. Gentleman has told us, in reply to questions from this side of the House, that he is in favour of the principles of this Act, and is going to use its machinery in order that the best results may be obtained.
The Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) said he was disappointed because no adequate explanation had been given from this side of the House regarding the intentions of the Amendment. It says that the kind of board set up by the Agricultural Marketing Act should be set up now, in order that there shall be no confusion, but that there shall be regular, steady supplies of goods coming into the markets in different parts of the country; in order that there shall be grading of the goods, so that the quality of the goods may be maintained at the highest possible standard; in order that prices may be regulated, and especially in order that those periodic gluts may be Avoided which do almost all the damage, which result from the absence of an organised marketing system, and which knock the bottom out of prices and inflict very severe losses upon home producers. Such a board would be able to carry out the functions outlined in the Agricultural Marketing Act. There is ample ground for believing that this subject has been very fully discussed. In the Report on the Organisation of Potato Marketing issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries—and potato marketing is, perhaps, as good a test as can be found for the articles enumerated in this Schedule—I find this statement: 972These big price differences from market to market and from month to month are evidence that the markets at times are oversupplied and at others under-supplied. Through miscalculation on the part of buyers and sellers in the early part of the season as to the total available home supplies, these are not evenly distributed over the marketing season. At times, some of the railhead markets, for example, become so congested as the result of indiscriminate shipment that they have to be closed in order that consumption may catch up with supplies.That is the kind of thing that we want to avoid. Whatever may be done at the ports of entry, whatever duties may be imposed, there is still the problem of cutthroat competition and over-supplies and gluts in the markets. Later on, the report says:As has been shown, market transactions in the country districts are not conducted in such a way as to facilitate the rapid collection and dissemination of market news. The potato trade is not organised on the lines of produce exchanges, where each transaction is recorded, thus enabling full information as to the quantity, quality and prices of goods sold by private treaty to be published.I will trouble the House with only one more quotation from the report:A complete system of market intelligence would include daily information as to the quality, quantity, and prices of potatoes sold in country markets, daily arrivals and stocks at ports and in main consuming centres, accurate records of quantities sold and prices realised in wholesale markets, together with statistics of retail prices and of changes in consumption. Under the present marketing system, much of this information is unobtainable.In the absence of information, of co-ordination and regulation of the supplies in the markets, and of the, adaptation of the supplies to delivery and demand, there is no escape from the periodical falls in prices which injure the potato grower and the grower of fruit of all descriptions for the markets of this country.
I should like to know what the Government hope to obtain by their Resolution. We have not yet been told. The right hon. Gentleman says that all that is intended is to stop luxury articles from coming in in the early season and competing unfairly with our products because of the comparative lateness of our seasons, but that really does not give the explanation. We should like to know from the Minister whether he hopes 973 to stop, and whether these proposals are intended to stop, the importation of all these goods; or is it the intention only to raise their prices? Is it the intention to stop the importation of potatoes, carrots, and the other vegetables and fruit named, or are they simply to have their prices raised in order that they may meet our products on a fair competitive level The list is really surprising. Nothing has been said as to whether Empire products are to be subject to these duties. I may be slow in picking up the points made in Debate, but no one has yet told me whether, say, South African grapes or apples are to be exempted from the duty because they are Empire products. [An HON. MEMBER: "Of course they are!"] It does not say so, or, if it does, I have missed it.
Where do these articles originate? They come from almost every European country, from people who take very large quantities of our manufactured goods. They come from Northern Africa, they come from the Antipodes, they come from almost all parts of the world. The next question that one may ask is, why do they come here? Do they simply come here because the sellers abroad wish to send them, or because there is a demand for them from this country? They come in response to a demand. Dietetic habits are changing in this country, and entirely new ideas are prevailent as to the consumption of vegetables and fruit in larger quantities than before, very much to the advantage of our physical health. Both adults and children in this country, and especially the latter, are very much healthier and fitter and of finer physique than was the case a generation ago, when the range of dietetics was much more limited than it is to-day. These goods come here because there has been a change in the habits of the people as the result of a great weight of medical opinion and advice in regard to dietetic values.
We have been advised during the last few years to eat more fruit, and we are all becoming more or less expert in the principles of dietetics. Everyone knows something about vitamines. I will not venture to explain them in too much detail, because I must confess my ignorance of tile subject, but I suppose every Member of this House tries to get as much as he can of vitamines from fruit and 974 vegetable juices. To cut off the supplies of such articles, if that be the intention of the Government, is to limit very much the opportunities of the ordinary people of this country, of people with very small incomes, to obtain these goods. To stop these goods because they are cheap is to prohibit entirely their use by a very large number of people in this country. I oppose the proposal very strongly on these grounds. I should like to know whether the Minister is satisfied that, if he does stop the importation of these commodities, the prices of the home-produced commodities are going to be maintained at a, reasonable level.
I was astonished to find, in going over the statistical reports of trade and navigation, that the average price per 1b. of imported tomatoes is no more than 2d. That is the average price, c.i.f., at the port of delivery. The average is about 3½d. per 1b. for the whole of the ten months ending October. There is a supply of cheap, wholesome, necessary, and beneficial food which cannot be produced in this country. The tomatoes grow in the summer time and ripen in season without any great labour or care and without artificial protection of any kind, and you propose to deprive the very large majority of our working people, and especially our unemployed, of the enjoyment of that article of diet.
Owing to the prevalence of unemployment and of low wages there are millions of people in this country who have not at their disposal more than an average of 6d. a day with which to feed themselves. I can produce figures to show that large numbers of the unemployed, especially after the Economy Act came into force, have not more than 1d. per person per meal from the beginning of the year to the end. The average amount at the disposal of millions of our working people, unemployed and earning low wages, is not more than a few miserable coppers a day. If they are to have the diet that is necessary to maintain them in physical health, I do not know how they are to get it unless they have the tomatoes sent into this country at 2d. a 1b., which can be retailed if such a board were set up as we are asking for, and if a proper system of distribution was organised, at less than 4d. If you stop that supply, and they have to pay the 975 price charged for the home-produced article, everyone knows that the range of prices for home-grown tomatoes is well beyond the range of the spending power of the working people. You cannot buy tomatoes produced at home at an average price of less than 1s. to 1s. 3d. a 1b. To preclude the working people from enjoying these cheap supplies is to deny them altogether this valuable article of diet.
I find that the price of apples sent here from abroad is only 2d. a 1b. The price of the home-grown apple runs into almost as many shillings in some cases. The luxury articles are the home-produced articles, and the cheap articles are those produced abroad. When grapes are mentioned, a good many people have in their mind the high priced grapes that are sold early in the season at 3s. or 4s. a 1b., but that is only a very small proportion of the imports of grapes. A tax on that class of grapes will not injure the people I represent if the right hon. Gentleman confines his attention to them. But the average price for grapes sent here is less than 4d. a 1b. taken over the last year.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
Then I shall not quarrel very much with the right hon. Gentleman. Those who can pay 4s. or 5s. a 1b. for grapes can easily pay a tax of 50 per cent. additional, and I have no tears to shed for them. In going through the list item by item I have spoken of tomatoes and apples. [Interruption.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think I can assist the hon. Member. If he will confine himself to the Amendment now under discussion, he will find it easier than discussing the whole Resolution.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
I refer to the variety of these commodities, because I recognise that you cannot maintain a reasonable supply of these very varied articles of daily consumption in the homes of all the people of our country unless you have some means by which you can regulate and restrict imports and see that the sup- 976 ply is always adequate to the demand, but does not overflow into the market and does not produce an unfair incidence of competition upon the home producer.
A Noble Lord asked as whether we are now prepared to adopt Protection if such reasonable safeguards as we have outlined were adopted. That question is not due for answer yet. I should like to ask whether he and his friends will operate the Act setting out these boards. Will they, first of all, organise an efficient system of marketing? Will they advise their friends in the agricultural industries to work it out lo its point of greatest effectiveness and give it a fair trial for two or three years? If they will do that, and will build up the indispensable machinery which agriculture will require, we will then talk to them about any additional measures that may be required. For the time being we are convinced that any attempt to impose Protection in the absence of such machinery must end in disaster to the agricultural industry because Protection will not be conducive to efficiency in producing or in marketing. It will raise the prices of the commodities for our working people and, without improving the position of agriculture, it will inflict great injury on the masses of the people.
§ Major HILLS
The last speaker has travelled widely and has discussed the general question of food taxes. I should like to recall the House to the terms of the Amendment. I would only say in passing that the people for whom he pleads who have small wages or are unemployed, do not buy early asparagus. He knows very well that the whole intention of this Motion is to check the import of early products that come here either in competition with British articles or before they are produced, take the cream off the market and prevent the market gardener from making a reasonable profit. On the question of organisation, I want to tell the Mover of the Amendment how far I go with him and where I join issue. He has already been told by the Minister that time does not allow of the setting up of these boards.
On the general question, everyone must agree that organisation is important. Not only in the agricultural field, but all over the field of industry, organisation and salesmanship increase in importance 977 every year. It is rather a strange thought, but it is true now that, so important is salesmanship, and so well paid is that art, that the world is spending more money in selling itself its own goods than in producing those goods. In agriculture, of course, organisation is very important, but there are two considerations that lie behind organisation. Behind organisation you must have production, for, unless you do, there is nothing to organise, and behind organisation you must have price, for, if competition reduces your price to such a figure as to make it unprofitable, no organisation is of any benefit to you. As long as you open your ports to imports from all over the world, and as long as there is a demand in this country, f you set up your organisation it benefits the people who send their goods here and not the home producer. It does nothing for production here. It is a Dead Sea fruit.
I wonder if hon. Members opposite want to help agriculture or do not. They must see that it is no good talking about organisation and marketing unless they come down to the primary consideration of production. Certain people on the land are producing food. Are they to stay on the land or to leave it? You have to face taxes on food products and you may have to face a rise in price. I do not believe—I will tell the House all that is in my mind—that you can protect agriculture without a small rise in price. I leave it at a small one. I think it is worth paying, but I think it has to be faced.
On that, I come to another point made by the party opposite. They say with some force that Protection may lead to abuses. It is possible. I do not think it will, but I am prepared to consider any reasonable means which they may submit for mitigating and abolishing those abuses. If by some extraordinary chance we saw an access of prosperity to the unfortunate farmers who have lost money for the last two years and do not see a profit this year or next year, and that led to gross profiteering, I quite agree that that would call for correction, but to say that you are not going to give Protection to the farmer because abuses may ensue lands you in a dead end. I think you have to protect agricul- 978 ture. I think that you must go much further than this Resolution, and then, if you see that it is being abused, you can take means to put the matter right. At present, except for this Amendment, which is a practical one, though I cannot accept it, we have not heard a single word of practical assistance from the Opposition for farming and market gardening. Are they satisfied with things as they are?
§ Major HILLS
It is no good talking of a marketing board to the farmer who cannot get a fair price for what he produces, or of organising and bringing in the foreign product. That does not assist the home producer. You must get down to bedrock, which is the price the producer can get for what he produces. You have to face that position. If you want to assist agriculture, you will have to do far more than marketing or organising. You will have to give our farmers a chance of making a profit, and then I believe that our farmers can beat the world. I believe that they are the best farmers in the world. I do all I can to further the cause of organisation in marketing. I well remember visiting Ireland a short time after Sit Horace Plunkett had started his well-known dairies. That was a question, not of competition, but of organisation and selling in large quantities and grading so that the buyer knew that he would always get the same quality. I was told that the effect of starting those dairies doubled the value of the cow to the peasant—a very valuable thing to do. You have to do more than that here. It is not only a question of organisation. I am very much afraid that with all the help we get from the other side it will not really assist the farmer. I do not think that hon. Gentlemen opposite realise how desperate is the situation. I welcome this Measure. It will do a certain amount to assist a certain class of producers. It does not touch the main 979 question of agriculture, but I accept it with gratitude, defined by a distinguished philosopher, as a lively sense of favours to come.
§ Mr. J. JONES
Those of us who were born in agricultural areas can appreciate the knowledge which some of our friends who come from industrial centres possess on the matter of agriculture. I do not now know much about agriculture myself, because I have been a long time divorced from it, but I come from a dockside constituency in the East End of London and I hold in my hand a tag taken off a cargo of potatoes landed in this country from Germany. The carmen loading those potatoes at the docks received instructions that they must take off the tags as soon as they loaded up the potatoes. The merchant who employs those carmen gives them instructions that they must take off the tags from the bags as soon as they load them up at the docks. The potatoes then go down to the shops in the East End of London, and all round the stalls and the shops we have the great placard "Buy British goods." And they are German potatoes. The gentleman who is the main author of this game is one who was a great supporter of the National Government at the last election. He can buy those potatoes landed at the London Docks at a halfpenny a pound, and they are sold to the people in the East End of London at three halfpence a pound or eight pounds a shilling.
We know the old cry of patriotism. It is the same people who wave the Union Jack in front of the Union Jack-asses every day in the week, 24 hours a day. I was very interested to discover that the mark on those German potatoes was "DL." I do not believe the right hon. Gentleman opposite really agrees that it is true, but it is a fact. This tag was given to me this morning by one of my constituents who works at the docks. I want you to realise that after all there are more ways of killing a pig than by sticking it. Here is the position. What guarantee have we that when you have got all this so-called Protection that the workers of the country are going to be any better off, except in' this respect, that they will have to pay more for what they get. [An HON. MEMBER: "They will get wages to pay for them."] Wages, what wages? Will you in carrying out 980 your Protectionist policy guarantee the rate of wages of every worker? I You know you will not.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Sir Dennis Herbert)
I hope that the hon. Member will not be led away by interruptions from the Amendment which is now before the House. I have not quite discovered that what has been said already is pertinent to the Amendment.
§ Mr. JONES
The first point I want to make is with regard to marketing. Our own people are prepared to take advantage of the market for their own advantage and then to place round their shops and stalls placards "Buy British goods," while they are selling foreign goods. Is not that a marketing point, Sir.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member had perhaps better read the actual Amendment which refers to a scheme under the provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Act. It is only to limit the Resolution to cases in which boards have been set up to establish special schemes under that Act.
§ Mr. JONES
That is the reason why I am supporting it. I want to see boards established, not merely to arrange schemes of marketing for the sale of the commodities which people have to buy but also for the protection of the workers who have to produce the commodities. In all the discussions on these proposals, there is not a single word about protecting the worker in regard to the hours of labour or the conditions of employment. I happen to be one of those people who is neither a Free Trader nor a Protectionist; I am a Socialist. I will protect the class to which I belong with my last dying breath. I do not care what happens to me as long as the people I represent and to whom I belong get fair play. But what have we here? Protection for the people who are well protected.
I have already heard about the farmers who are doing so badly. I happen to be a trade union official who travels the country fairly extensively. The poor old farmers used to run round with the pony chaise, and now they have motor cars. Down and out? Their daughters go to college to be trained as teachers and their sons go round the countryside 981 enjoying themselves at golf and other entertainments. [An HON. MEMBER: "Where is that?"] In every part of the country; in every market place. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense!"] I know, of course, that I am surrounded by the bovine intelligence of the people who have just been successful. I only ask hon. Members to realise the facts, that, while the workers have been going down and down, the other people have not been going down to the same extent. They are better off now than they were formerly, while the workers are worse off than they have been for the lust 25 years. You are asking us to agree to increasing the price of commodities which the ordinary worker has to use. Does anybody suggest that the items in this Schedule are going to be the only basis for Protection? Raspberries and strawberries. You will get the gooseberry. [Interruption.] Yes, we give the gooseberry down in Canning Town to people who talk like this. [An HON. MEMBER "You got it at the last election!"] Yes, and you will get it after the next election.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must really ask the hon. Member to devote his remarks to the Amendment which is before the House and to confine his remarks to that Amendment.
§ Mr. JONES
Certainly, Sir Dennis. I will do my best, but the Schedule contains raspberries, gooseberries and apples, and strawberries, of course. Those of us who live in the East End of London are not interested in strawberries. We see them only at a certain period of the year. We are interested in potatoes, and the ordinary vegetables which the ordinary working man has to consume. We know that you are not going to stop at strawberries; we know that you on the opposite side of the House and all around us are going to ask for Protection for every kind of commodity which the farmers produce. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am very glad to hear it. I suggest that, if we do not get protection for the worker in regard to wages and conditions, you are simply asking for privilege at the expense of the great masses of the people of this country. [An HON. MEMBER: "That will follow automatically!"] You are asking us to put a penny into your slot 982 machine, and we are not going to do so. It is not a question of Protection for the people of Great Britain, but for sections of the people of Great Britain. We are opposing this kind of Protection, because it means the robbing of the workers for the benefit of those who do not work. Who is to get the benefit of this scheme of agricultural Protection? Not the ordinary workman. The people who are going to get benefit are the people who own the land.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member, I would remind him, has been in this House long enough to know what is in order in discussing an Amendment of this kind, and he really must confine himself to the Amendment, and perhaps it will assist the hon. Member if other hon. Members do not make interjections not relevant to the Amendment.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Viscount ELMLEY
I think that the Amendment puts the cart before the horse, because, as I see it, the Resolution could not work at all until you had various kinds of boards established under the Agricultural Marketing Act to deal with the products mentioned in the Resolution. It would take a great deal of time. That is time which we cannot spare. The Resolution is far more important at the present time than the Agricultural Marketing Act, taking into account the state of the trade of the country, particularly of agriculture. Before we try to get what the hon. Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee) wants, namely, better organisation, better handling, packing, distributing and grading of goods, it is far more important to pass this Resolution. It would not be a wise thing at this moment to deal with 983 the Agricultural Marketing Act and the Resolution together, and I suggest that hon. Members opposite should not press their Amendment.
If we pass the Resolution and the Government have time to develop their agricultural policy, what hon. Members ask for in their Amendment will come more easily than it could come now. We must get down to the fundamental things and try to get the other things afterwards. The feeling of the people of the country generally, and not only agriculturists, is strongly in favour of this Resolution, or something on the same lines. If we were to support the series of Amendments which are on the Order Paper we should be throwing sand into the machinery, instead of helping to get things done better, and we should not be doing that which we were elected to do. I hope the Government will not accept the Amendment, but that they will pass the Resolution as soon as possible, and develop their agricultural policy more fully as soon as possible, and that the result will be that they will be able to help the agricultural industry in a way which no one Government and no one party has been able to help it before.
§ Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN
The Amendment is to advertise the Marketing Act of the late Government. I agree with the Noble Lord, the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) when he said that we should be very willing to see provision for better organisation and marketing in any legislation which the Government may bring forward, but in this particular case it seems to me that the Amendment defeats the object in view. This is merely emergency legislation. It is stated in the Order itself that it is to continue in force for only 12 months. As regards making use of the Agricultural Marketing Act, I would point out that 27 different boards will be required, one for each product, and that each board is bound to take nearly 12 months before we can get any result. The present legislation is of an emergency kind, but I hope that it is only a forecast to show the agricultural and horticultural industry what the Government intend to do. I hope the Government intend to follow up this legislation with further Measures of sup- 984 port. The Amendment would hit industries which are on the verge of extinction and will go unless something is done for them at once.
I had a letter this morning from a constituent of mine who, among other produce, grows grapes outside Reading. He has 20 acres of glass and employs at some parts of the year nearly 100 men. He is very thankful that in this Order there is to be a duty on hothouse grapes from abroad. He points out that if something of that sort does not take place not only will his men lose their employment but that the grapes that he grows, having regard to the low price obtained, owing to competition, will have to go and that part of the industry will be lost. This emergency legislation will keep a luxury industry like that going in our own country, enabling it to give employment and wages to our home workers. If the Amendment were carried it would mean that the legislation would be put off for many months, and that industry would go. I hope that the Amendment will be withdraw, because it could not help the problem of emergency which the legislation foreshadowed is meant to help.
It is all very well to talk about organisation, but it is a matter of what is good business. Surely, we can trust the Ministry of Agriculture to look to this matter of what is good business and to rest assured that they will not give safeguarding or protection to any badly organised industry. It is easy for hon. Members opposite to talk about food supplies, such as broccoli and cauliflowers, and to say that those industries are badly organised. If they had been at the Royal Agricultural Show this year and had seen the cinema display by the Ministry of Agriculture, showing the way in which the broccoli industry is organised, how the plants were collected and sent over to Holland and other places abroad and sold in those markets, they would not say that it was a badly organised industry. What has happened in the last six months I do not know, but as these particular commodities are included in the Order it would appear that they are suffering from foreign competition. It cannot be said, however, that that is because it is a badly organised industry. I hope the Amendment will be rejected.
§ Mr. TINKER
The Amendment is for the purpose of securing proper organisation before Protection is given. I agree with hon. Members opposite that the country has declared for Protection. There can be no doubt that at the last election that was what the country meant. We on this side have been returned as anti-Protectionists, and on a matter like this we have a right to put forward our point of view as a small minority to show the dangers into which the country is being led. When we have pointed out those dangers, if the Government and hon. Members opposite cannot see their way to accept our point of view, of course they will go on with their Measure. Before they adopt any big measure of Protection we ought to be sure that these particular trades have been organised as far as possible. It is well known that where Protection is brought in it often leads to inefficiency and disorganisation. We want to be satisfied that these particular industries have been tested to the full in regard to their efficiency.
The effect of our Amendment, by putting the matter under the marketing boards, would enable us to know whether the full extent of organisation has been utilised. When the Government have proved to us that a full measure of efficiency has been secured and that still these particular industries cannot pay their men and make a profit, then I agree that we must examine the position. It would be futile for us to say that the industries must lapse or that they must pay wages with which we could not agree. Under those circumstances the Government would have a right to say to us: "Are you still Free Traders, or are you prepared to adopt some other measures?" and I, in common fairness, would have to say that I must agree with their point of view, if and when they have done what we desire. They have not done that yet. The Amendment asks them to do it. We are told that it may mean delay. Yes, but look what time has passed up to now. It is necessary that some such steps as we suggest in the Amendment should be taken before the Government adopt the method which, once adopted, is very difficult to remove afterwards.
The Minister of Agriculture made a mistake when he said that this legislation would not increase the price of the com- 986 modities in question. He said, further, that we must protect our people. Protecting our people must mean that the producers will get an increased price for their stuff, and in that case it must mean that the price of commodities will go up. I do not want the other side to disguise that fact. When we have adopted the proposed legislation, the price of commodities must, increase and someone will have to bear that increased cost. Before this Measure was introduced I was told by a prominent man that he knew that certain big men were going round and buying up whole stocks of potatoes at a price more than the market price. He said that they were getting ready for the Protective Measures which they knew would be introduced shortly in the House of Commons. That was two days before this Measure was introduced.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member whether the adoption of this Amendment in regard to marketing boards would have anything to do with that?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member must not argue against the Resolution as a whole, because he regards the Amendment as a wrecking one. He must confine himself to the words of the Amendment.
§ Mr. TINKER
I bow to your Ruling, although I think I am right. My point of view is, that we want, first of all, a full examination of these particular industries and proof that they have achieved full efficiency before they ask for tariffs.
§ Sir W. WAYLAND
The last speaker has approached this subject from an entirely wrong viewpoint. He is anxious that we should go to the marketing boards under the Act which was introduced by the last Government, but filial would be a most ineffective intrument. Hon. Members opposite are perturbed lest wages should suffer, but they have not attempted to defend the Measure which the Minister has brought in from the point of view of the agricultural worker. What we are attempting to do, and what the late Minister of Agriculture attempted to do, is to increase the smallholdings. 987 By increasing smallholdings we enable the smallholders to do exactly the same as the French smallholder does, even in and around Paris. He intensively cultivates his little bit of land and produces a considerable amount of early vegetables of every kind which we in this country import and for which we pay a very high price. If we could enable our smallholders to do the same we should give them a better opportunity of making money than they have at the present time.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member is getting on to the subject of the main Resolution and away from the Amendment.
§ Sir W. WAYLAND
I bow to your decision. We shall do no good by referring these questions to marketing boards because they could not be got into operation for another nine months, and the exigencies of the agricultural situation will not permit of that delay. We want action at once; and I am glad that the Government have taken this action which I hope will in the end embrace all agricultural products. May I liken it to a little bantam cock which by careful feeding, and by adding a little ginger to its food from time to time, will grow into a full-grown Plymouth Rock. The Amendment does not receive the support of any agricultural worker or farmer. I can understand the attitude of the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) who represents the Port of London into which comes a considerable amount of the vegetables which compete with our own farmers.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Member is again discussing the main Resolution and not the Amendment. He must confine himself to the question of limiting the Resolution to cases where a marketing board has been set up.
§ Sir W. WAYLAND
I bow to your decision, and I conclude by saying that I shall oppose the Amendment.
§ Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
I sat throughout the whole of the Committee which set up the Marketing Board under the Act of 1931, and I am rather surprised that there should be any opposition to the Amendment. What does it amount to? Farmers grow their produce, and they have to sell it. How is it sold? 988 We have continually heard that sometimes goods are put on the market and that the price obtained has barely justified the picking of the fruit. If a marketing board was introduced it would eliminate the cut-throat competition which goes on amongst the people who produce these goods and enable them to get a decent price for their commodities. That is what a marketing board is set up to accomplish. No one can deny that in existing circumstances complete anarchy prevails in the selling of produce; and this is even the case where the commodity is protected. In the case of hops, which were protected by a duty, an organisation was set up for the industry, but some people would not come in and the result was that those who refused to come into the organisation were selling their hops for less than the tax imposed on imported hops.
§ Sir W. WAYLAND
The hon. Member is mistaken. They sold their hops at the same price as other members of the association, and were the gainers because the price of hops had been raised by the efforts of the association.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
No one will deny that there was a complete lack of organisation and that there was cut-throat competition, notwithstanding all the efforts of the organisation. No more fatuous position could possibly be imagined. If we are to have this kind of legislation surely it is reasonable to ask, when you are proposing to give people who produce these articles some form of protection, that they should be able to take full advantage of the protection that is given. There is nothing in those proposals to enable producers to set up a board. Under the Agricultural Marketing Act they are able to set up a board and the whole of the producers are compelled to come in. Whatever prices are fixed this at least gives complete unity amongst the producers. If we pass this legislation and allow this cut-throat competition still to go on protection will be no advantage to the people who are producing the articles.
I am astonished that there should be the slightest objection to the Amendment. It does not say that they shall set up a marketing board within the next five minutes. It will take time, but if there is an urge behind the business then those 989 who are interested in these various industries will set themselves to the task of securing unity and eliminating the competition which goes on. The producers are in the hands of the people who buy their stuff. The producers want the money as soon as the crop is raised. They have bills and accounts to meet and, therefore, are prepared to sell almost at any price in order to get a little ready money. Protection will not help people in that position. The middleman will still go on and make his profit. It is only by effective organisation that you will eliminate the middleman and give the producer the result of his labour. If we could get the producers of these commodities to come together and set up a marketing board it would be their salvation, and the salvation of the people they employ. It is well known that the producers of these goods are not getting a proper price for their commodities, and, therefore, they cannot pay a proper wage to their people. We do not need to he told that, it is obvious; and to a great extent it accounts for the very low wages existing in the various industries associated with agriculture. A marketing board is the way out of the difficulty.
I am not arguing against Protection, not for a moment, I am arguing for an effective organisation of the industry; and the only danger I can see is that the organisation may be so powerful and so effective an instrument that the people who have to buy these products might be fleeced. At the same time there are safeguards in the Act on that matter. The main object of a marketing board is to give producers a chance of bringing organisation and system out of anarchy, and it would certainly be the most effective way of enabling them not only to make a reasonable profit but also to pay fair and reasonable wages to their workpeople. The result would be to the advantage of all concerned. While the circumstances of agriculture may not be so bad as some people would have us believe, they are not as good as they ought to be. I think they should be made better, and it is because I believe the Amendment will enable these people to create an effective organisation to control sale and prices that I am supporting it. I am amazed at the opposition of hon. Members opposite, and I think they will live to regret it.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I should like the Minister of Agriculture to be a little more explicit. He says that if he accepted the Amendment it would completely nullify the desire and intention of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman submitted only one solitary argument against the Amendment, and that was that it would take between four months and eight months before any marketing schemes could be set up. That is scarcely a sufficient reply to the case that has been put forward. The right hon. Gentleman suggests that it may require the setting up of 27 marketing boards. Is the case so urgent in any one of these categories of fruits, vegetables, or flowers, that he does not think it worth while to inspire the market gardener or the horticulturist to set up a marketing board if beneficial results are likely to accrue? In none of these categories is the urgency so great as the right hon. Gentleman would have us believe. Yesterday he had ample opportunity to reply to the statements made in regard to the fundamental difficulty so far as the potato problem is concerned, but he carefully avoided both in his first and in his second speech any reference to the question of marketing. Unless some marketing organisation is set up to deal with the periodical surplus, not only in potatoes but in plums and other items as well, then the consumer has no safeguard at all.
Let me draw attention to two of the major items in the Schedule. Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it is time for the Government to bring such pressure as is possible to bear on the producers to organise the collection, grading and sale of their particular produce, so as to secure for themselves the maximum advantage of their industry and to ensure for the consumer the commodity at a price which is reasonable as between producer and consumer? I would also draw attention to one of the Orange Books relating to plums. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he thinks it would be wise on the part of this House to concede a Customs duty on this commodity while the present haphazard method, as distinct from business, is allowed to go on. Let us see what a periodic increase in output or a surplus means in price to the producer. Take the three years, 1923, 1924 and 1925. This is what we dis- 991 cover. In 1923 the output of plums in this country was 430,000 cwts. The price in that year was 469 points above the pre-War price. In 1924 the output increased from 430,000 cwts. to 640,000 cwts., and the price for that year actually fell to 14 points below the pre-War price. That was because the output of plums had increased by 50 per cent. Does anyone want a better example than that price of the failure of the producers to deal with periodic surpluses Because of a 50 per cent. increase of production the price actually is reduced in one year by about 500 per cent. to the consumer.
The next two years are equally emphatic. Wherever you have a surplus, the producer has no organisation and each individual producer acts in what he conceives to be the best interest of himself; he lands his produce on the market and breaks the price, and consequently gets a smaller income from a bigger output than he would secure when there is a shortage of the commodity. I ask the Minister of Agriculture whether he cannot see his way, if he is unwilling to accept the Amendment, at least to apply the Amendment to some of the articles mentioned in the Schedule. The same remarks apply to potatoes. In the normal year, with a normal output, knowing that the demand is fairly constant, the potato grower has no problem at all. A problem arises only when he has a huge surplus, when nature has been bountiful. In the absence of any organisation to deal with the surplus the price is broken, the bottom falls out of the market, and it is the poor smallholder referred to by the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) who pays the price. It is the poor small farmer every time who has to sell on the worst possible market.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
It so happens that it never is a foreign surplus that creates disturbance in the potato market of this country.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If the Noble Lord will read and try to assimilate some of 992 the information produced by experts of the Ministry of Agriculture, he will discover that there never has been a problem for the potato grower in this country except in years of exceptional surplus. [Interruption.] The right hon. and gallant Gentleman who represents Ripon (Major Hills) cannot have read any of these documents, otherwise he would not have interrupted. I would call his attention to pages 67 and 68 of a document called "Agricultural Statistics," which comes from the Ministry of Agriculture. I would ask him to read the statement made by the Ministry expert, not by amateurs or partial politicians or interested persons. He will there see that there is no problem for the potato grower except in those years when we have had an excess over the normal output, or, in other words, when there is a huge surplus. If a marketing scheme were in existence for the purpose of dealing with the surplus, allocating for feeding stock 10, 12½ or 15 per cent. as the case may be, and leaving the normal quantities available, imported potatoes would have no effect whatever on the price of potatoes in this country.
§ Major HILLS
Does the hon. Gentleman say that there was no dumping of potatoes in 1929? Did they not affect the price?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
What I said broadly was that the potato grower in this country seldom has any problem, except the problem that arises when a huge crop is grown in this country, more than the normal requirement, which are almost constant. I take that statement from the expert of the Department who has all the figures at his disposal and is not biased in favour of politicians, parties, farmers or anyone else. I suggest to the Minister that there is a solution in marketing and organisation. We are utterly opposed to any taxation upon food at any time. Unless and until we know that the last thing organisation and in marketing has been applied we should not consider for a moment any form of Protection whatever. The right hon. Gentleman is not only supporting Protection, but Protection of staple foods without any guarantee at all that marketing is to be enforced or influenced by the Department. Really that is asking too much of the Opposition and, I should 993 hope, too much of many Members of the Liberal party.
Will the Minister answer this question? He has stated that the matter is very urgent. Will he state where the urgency lies? It cannot be with regard to new potatoes in the coming spring, for he must know that there is a shortage this year and that unless some imports are forthcoming in the early months of next year, there will be a famine so far as the major portion of the working and industrial classes of the country are concerned. We suggest, therefore, that the urgency is not present. What is urgent is the need for marketing and organisation.
§ With regard to plums and tomatoes and all the other minor things, it was definitely shown yesterday that there is no problem at all. It is a mere excuse for the Minister to say that 27 marketing boards would be required. Is the right hon. Gentleman willing to apply the Amendment to any one of the items mentioned in the Schedule? On his reply to that question we shall determine whether we shall carry the Amendment into the division Lobby or not.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 45; Noes, 377.997
|Division No 25.]||AYES||[6.11 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grundy, Thomas w.||Maxton, James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hicks, Ernest George||Price, Gabriel|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hirst, George Henry||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cape, Thomas||Jenkins, Sir William||Thorne, William James|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Daggar, George||Kirkwood, David||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon, Joseph|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Lansbury, Ht. Hon. George||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Duncan. Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Griffiths, T, (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Cordon Macdonald and Mr. John.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Boyce, H. Leslie||Cook, Thomas A.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Bralthwalte, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E, R.)||Cooke, James D,|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Courtauld, Major John Sewell|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Brass, Captain Sir William||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.|
|Aibery, Irving James||Briant, Frank||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Briscoe, Richard George||Craven-Ellis, William|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (Birk'nh'd,W)||Broadbent, Colonel John||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Crookshank, Col. C.de Windt (Bootle)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.|
|Apsley, Lord||Buchan, John||Cross, R. H.|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Crossley, A. C.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Burghley, Lord||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. B.||Butler, Richard Austen||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Davison, Sir William Henry|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley)||Denman, Hon. R. D.|
|Balniel, Lord||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Dickie, John p.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Donner, P. W.|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Castlereagh, Viscount||Dower, Captain A. V. G.|
|Bateman, A. L.||Castle Stewart, Earl||Drewe, Cedric|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'th,Centr'l)||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Duggan, Hubert John|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Chalmers, John Rutherford||Dunglass, Lord|
|Bernays, Robert||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. SirJ. A.(Birm., W)||Eden, Robert Anthony|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Ednam, Viscount|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Blinded, James||Chotzner, Alfred James||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Christie, James Archibald||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Borodale, Viscount||Clarke, Frank||Elmley, Viscount|
|Bossom, A. C.||Clayton Dr. George C.||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Colville, Major David John||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Conant, R. J. E.||Entwistle, Major Cyril Fullard|
|Eseenhigh, Reginald Clare||Llewellin, Major John J.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Reid, James S. C, (Stirling)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Remer, John R.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.|
|Falle Sir Bertram G.||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Flanagan, W. H.||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Mabane, William||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||McCorquodale, M. S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||McEwen, J. H. F.||Salmon, Major Isidore|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||McKeag, William||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||McKie, John Hamilton||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||McLean, Major Alan||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(Corn'll N.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Graves, Marjorie||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Greaves-Lord. Sir Walter||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Scone, Lord|
|Grimston, R. V.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Magnay, Thomas||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Hales, Harold K.||Marjoribanks, Edward||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Martin, Thomas B.||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hammersley, Samuel S.||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Meller, Richard James||Smithers, Waldron|
|Harbord, Arthur||Mills, Sir Frederick||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Harris, Percy A.||Milne, Charles||Soper, Richard|
|Hartland, George A.||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth,Kennlngt'n)||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Harvey Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Haslam, H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||Mclson, A. Harold Elsdale||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J, T. C.||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Moreing, Adrian C.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E)||Stevenson, James|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Morris, Rhys Hopkin (Cardigan)||Stewart, William J.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Morrison, William Shephard||Stones, James|
|Hillman, Dr. George B.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Storey, Samuel|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Stourton, John J.|
|Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston)||Munro, Patrick||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Nail, Sir Joseph||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hopkinson, Austin||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hornby, Frank||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||North, Captain Edward T.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Howard, Tom Forrest||Nunn, William||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gfn, S.)|
|Hudson, Capt. A.U.M.(Hackney, N.)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Templeton, William P.|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Ormiston, Thomas||Thom, Lieut.-Colonel John Gibb|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Palmer, Francis Noel||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Hurd, Percy A,||Pearson, William G.||Thomas, Major J. B. (King's Norton)|
|Hurst. Sir Gerald B.||Peat, Charles U.||Thompson, Luke|
|Hutchison, Ma).-Gen, Sir R.(Montr'se)||Penny, Sir George||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)||Percy, Lord Eustace||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon Sir W.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas W. H.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Peters. Dr. Sidney John||Titcbfield, Major the Marquess of|
|James, Winn Com. A W. H.||Petherick, M.||Train, John|
|Jackson, Douglas||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bilston)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Pickering, Ernest H.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pike, Cecil F.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Potter, John||Wpllace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Knebworth, Viscount||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Raikes, Hector Victor Alpin||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Leckie, J. A.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ramsbotham, Herswald||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Lees-Jones, John||Ramsden, E.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||White, Henry Graham|
|Levy, Thomas||Rea, Walter Russell||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Wills, Wilfrid D.||Withers, Sir John James||Wragg, Herbert|
|Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff)||Lord Erskine and Mr. Harcourt Johnston.|
|Wise, Alfred R.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
§ Mr. LEONARD
I beg to move, in line 35, to leave out the words "Cherries, currants, gooseberries."
I wish to express my total disagreement with views which have been expressed in almost every speech that has been made from the Government benches as to what should and should not figure in the dietary of the working classes of this country. Only to-day the Minister of Agriculture said that the Government in these proposals were not hitting the food of the poorest of the people. In my opinion, they are hitting part of the food of the poorest of the people. Not only so, but in my opinion in this matter they are hitting at the very people who require those types of food more than any other class of people. If we are to give any weight at all to the views of the medical practitioners of this country, we must pay attention to the reiteration by those gentlemen of the statement that fresh fruit must, in an ever-widening degree, become a part of the common dietary of all the people of this country. Therefore, I feel resentment at the attitude adopted by hon. Members on the benches opposite who seem to infer that these are items of food which ought not to be accepted as items in the dietary of the working classes at all.
We deem that each of the items to which the Amendment refers is necessary for the working people. It is true that the wealthier classes, or those who are reasonably well off, can extend the period of their consumption of these items to a much longer duration than is possible for those who have not the same financial status. That fact is admitted by the fruit-growers themselves. I have here a memorandum of the Scottish Fruit-growers Association in which they state that their efforts are limited by climatic conditions. That is a reasonable statement but it does not constitute a reason why the people who require certain changes in their dietary should not have those changes. We know that it is the case, but I am not prepared to accept it as a reason why these three items should not continue to figure in the dietary of 998 the working-class over as long a period of the year as possible. I notice that in this memorandum prominence is given to a certain definite statement. This is the beginning of their claim:As a beginning we claim that we can supply our home markets with all they require during our growing season,"—They are not quite definite as to the duration of the growing season, as they add—say, from June to September.If they can only supply an essential part of the food of the people from June to September, and if it is possible to extend the period during which the people can receive those essentials of life, I assert that we ought to place no obstacle in the way of the extension of that period. If the well-to-do, the so-called superior people of this country, can extend the period of their consumption of these items from earlier than June until later than September, then, on behalf of the working people, I claim their right to be able to consume these three items of food during the same period.
I wish to refer to Scotland in particular in connection with the production of these fruits. I notice from the details at our disposal that only a 200th part of the available arable land of Scotland is used for this type of production. That statement must be qualified by the addition that that 200th part includes land used for the production of carrots, cabbage, peas, and certain classes of turnips, and out of the 200th part of the available land, which is used for this purpose, only 7,900 acres are producing fruits of this description. That is a very meagre proportion of the activity in this direction to protect, if that protection is going to interfere in any way with the well-being of the people of this country.
Suggestions have been made that it is part of our duty to make a practical contribution as to how we can help those who are engaged in this pursuit, and I notice in this memorandum a suggestion that might he acted upon if protection 999 of the growers is necessary, because the President of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture has made the statement, with regard to the elements that they have to consider in competing with foreign countries, that the freight upon a ton of fruit from the Baltic to London is actually less than half the freight on fruit from Blairgowrie to London. There is an avenue which might be exhausted by those who are asking for protection in a form that would go against the working people of this country. They might also pay some attention to the rents that they are paying to the landowning class of this country. There at least are two avenues that might be pursued by the association that has presented this memorandum to the country, and that might be exhausted before asking us to act in a way that would be detrimental to the working people.
There is another aspect of the matter that would be helpful to them as well. It has been dealt with already and to some extent rejected by the other side, and that is the question of the tremendous waste that takes place in the retail handling of the products that the growers bring into being.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think the hon. Member is really making a speech against the whole Resolution. If he were to confine himself to the particular classes of fruit mentioned in the Amendment, he would be more in order. I might say now that unless there is something very definite that affects this particular kind of fruit, both these Amendments should be discussed at the same time—the one dealing with plums and strawberries with the present Amendment, which deals with cherries, currants, and gooseberries.
§ Mr. LEONARD
I will pay attention to your Ruling, and I will turn to the agricultural statistics for the year 1930, issued by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and dealing with the three items specifically mentioned in this Amendment. I see there no evidence leading me to the conclusion that we should act in the manner suggested by the Government. I notice that the whole crop of cherries in 1930, at 405,000 cwt., was more than 100,000 cwt. larger than in the preceding year, and while this increase was to a great extent counterbalanced by a reduc- 1000 tion—I would emphasise this point—in imports, which fell from 144,000 cwt. to 60,000 cwt., the seasonal average prices showed decreases ranging between 10 and 15 per cent.
But while we must admit, from the figures as they appear, that the reduction in prices has ranged from 10 to 15 per cent., if we go to the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society for the same year, we find that the index figure of prices for the whole of agriculture is 34 per cent. above pre-War. I do not know to what figure this will actually take them with regard to this 15 per cent. reduction, but I suggest that if all agriculture is 34 per cent. above pre-War prices, there are many industries in this country which are in a much worse position than that with regard to price. Take the case of black currants, which, according to this Government report, were estimated to have yielded 260,000 cwt. as against 254,000 cwt. in 1929, and red currants 80,000 cwt. as against 73,000 cwt., while the imports of currants declined by 18,700 cwt. to 123,000 cwt., and the average price again fell as well. I could give other details, but I do not wish to detain the House. I find that, notwithstanding the position taken up by the other side, production is increasing and imports are actually going down.
Then there is another aspect upon which I would like to touch, especially because of the reference made by the President of the Board of Trade, in answer to a supplementary question as to whether a certain thing was not coming into this country to an abnormal extent. His reply was "Yes," but he was also aware that it was a raw material. Now cherries, gooseberries, and currants are also raw materials when considered in conjunction with a new industry that has started in this country and has displayed itself very prominently since 1929. I refer to the fruit preserving industry, the jam-making and canning industry. If raw materials are to be allowed to come in, these three items are definitely raw materials for the canning industry, and they would also help the engineers to get the wages that are necessary with which to buy.
If we went into one of those new industries and recognised the large amount of machinery which is necessary to use up the raw material contained in 1001 these three items, we would think twice about accepting the suggestion to give protection. The machinery that I have in mind is in a very large undertaking not far from here, in Kent, which, by the way, it might please hon. Members opposite to know, is entirely stocked by British machinery, and that machinery could not work unless it had the raw material with which to work. One of the means whereby it can work is the possibility of a spread-over in jam-making activities. Therefore, from the point of view of giving free entry to a raw material, I oppose the Government's proposals with regard to these three items. We are informed from this same place in Kent—and this might be a very potent reason for Conservatives to support the Amendment—that the name of a raspberry which is canned entirely in that factory is the "Lloyd George" raspberry. Therefore, perhaps hon. Members opposite, who would like to see an individual of that name properly canned up and kept out of mischief, might on that ground alone help us with regard to this Amendment.
§ Mr. T. GRIFFITHS
I heard several maiden speeches yesterday, and most of them impressed me with their sincerity. I believe that those who delivered them thought that these proposals on behalf of the agricultural industry were good, that they would assist in reviving the industry and give more employment to the agricultural labourer. My hon. Friend the Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Leonard) has just spoken about the canning industry and various other industries in which these items are considered as raw materials, but I want to point out that the Resolution affects not only the canning industry, but very important heavy industries as well.
I remember taking a trip from Swansea to the Near East in 1924. I was invited by a shipowner to take the trip, and when the boat arrived at Swansea I was told that it would be ready to leave in about 12 hours. I made inquiries and discovered that the boat was loading coal and tinplates that had been produced in the South Wales district, which was very pleasing to me, because I was connected with the steel and tinplate trade. We started on our voyage, and I found myself in Polak, in Greece, and that was a currant-producing part of Greece. I 1002 was very interested to flail out that we were unloading all the coal there and all the tinplates, and that the currants that they were producing there were put into these tinplate boxes and sent back to this country in exchange for the coal and the tinplates.
One of the most damaging speeches against these proposals last night was that by the hon. Member for Southampton (Sir C. Barrie), who asked whether the Minister would consider the effect of them on the shipping industry. Has he considered the effect of these proposals on the coal mining and tinplate industries? I am sure that he has not altered his own economies, and that he still believes that we must have exports to pay for the imports into this country, and that we must have imports to pay for our exports. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will accept that, as I believe that all professors of economics, whether Free Traders or Tariff Reformers, take that as basic. The wages made in the heavy industries in this country are not very satisfactory, but it is the heavy industries that pay the biggest wages to-day, and what the Government are doing is to try to revive an industry that is paying 22s. and 25s. a week and to throw men in these heavy industries out of employment. You will not, therefore, improve employment in this country, but reduce it in the heavy industries. This is a substantial Amendment which the Minister ought to consider in view of the injury that will be done to the tinplate trade and coal mining. These are the most idiotic pronosals ever put before the House. They have never been seriously considered. The Minister ought to understand that for every pound's worth of goods that go from this country, a pound's worth must he imported, and conversely; and if we adopt an insular policy of absolute Protection, we shall have no external trade-whatever. We had an illustration when Black Rod name to the House this after-noon—
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
I was giving it only as an illustration. Black Rod was shut out, but the man who shut him out closed himself in. It is exactly the same as far as imports and exports in international 1003 trade are concerned. By a policy of Protection we shut the importers out and close ourselves in. I will say this, however, that if you nationalise all the means of production, distribution and exchange—[Interruption.]
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I understand that, in addition to this Amendment dealing with cherries, currants and gooseberries, we are also discussing the next Amendment dealing with plums and strawberries.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think that it would be much more convenient if we did. The same argument applies to both Amendments.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I do not see any point in prolonging the agony, and if it is intended to deal with both Amendments in one discussion, we can have two Divisions without a second Debate.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I have listened with interest to what the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment have said, and particularly to the interesting description which the hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. T. Griffiths) gave of his voyage. The hon. Member went into a lengthy argument showing how the tinplate, coal and currant trades between this country and Greece were involved, but he appears to have overlooked the fact that what we are discussing in this Order and under these Amendments, is the volume of fresh fruit that comes into this country; so that everything that he said about currants coming from the East does not apply, because that is obviously a trade in dried currants. What is the desire of hon. Members They wish to cut out these various fresh fruits from the operation of the Orders which the Government propose that Parliament shall approve. The Mover of the Amendment largely talked about these things as the raw material of certain industries. Ought we not, however to direct our attention more than anything else to making use of the raw materials which we have at our own doors, and which we can ourselves produce, and to abstain from buying those raw materials from abroad?
1004 While this may be but a small contribution towards the balance of trade, about which all Members are of necessity gravely anxious, it cannot be disputed that in practically every one of these industries it is raw material—if it is described as such—that can be produced in this country. The only point of difference is that it is not available at such an early period in this country as it is sometimes available abroad. Take the case of cherries. The marketing period for the home bulk crop in this country runs from early July to about the second week in August. The imports from France and Italy, and some from Belgium and Holland, come on to the market before the home crop is marketed in bulk; that is to say, something like two-thirds comes in before our own crops can be marketed. In fact, the price of the imported cherries is higher than the price which the home crop can command. The effect is—and this is one of the reasons why one is impelled to introduce a Measure of this kind—that it takes the cream of the market from those who produce cherries in this country. To some people that may appear a very small matter, but to those concerned in the industry it is a very material matter.
Let us take the case of currants. The season of bulk marketing for the home crop is the second week in July to the end of August. Who will say that we cannot produce first-class currants, black or white, in this country, both in England and in Scotland? Of course we can, and the greater part of the imports from France and Spain, and the smaller proportion from other countries, are marketed again in this case before the bulk of the home crop becomes available. This is no doubt a raw material for canning and jam-making, but if you allow these imports of the foreign fruit to come in, you invite the jam-makers in this country to use it, so that, when our home crop is produced—and good fruit it is—it cannot find a market at all. [An HON. MEMBER: "They use the foreign stuff at a higher price?"] They use it at the time it comes on to the market, and it is a fact that because of that, a large part of the crops which our growers take great care to produce is absolutely unsaleable.
In the ease of gooseberries there is perhaps less urgency, but it is neverthe- 1005 less the case that during recent years a considerable part of the gooseberry crop in this country remained unpicked. Is it to be said that that is either orderly marketing or fair play to the great mass of the people who produce and work upon these crops? In the case of plums, the period of bulk marketing runs from early August to early October. The bulk of the imports from France, Spain and Italy, and some imports from other countries, arrive in May, June and July before the home crop is on the market. The price obtained by imported plums is far higher than that for the home crops. In this way the home grower is again deprived of the cream of the market, and he has every excuse for complaining about that. There are parts of the country where first-class plums can be grown, and one has seen them from time to time left to rot. Neither the public nor the growers get any good from that method of dealing with this question. It is essential that it should be dealt with, and it is in an endeavour to meet it that I am asking for these powers.
Take the case of strawberries. The home crop extends from the middle of June to the end of July. The imports begin in small quantities in April, and it is estimated that rather under two-thirds of the total imports arrive before the home crop is marketed in bulk. This is undoubtedly a prejudice to the home market, and I do not think there will be any public disadvantage by the canning industry and the jam makers having to wait a little longer in order to get from home sources the bulk of the fruit which they require to can or to preserve. That is really the object and aim of the powers which I am asking Parliament to give. All these commodities are fresh perishable fruits. The hon. Member for Pontypool may rest assured that the trade in dried currants is not interfered with in the least. I am constrained to say to the House that while these soft fruits may be the raw material of certain industries, such as the very excellent canning enterprise which we are building up in this country, for Heaven's sake let us use the raw material that we can produce in our own country in preference to that produced elsewhere. If it can be done, it may be a small contribution to the balance of trade.
§ Mr. LEONARD
In view of the right hon. Gentleman's statement about early plums, will he explain how last year the home production of plums increased to double that, of the previous year?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
Every effort is being made by enterprising people to increase their production, and then it is suddenly eaten into by very early imports which come from climates where these fruits can be introduced at an earlier time, though not necessarily better. It is absolutely detrimental to those people who are putting their capital and their energy into this enterprise. Let us, therefore, try to build up an enterprise which can employ in a healthy occupation a great number of our own people. This is a contribution to an industry which deserves more from this House than it has had in the past.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I must express my disappointment at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and I would like to ask him some specific questions about these articles. Strawberries have been referred to, and it is suggested that the imports are likely to take the cream from the market. Will he reply to this simple and straightforward question? The production in this country, added to the imports, of strawberries for 1930 was approximately 50 per cent. of the normal quantity of strawberries available to the consumer in this country. Will he tell us why, with a declining import and a constantly falling home production, he still wants to impose those duties on strawberries? He also talked about the imported strawberries taking the cream of the market. How can that be the ease when the price of strawberries in 1930 was double the price in 1913, and in 1929 was almost one and a-half times, while similar conditions prevailed in 1928 and 1927. In no ease since the War has the price of strawberries fallen below 100 per cent. increase over pre-war prices. Surely there has been no taking the cream of the market in regard to strawberries. Is it really the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to increase the production of strawberries in this country If so, will he tell us why the production for the past eight or nine years has fallen to 50 per cent. of the normal production? Here is a commodity in great demand for several months in the year 1007 of which there is no supply comparable with the supply a few years ago.
As to gooseberries, on which the right hon. Gentleman laid such emphasis, it seems curious that, while we produced in this country approximately 600,000 cwt. of gooseberries and imported last year about 16,000 cwt., the right hon. Gentleman should seriously suggest that half of the 600,000 cwt, produced here was left unplucked because somebody imported 16,000 cwt. The right hon. Gentleman should get something more solid on which to base his arguments if he expects the House to take him seriously. Similarly with cherries, the imports have been constantly declining in the past six years. In that case with declining imports there has been a slight increase in home production. Where, then, is the need for imposing a duty on cherries? The cherries produced in this country are largely grown in the South, and only imported cherries reach the people in the North. If you keep out these imported cherries, the population of the North will probably get no cherries at all, and they will have to thank the right hon. Gentleman in the future it they are deprived of cherries in the summer months.
The same arguments apply to the other fruit. In the case of plums the output last year was considerable, and the prices fell to one-half, not because of imported plums, but because of nature's bounty and of lack of organisation. Imposing a duty on imported plums is not going to be a useful step towards securing a favourable balance of trade, towards balancing our Budget or towards helping our fruit growers. The suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that imports are robbing the home producers of the results of their energy is entirely wrong in principle. We see no justification for these duties and, in view of the very thin explanation which the right hon. Gentleman has given, I have no alternative but to recommend the Members of the Opposition to go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment.
§ Major MILNER
I should like to draw the attention of the House to another aspect of this question. I have just been looking at one of the excellent pamphlets of the Empire Marketing Board dealing with strawberries in particular. It says: 1008Imports of fresh strawberries are much smaller than imports of strawberry pulp. Particulars show that imports of strawberry pulp from the Netherlands alone amount to an average of 148,000 cwt. annually, and in 1930 totalled 152,000 cwt. Those are gross weights, and the actual quantity of pulp is rather less. There are also imports of pulp from other sources, France, Belgium and Russia, although not comparable with the imports from Holland.The statistics of the imports of fresh strawberries into the United Kingdom show that in the whole of 1930 only 67,680 cwt. were imported so that, comparing the figures of fresh strawberries and pulped strawberries, over double the quantity of pulped strawberries was imported into this country as compared with fresh strawberries. Does not that indicate how absurd, illogical and ill-considered these proposals are? Fresh strawberries are much better for the population of these islands than pulped strawberries, but they are going to be prohibited by the right hon. Gentleman or permitted to come in at a very excessive price, while pulped strawberries will come in free, without any obstruction or objection. The obvious result of these measures in the case of strawberries—and no doubt this applies equally to other commodities—will be to prevent those who have hitherto imported fresh strawberries from doing so, so that the fresh strawberries will be turned into pulped strawberries abroad and imported with chemicals and other preservatives for the population of these islands to eat.
All these fruits, particularly those mentioned in this Amendment, ought to be taken out of the Resolution. It is absurd to prohibit the importation of fresh strawberries and to allow pulped strawberries, with all sorts of preservatives, some of a most objectionable character, to be imported free, particularly when in the past the quantity of pulped fruit imported has exceeded the imports of fresh fruit. These facts indicate how ill-considered these proposals have been. Instead of having that impartial and lengthy inquiry which we were promised during the General Election, the right hon. Gentleman tells us that the day after the election he instructed his officials to take out these figures, and no doubt he has since been engaged in prevailing on some of his colleagues to allow him to bring this Resolution forward. No doubt others of 1009 his colleagues would have agreed to these measures the day after the election. I would like an explanation from him as to why he is going to deprive the population of this country of fresh fruit, and still to allow pulped fruit, with all these mixtures, to come in free?
I must confess that I am grateful to the hon. and gallant Gentleman for drawing the attention of the House to the large imports of pulped fruits, although I do not draw the same conclusion. The proper conclusion to be drawn from his figures is that pulped fruit, in addition to fresh fruit, should have a duty put upon it. I see he agrees with me.
I hope that I may be allowed to express the hope. I would like to comment on the arguments of the Mover of this Amendment that the working people are so desirous of getting these early fruits to the detriment of the growers. I would like to question that view, and to ask hon. Members opposite if they are certain that the working people of this country are so indifferent to the fate of their fellows labouring on the land, even though in these particular instances it may not involve a very large number of working people—
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The hon. Gentleman must not forget that we have been putting the point from the very commencement that these duties are not calculated to help the farmer or fruit-grower. All that they can do is to inflict an injury on the great mass of the community.
The Minister of Agriculture completely answered that argument in his speech just now. He has shown that these imports do take off the cream of the market, and inflict very serious injury on the fruit-growers of this country. I would remind hon. Members opposite that a great number of the fruit-growers of this country are smallholders, in many cases ex-service men, and that in recent years numbers of them have been brought to great poverty and distress through being unable to market 1010 their goods on account of foreign competition. Therefore, I heartily oppose this Amendment.
§ Mr. C. DUNCAN
Everybody is familiar with the modern slogan "Eat more fruit," and it seems strange that when the people of this country are increasing their consumption of fresh fruit, just when the retailers of fruit have got them to the pitch of perfection in this matter, the Minister of Agriculture should come forward with a proposal to tax fruit. It is a most foolish proposal. The greater use of fruit is producing a better standard of health among our people, and I should have thought its sale would have been encouraged. Anybody walking along the streets must have noted in the fruiterers' shops the tempting selection of fruits from all the ends of the earth—hundreds of thousands of cases of apples, and other kinds of fruit. And yet we are now considering a proposal to put a tax on fruit, to put an end to fruit eating in this country. The hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Haslam) has been pointing out what he regards as the great hardships suffered by the people who grow fruit here and find, when they come to put it on to the market, that there is a glut, and that they do not get that return for their labour which he thinks they ought to have. I am inclined to think he is barking up the wrong tree. After all, fruit is grown in other countries, and a very large quantity of it is sent here in tins and bottles. It is only within recent years that the canning and bottling of fruit has started in this country, and I take the view that every difficulty put in the way of fruit coming into this country will hamper the bottling and canning industry, which is being developed here at so rapid a rate. This new development is worth encouragement, rather than discouragement. After all, the complaint made is that in the season, when so much fruit is thrust upon the market, the demand of the consumers is not sufficient to absorb the whole of it.
§ Mr. DUNCAN
Of course it can, but does not the hon. Member see that he will not help the canning and bottling industry if he limits the quantity of fruit available to it by interposing difficulties in the way of it getting fruit from 1011 abroad to assist it in getting on with its business with all speed? It is important that there should be a still greater development of the bottling and canning industry, because that would enable these gluts of fruit to be dealt with, and ensure the producers getting such a price for it as would justify them increasing their production in years to come. I feel there are wonderful possibilities before this new industry, but that here we are taking a step which is likely to strangle its development. Under the old methods, when there was a, glut of fruit the people who sent it to market found that on occasions it did not realise sufficient money to cover its carriage to Covent Garden. Here we are developing a new system of dealing with the fruit which opens out prospects such as have not before been seen in this country.
When you are dealing with machinery, the quantity of stuff really does not matter. It is like the introduction of the machine-gun into warfare. When each soldier had only his rifle he could fire only one shot at a time, but with a machine-gun he can fire 100 more shots a minute. Therefore, from the mechanical standpoint, we ought not to stand in the way of fruit coming into this country. It would be far wiser to develop our resources for using gluts of fruit in the canning and bottling industry. One learns from the newspapers that bottled strawberries from this country are finding a ready market in America. Hon. Members can see in that the turn of the tide. Instead of this country receiving so much
§ bottled and canned fruit from America, why should not we send them some of ours? The industry is developing here at a rapid rate—by millions of cans and bottles a year—and we should put no difficulty in the way of it securing fruit.
§ If the people in other countries are not as wide awake as we are, and send their raw fruit here instead of canning and bottling it at home, why should we prevent our people from canning and bottling it? Those engaged in the canning and bottling industry have shown great wisdom and foresight, and I should have thought everybody would wish to help this new development instead of putting any obstacles in its way. Their products are finding great acceptance, and I am sure they must be realising good prices. We ought to take advantage of the possibilities of developing this trade on mechanical lines, and get away from the old method of plunging all our fruit on to the market at one time, which resulted in our seeing wheelbarrow loads of strawberries or plums being hawked about the streets of London at prices which meant practically giving the stuff away. If the fruit were available for bottling and canning, growers would have a sure market for all they could produce. The possibilities of development are infinite.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 349; Noes, 43.1015
|Division No. 26.]||AYES.||[7.25 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Burghley, Lord|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Bernays, Robert||Butt, Sir Alfred|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (Birk'nh'd.W)||Sevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Castle Stewart, Earl|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Blindell, James||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Borodale, Viscount||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Bossom, A. C.||Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.SIr J.A.(Birm.,W.)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Boulton, W. W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. B.||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Boyce, H. Leslie||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bracken, Brendan||Chotzner, Alfred James|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Clarke, Frank|
|Balniel, Lord||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Brass, Captain Sir William||Clayton Dr. George C.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Briant, Frank||Colfox, Major William Philip|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Broadbent, Colonel John||Colville, Major David John|
|Bateman, A. L.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Conant, R. J. E.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Brown,Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Cook, Thomas A.|
|Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'tn,Centr'l)||Buchan, John||Cooke, James D.|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Penny, Sir George|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Jamieson, Douglas||Perkins, Waiter R. D.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Jennings, Roland||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Crass, R. H.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Petherick, M.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bilston)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Pike, Cecil F.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Potter, John|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kirkpatrick, William M.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Dickle, John P,||Knebworth, Viscount||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Donner, P. W.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Ralkes, Hector Victor Alpin|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Ramsbotham, Herswald|
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ramsden, E.|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Leckie, J. A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Dunglass, Lord||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Lees-Jones, John||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Ednam, Viscount||Levy, Thomas||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Liddall, Walter S.||Renter, John R.|
|Ellis, Robert Geoffrey||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Rothschild, James L. de|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Falle Sir Bertram G.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Russell. Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Flanagan, W. H.||Mabane, William||Russell,Hamer Field (Sheffield,B'tside)|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Salmon, Major Isidore|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworlh, Putney)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||McEwen, J. H. F.||Sanderson, sir Frank Barnard|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||McKeag, William||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McKie. John Hamilton||Scone, Lord|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Selley, Harry R.|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||McLean, Major Alan||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Corn'll N.)||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Graves, Marjorie||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Magnay, Thomas||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Smith, Sir Jonah W, (Barrow-In-F.)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Marjorlbanks, Edward||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Martin, Thomas B.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hales, Harold K.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Half, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Millar, James Duncan||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L,|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Mills, Sir Frederick||Spencer. Captain Richard A.|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Milne, Charles||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Harbord, Arthur||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Steel-Maitland. Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hartland, George A.||Molson, A. Harold Elsdale||Stevenson, James|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Moreing, Adrian C.||Stones, James|
|Haslam, H. c (Lindsay. Horncastle)||Morgan, Robert H.||Storey, Samuel|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Stourton, John J.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Morrison, William Shephard||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd,Henley)||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Munro, Patrick||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Hillman, Dr. George B.||Nail, Sir Joseph||Taylor,Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Templeton, William P.|
|Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Thomas, Major J. B. (King's Norton)|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Thompson, Luke|
|Hore-Bellsha, Lesile||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Hornby, Frank||North, Captain Edward T.||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Nunn, William||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Train, John|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Ormiston, Thomas||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Palmer, Francis Noel||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford)||Pearson, William G.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas W. H.||Peat, Charles U.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)||Wood. Major M. McKenzie (Banff)|
|Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.||Wills, Wilfrid D.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Wilson, Clyde T, (West Toxteth)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Watt, Captain George Steven H.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Wayland, Sir William A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-||Wise, Alfred R.||Mr. Shakespeare and Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward.|
|Wells, Sydney Richard||Withers, Sir John James|
|Weymouth, Viscount||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hicks, Ernest George||Price, Gabriel|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hirst, George Henry||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Buchanan, George||Jenkins, Sir William||Thorne, William James|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Daggar, George||Kirkwood, David||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Leonard, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr.|
|Grundy, Thomas W,||Maxton, James||Gordon Macdonald.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."
§ The House divided Ayes, 345; Noes, 43.1019
|Division No. 27.]||AYES.||[7.38 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds.W.)||Brown,Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Burghley, Lord||Dunglass, Lord|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (Birk'nh'd.W)||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Eden, Robert Anthony|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Butler, Richard Austen||Ednam, Viscount|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Butt, Sir Alfred||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Elmley, Viscount|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Castlereagh, Viscount||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Castle Stewart, Earl||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Balley, Eric Alfred George||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Entwistle, Major Cyril Fullard|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. B.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Balnief, Lord||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Falle Sir Bertram G.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Flanagan, W. H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Chotzner, Alfred James||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Clarke, Frank||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)|
|Bateman, A. L.||Clarry, Reginald George||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Clayton Dr. George C.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'th,Centr'l)||Colfox, Major William Philip||Fuller, Captain A. E. G.|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Colville, Major David John||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Conant, R. J. E.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Bennett, Cant. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Cook, Thomas A.||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Bernays, Robert||Cooke, James D.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Cranborne, Viscount||Gledhill, Gilbert|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Craven-Ellis, William||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Blinded, James||Cross, R. H.||Grattan-Doyle. Sir Nicholas|
|Borodale, Viscount||Crossley, A. C.||Graves, Marjorle|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Boulton, W. W.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Mlddlesbro'.W.)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Grimston, R. V.|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E.R.)||Davison, Sir William Henry||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Briant, Frank||Dickle, John P.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Donner, P. W.||Hales, Harold K.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Drewe, Cedric||Halt, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Salmon, Major Isidore|
|Harbord, Arthur||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Magnay, Thomas||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Hartland, George A.||Manningham-buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Haslam H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||Marjoribanks, Edward||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Scone, Lord|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Martin, Thomas B.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxl'd, Henley)||Millar, James Duncan||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Mills, Sir Frederick||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Milne, Charles||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston)||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Molson, A. Harold Elsdale||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Hornby, Frank||Moreing, Adrian C.||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-In-F.)|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Morgan, Robert H.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)||Morrison, William Shephard||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Moss, Captain H. J.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Munro, Patrick||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas W. H.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|James, Wing Com. A. W. H.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Stevenson, James|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Stones, James|
|Jennings, Roland||North, Captain Edward T.||Storey, Samuel|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Nunn, William||Stourton, John J.|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Ormiston, Thomas||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Taylor,Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n,S.)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Pearson, William G.||Templeton, William P.|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Peat, Charles U.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Penny, Sir George||Thomas, Major J. B. (King's Norton)|
|Knebworth, Viscount||Percy, Lord Eustace||Thompson, Luke|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Petherick, M.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bliston)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Pickering, Ernest H.||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Leckle, J. A.||Pickford, Hon, Mary Ada||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Pike, Cecil F.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Lees-Jones, John||Potter, John||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Levy, Thomas||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Ralkes, Hector Victor Alpin||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Ramsay, Capt, A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Ramsbotham, Herswald||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Ramsden, E.||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Rawson. Sir Cooper||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Rea, Walter Russell||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Mabane, William||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Whiteside, Borras Noel K.|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Remer, John R.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Ross, Ronald D.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|McEwen, J. H. F.||Rothschild, James L. de||Wise, Alfred R.|
|McKeag, William||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Withers, Sir John James|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wood, Major M. McKenzle (Banff)|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Runge, Norah Cecil||Wragg, Herbert|
|McLean, Major Alan||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Corn'll N.)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Shakespeare and Lord Erskine.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hicks, Ernest George|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Hirst. George Henry|
|Buchanan, George||Edwards, Charles||Jenkins, Sir William|
|Cape, Thomas||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||John, William|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Griffiths. T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Grundy, Thomas W.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Daggar, George||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Kirkwood, David|
|Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Owen, Major Goronwy||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Lawson, John James||Price, Gabriel||Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)|
|Leonard, William||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Logan, David Gilbert||Thorne, William James|
|Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David||Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr. Gordon Macdonald.|
|Maxton, James||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Milner, Major James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I beg to move, to leave out lines 36 to 38.
This Amendment would delete from the Resolution all the words relating to fresh vegetables, and I desire to show to the House as clearly as I can which of the articles included in this list may be regarded as luxury vegetables, and which of them, on the other hand, may be regarded as vegetables in ordinary use in the households of this land. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman has been fair to the House since he introduced this Resolution. I put to him one or two specific technical questions last evening, and he never said a single word in reply to them. Indeed, I thought once that it was a little discourteous on his part, and I trust that this evening, before I sit down, he will be good enough to do me the honour of taking some notice of what I have said. I know that one cannot expect very much from a Government of this kind, but I think we ought at any rate to receive answers to specific questions which arise on this Resolution.
The first complaint that we have to make in this connection is that the House is in a grave difficulty in dealing with this problem of fresh vegetables, because, in the official Trade and Navigation Accounts of the United Kingdom, some of these items are not specified at, all, and, consequently, we are at a disadvantage to start with. The questions that I am going to put to the right hon. Gentleman are very specific. In the first place, I would like to know how many hundredweights of asparagus come to this country in a year. That is a very proper question to ask, because, before we levy a duty upon an article of this kind, or prohibit its coining in, we ought to know definitely what is the quantity that we are going to prohibit. We have that information with regard to potatoes and tomatoes, but I should like to go through the list, and, if the right hon. Gentleman will only answer my questions tonight, I shall be a very happy man indeed. I am not going to insult him by 1020 saying that he cannot answer them, but I must say that he behaved last evening, in dealing with the Debate in Committee, as though he knew very little about the subject.
Let me ask him if he can give to the House the quantities separately imported into this country of asparagus, green beans, broccoli and cauliflowers, carrots—we had a few of the latter at the General Election, but the quantity was not measurable even then—chicory, cucumbers, endive, lettuce, mushrooms, green peas and turnips. As I have said, I have been able to find, in the official document which shows the imports and exports into and from this country, the total quantities of tomatoes and potatoes imported, but I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman, as a highly educated Scotsman and, I understand, a very intelligent farmer, the quantity of turnips that comes into this country in a year. That is too a very proper question to ask in the Mother of Parliaments. Let me repeat it. This is the oldest democratic assembly in the world, the centre of the mightiest Empire the world has ever seen, and we have to ask the right hon. Gentleman in this assembly to-night bow many turnips arrive at our ports in 12 months? In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has brought these details and trivialities before the Mother of Parliaments. I think that that is a very proper question, and that I am quite in order in asking it. I would not dare to ask him how many green peas arrive here, but I think it is quite proper to ask what is the quantity in pounds, or hundredweights, or tons, as the case may he. I see that the right hon. Gentleman is taking notice of me now, and perhaps he will therefore deal with me a little more gently than he did last evening.
There is another document which is very nearly as official as the one which I have already mentioned, a Government document issued by the Board of Trade. I have recently come across this other document, which is semi-official, namely, 1021 the Report of the chamber of Agriculture, and the chamber of Agriculture in this country is in effect the Tory party. I cannot see the name of a single Liberal on its committee, or even of any of the fifty-fifty Liberals, of whom there are many about us just now. With regard to potatoes and tomatoes the Report of the chamber of Agriculture is very clear. It declares that the outstanding feature of the potato situation is the fact that this Country is normally capable of producing more than all its requirements in respect of main-crop potatoes. That is news to me, but it is the statement of the Tory party. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery) is chairman of the committee that issued this report, and he knows everything about it, or, apparently, he affects to know. The first thing, therefore, that we ought to ask the right hon. Gentleman is this: If we prohibit early potatoes from coming into this country, is it conceivable at any time that the producers in our own land will satisfy the requirements of our people in that respect?
There is another thing that, I should like to know. The list with which we are dealing coincides very nearly with the Report of the chamber of Agriculture, otherwise the Farmers' Union, otherwise the Tory party. They go much beyond asparagus, and I would like to hear from the right hon. Gentleman why artichokes are not included in the list. That again, I think, is a very proper question. If we are going to be whole-hoggers in this tariff business, we ought to know why the list which is presented to us to-night does not coincide in every minute detail with the list issued by those people who have been urging the Government to impose tariffs on every commodity that comes into this country. That official list includes asparagus, cabbages, cauliflowers, fresh cucumbers, lettuces, fresh peas, and beans. It is, in effect, as I have said, a Tory list, and, as I have said many times from public platforms, this Government is a Tory Government and not a National Government. Everyone inside the Government who affects to call himself a Liberal, either of the left or of the right wing, in fact now belongs to the Tory party. Let me carry the examination of this proposal a 1022 stage further. I have taken the trouble to look up the figures relating to fruits, and, although I should not be in order if I dwelt unduly on that aspect of the question, I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman this: There is an item in the Trade and Navigation Returns called:Raw vegetables of other descriptions;I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the items in his list, other than potatoes and tomatoes, come under that lump sum in the Trade and Navigation Returns.
We are informed that this Resolution is deliberately designed to protect the home grower by preventing the import from foreign countries of vegetables that can be produced in our own land. I have been in touch with some experts on this matter, and the right hon. Gentleman will pardon me if I tell him what the expert—the merchant—says about it. He says that the quantity of green beans imported into this country is infinitesimal—it is too small, in fact, even for a National Government to take notice of, and that is saying a great deal. Again, take mushrooms. As I said last night, this is a mushroom Government. It was born in the darkness, and, when the light of day shines brightly upon it, it will disappear like toadstools. That is the sort of Government that we have in this country at the moment. Let me pursue the point with regard to mushrooms. I am trying to find out what quantities of these commodities are imported into this country, because if none of these commodities are imported, why put on a prohibitive duty against them? Let me tell the right hon. Gentleman what happens in Manchester, where I live. People say it rains more in Manchester than elsewhere. It does not. It takes longer to come down, that is all. Manchester is the second largest distributing centre of fresh fruit and vegetables in the country. I have done very well so far in securing the right hon. Gentleman's attention. I should imagine, from the consultations that are going on behind him now, that he will answer some of the questions which I am putting to him. Not more than 1,000 lbs. weight of mushrooms were sold in the whole of the Manchester area last, week Covering a 1023 population of about 15,000,000 in this distributing centre, and here we have the National Government prohibiting the humble mushroom from Coming into the country. If they will do that to the mushroom, what will they do to the turnip?
I am informed authoritatively that we could not produce our own requirements in cauliflowers in any circumstances whatever. I do not want to appear Conceited about this matter. I have travelled in 12 foreign countries in the last few years, and I have been in one country where they cannot grow cabbages or cauliflowers or any fruit or vegetables of any kind whatever. That is Iceland, where all the depressions Come from. In this country, we can grow some cauliflowers, but we cannot possibly grow enough to provide the whole of the requirements of the community. If the right hon. Gentleman goes to the Riviera in the winter, to Italy, or Spain or France, he will find that nature excels and that certain of these articles can be produced better and cheaper and earlier than the climatic conditions of this country will ever allow. The Government in this Motion is practically spitting in the face of Nature herself. The blessings of Nature can come from Spain and France and Italy, and the National Government say in effect: We will not have them.
I think my arguments are very powerful, because they do not come from me at all but from people who are well informed on the subject. I have looked in the concise oxford Dictionary for the meaning of "endive" and I think it would he worth while for the right hon. Gentleman, who I undestand has been highly trained and well educated, to tell us what is endive. Until I saw it on this list I had never heard of it in my life. It is not in our working-class vocabulary at all, and I am not so sure that my hon. Friends around me are any more enlightened on the matter than I am and, for their edification, I had better read what it is. Endive is a "Species of chicory, with curled leaves, used as salad for the rich."
I think I have now put a few very pertinent questions to the right hon. Gentleman, but I must really put a few more for my own information. The list that we 1024 have here is, apart from potatoes and tomatoes, infinitesimal so far as imports are concerned. But I must turn to the turnip. What on earth has the turnip done to offend the National Government? How many turnips come to this country, to start with? As an old farm labourer, I am entitled to ask if this turnip is a white or a red or a yellow one. The right hon. Gentleman, being a farmer, will be able to reply, and be will, I am certain, reply very much more intelligently than he did last evening. I have ventured to give him one or two points which may enlighten his own Department. Government Departments can sometimes be enlightened by laymen like ourselves.
An hon. Member opposite was very eloquent last evening about the land. He is one of those who are always pressing the Government to do more. I suppose, if he had his way, artichokes would be taxed. I feel sure he ought to get up tonight on behalf of his constituency and deliver another eloquent oration in favour of the inclusion of artichokes. There must be something radically wrong with a National Government that does not include that article in this Motion.
I am informed—I make all these qualifications to show how ignorant I am on the subject, and I think the right hon. Gentleman falls almost in the same category. He only tells us what he is informed. The difference between him and myself is that I tell the House all that I am informed about, and he does not. I hope I shall induce him by these very provocative remarks to deal with this important point. I am informed too that some of our inerc1ants actually finance the foreigner to grow these vegetables in order to send them to this Country. Has the right hon. Gentleman any information about that? Some of the merchants in Covent Garden, Leeds and Manchester, who handle these commodities, may actually finance the potato growers in France, Spain and elsewhere, and the growers of these other commodities in foreign countries. If that is true, where is their patriotism to send to foreign countries finance to grow the very commodities that they say ought to be grown here I None of these people who send finance abroad are members of the Labour party, I am sure. We are not very rich either in numbers or otherwise.
1025 I put a question to the right hon. Gentleman last night, and I wonder whether he will condescend to reply to it if I put it again. I asked him how his Department was going to impose duties on goods that were consigned to this Country. Some hon. Members will know what the word "consignment" means. A merchant in covent Garden, or in Smithfield Market, Manchester, will arrange for goods to Come from France or Spain without an agreement as to price at all. They simply come, and, when they are sold, the merchant who buys them pays the foreign producer the amount that he has received on sale in this country, minus the expenses and his own profit. If the merchant cannot find out the amount that he receives until the commodities are actually sold, how is it possible to impose a duty at the port? I should imagine it is an impossibility.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)
I think the question the hon. Member is now putting would be more appropriate to the Question, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Mr. DAVIES
I have clone very well up to now without being called to order, and I submit to your Ruling at once. We have dealt in. a previous Amendment with fresh fruits, and I am dealing now with fresh vegetables. We never got this point cleared up last night, and I will put it once again. The consumption of fruit and vegetables since 1910 has shown a remarkable growth. All that we have in these returns is a statement as to the quantity of imports. We have never been able to get, from any official document that I have seen, what is the total consumption of home-grown vegetables and fruit. This is what I find. The total imports of vegetables for 11 months in 1910 were about 7,500,000 cwts., potatoes:3,750,000 cwts. or thereabouts, and tomatoes a little over 1,000,000 cwts. For the 10 months of 1931 vegetables including tomatoes were nearly 10,000,000 cwts., and potatoes 12,000,000 cwts.
That is hardly sufficient for my purpose, because I want to give some details as to the total Consumption apart from imports on the first point that I am going to make, I feel sure that this argument will appeal to the right hon. Gentleman, 1026 because the words "Scottish crop" come in my memorandum. He is always very keen about Scotland. I do not know whether he has an international mind yet, but we may get an answer from him to-night which will show that he has left the Scottish idea of things and will listen to some of us who represent England in this House. The Scottish crop in 1930 was 860,000 tons, and the average is 976,400 tons. The normal Consumption of potatoes in England and Wales is a little over 3,000,000 tons and in Scotland 976,000 tons, and the imports are 373,000 tons. I should like to know if anyone can find out whether the Scottish people eat more potatoes pro rata to the population than we do. I do not like to put that to the right hon. Gentleman, but it would be very interesting to know.
I think I have said enough to prove that we are entitled to challenge what the right hon. Gentleman is doing, especially in relation to fresh fruit and vegetables. Suppose that the argument held good, that we ought to impose a duty on fresh fruit and cut flowers, the right hon. Gentleman seriously cannot get away with the argument that some of the vegetables are luxuries. I think that we have proved conclusively that tomatoes, at any rate, cannot be regarded as luxuries any more. There were hon. Gentlemen behind me last night who said that English tomatoes had never been sold at any time in some of the poor quarters of London. If foreign tomatoes are prohibited, as is the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, the English crop of tomatoes will be too costly, and the poor people of this country will never be able to buy tomatoes at all.
§ Mr. DAVIES
Grow more at about twice the price, I suppose. It. is no use the hon. and gallant Gentleman arguing with those of us who belong to the working class of this Country that all we need do is to grow more tomatoes. The English grower will still charge 9d. or 10d. a lb., whereas the Dutch tomatoes are sold for 4d. or 5d. a lb. What is the use therefore of arguing that we are not precluding the working classes from getting cheap tomatoes? The hon. and gallant Gentleman knows full well that whenever a duty or a tariff of this kind 1027 is imposed in any country in the world not only is the price of the commodity raised, but it is the intention of the people who impose the tariff to increase prices. That is already understood. I said last night that I saw the late Lord Melchett cross the Floor of the House of commons from the Liberal party to the Tory party and heard him say that he was disgusted with his colleagues in the Tory party when they said that tariffs did not raise prices. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about motor cars?"] I should not be allowed to deal with motor cars, otherwise, I would be prepared to deal with that matter also. I have not a car myself, but, if I had one, it would be a British car. I should not be like some so-called patriots who buy foreign cars, and then shout "Buy British."
I do not wish to dwell too long upon this subject, as I think that I have explained myself fairly fully on the matter. I conclude by saying that we are not going to allow the Government to use the argument that these commodities are luxury commodities. It is the deliberate intention of the Tory party which controls the National Government, to tax the food of the people, and if any members of the Liberal party, or the Labour party, so-called, in that Government dare challenge the Tory party policy on tariffs I know what will happen to them. Somebody shouted across the Floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, "Get on or get out!" and that is the spirit of the Tory party already towards every member of the Liberal party or the so-called Labour party in the Government at the moment. I shall be astonished if 12 months hence any but members of the Tory party are left in the Government. They will clear out the lot unless the Liberals, so-called, who are in the National Government at the moment become Tory in the meantime. They are of course getting on very nicely towards Toryism. The President of the Board of Trade has astonished all his friends, particularly his NonCOnformist friends, at the pace he travels towards political destruction and Toryism, which mean the same thing as far as we are Concerned.
I am very pleased to have been able to move the Amendment, and I am hopeful 1028 that the right hon. Gentleman may see his way clear, as soon as I sit down, to do me and the party to which I belong the honour of giving as replies to these questions I have put. I can never believe that he is not sufficiently well-informed to be able to do so. His speech last night was a masterpiece of saying a lot and meaning nothing. I do not know whether he will reply in the same strain to-night. Any way, I leave the Amendment to the right hon. Gentleman, and I trust that we on these benches have made it perfectly clear to the people of this country who voted for the party opposite that what we said at the General Election has come true quicker than we ever thought possible, namely, that the Government deliberately and designedly, in spite of their promises not to do so, intend to tax the food of the people, and that this is the first instalment of that policy.
§ Mr. C. DUNCAN
I beg to second the Amendment.
The points covered in the Amendment are very interesting, and I would not have got up to speak on the subject—especially as last night one or two of the Noble Lords opposite seemed to think that they were the only persons who understood these matters—but for the fact that, although I am not an agriculturist in the remotest sense of the word—I am a trained engineer and a member of the Engineers' Union—a few years ago I had control of 10 acres of land six miles from here. We were asked to allow the land and the building upon it to be given over to the Government to be used during the War as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Part of the 10 acres was turned into a vegetable garden for the production of the very things which are mentioned here. A house of timber was built upon it, and a Frenchman and his wife were put in charge.
There can be no doubt that there are wonderful possibilities in this country for the production of the vegetables mentioned here. I watched the processes of this garden for a period of three years, and in one year, on about three acres of land, they made a profit of £350. That, of course, was during the War when prices were very high and you could get is. 6d. for a cucumber. This is a very simple fact which indicates the possibilities there are in the growing of 1029 these vegetables, especially under the French system. It is ridiculous to suggest that either the ordinary man on a small allotment or a farmer will have anything like a chance of producing these vegetables on the same plan as they are produced in other countries. For instance, in the garden over which I had some control a very large amount of vegetables were produced under little glass cloches. The garden was almost like a lake in the sun because of the glass cloches which covered it. In other parts of the garden were glass frames, and the whole of the garden was covered with a network of pipes for supplying water, so that at any moment of the day the plants could be watered and attended to. It was obvious to anybody, even to those who like myself did not pretend to know anything about gardening, that a very large sum of money had to be spent, not only in the provision of water pipes and a water supply, but on glass cloches to cover the products when it was cold at night. There could be no doubt that there were wonderful possibilities along those lines. By this method they have grown as many as four crops one after the other in some of the little cloches.
I would not like to say what amount of capital was expended on those three acres of land, but it was far beyond what the ordinary farmer or smallholder would be able to provide. Besides, there can be no doubt that the people engaged in that kind of production could not confine their work to the ordinary hours worked by an agricultural labourer. If the Act of Parliament governing wages and hours of labour were applied to these people, they would break it every day. If there were a form of slavery in the world, I think that that form of slavery would be the kind of market gardening I saw on this piece of land over which I had some control. The man and his wife and children worked all the hours of the day and even got up during the night, if it came on Cold, to cover up some of the, cloches with covers which they had for the purpose.
To make this kind of cultivation a success is, obviously, beyond the ordinary agricultural style of production in this Country. It is not like growing a field of turnips or cabbages. It has to be run on a specialised plan, where large capital is employed, a special water 1030 supply laid on, with special water pipes, and the highest possible quality of skilled labour used. There is a wonderful opportunity in this Country, provided that the capital and the kind of skill necessary are forthcoming. I believe that the system is still in operation successfully in this country. I believe that the man who worked on the piece of land to which I have referred is now operating somewhere near Brighton, for the same people, but instead of three acres of land he is handling eight acres. If the same methods were employed by the same type of labour and with the same expenditure of capital, the same results could be produced in this country? as in France. What is to stop people from going on with that in this Country? Avenues of production are opening out. A change is taking place in agriculture, as in every other industry, but, if hon. Members think that by the imposition of taxes they are going to bring about any great change in the habits of the people, they are greatly mistaken.
There is no magic about this business. It is essential that the requisite kind of skill should be employed and the amount of capital necessary to deal with the land should be available. The soil of the three acres in question was the most valuable soil to be found anywhere within 50 miles of London. An extraordinary supply of manure was kept, and when the garden was given up the whole of the soil was removed to the new place that had been taken. That shows that the kind of vegetables that are imported into this country can be produced here, but there has been very little, if any, development along those lines. The possibilities are there, but it means a kind of skill in the method of cultivation and an employment of capital which are far beyond what is ordinarily used in farming or smallholdings. These schemes have been tried in this country and are now in operation in the vicinity of Brighton, and there is nothing to prevent people who desire to go in for this method of cultivation from producing these early vegetables, just as they do in France or anywhere else—such as carrots, turnips, lettuce, cauliflower, etc.
Putting a tax on these things will not give the people who are to cultivate the 1031 land the necessary degree of intelligence. It is essential, first, that they should have the capital to lay down the necessary plant, in order to produce the vegetables and to get the pick of the market. It was done within six miles of this House during the War, and there was no Protection for it. This particular gardener was first in the market at covent Garden. I am surprised that there are people in this Country who seem to imagine that you must pass some Act of Parliament in order to give some section of the community some special advantage to induce them to do what is already being done successfully and at a very high rate of profit in this country. The matter is really one for initiative and the employment of a greater amount of capital on a given area of land than ordinarily applies. Taxing these commodities will not give the people the plan and the method to be employed. This method of cultivation can be seen in France, where it has been developed to a very great extent. I do not know whether they have taxation on vegetables there, but I do know that they send vegetables here and that they have a system of marketing and selecting their goods which enables them to obtain the highest prices.
I fail to see what earthly good it will do to put taxes on these vegetables. It may be that it will prevent the people of this Country from getting them. If that is the object, one can understand it. We have 10 commandments, and we do not want an 11th commandment: "Thou shall not have fresh vegetables, including broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, turnips and the rest of it." It is futile and foolish to put on taxes, when the opportunity is open for anyone who cares to undertake it to make the business just as great a success in this country as in France or anywhere else. I have seen this thing done in this country. I have gone round the garden day by day to see the developments that took place, and I have marvelled at the skill in the production of these early vegetables. The market at covent Garden is waiting for our people to get busy, if they care to take up this method of cultivation.
§ Mr. MANDER
I desire to say a few words from the point of view of the con- 1032 sumer, because my constituents have to purchase the kind of commodities, or some of them referred to, in the Resolution. Any proposal that Comes from the Government will, I hope, always be received by me with sympathy and with the desire to find agreement wherever I possibly can, but I am bound to say that the proposals before the House cause me and others who sit on these benches considerable embarrassment. I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to say something that will reassure us that we are not being asked to vote for something which means the introduction of a system of food taxes. There can be no doubt that these proposals do raise the issue of food taxes, and there are a great many Members of this House, not only on the Liberal benches and the Labour benches, but many conservative Members, who gave definite and specific pledges during the General Election that they would not vote for food taxes.
The point is: do these particular food taxes Come within the meaning of that pledge? There are certain things which I know do not come within that pledge. I am not going to refer to flowers, because we are not discussing that matter, and, obviously, flowers, while they give light and fragrance to life, are not necessaries; we do not eat them. There is, however, nothing more interesting, if you are studying the rise and fall in the price of commodities, than to study the prices of the many beautiful flowers in London now varying from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and whether they are bought from a shop or from a barrow in the street. I agree also that you cannot say that early strawberries or early asparagus are necessaries and that a tax on these is any breach of a pledge. There is a great deal to be said for the point of view that we are rather spoilt by an organisation which has provided us all the year round with the choicest fruits of the earth and that a few months interval would whet our appetites and make us all the more eager to eat fruit, and English fruit. We get oranges all the year round. It is really possible to have too much of a good thing. In this country we are always crying out for sunshine, but those who have spent any time in Egypt, as I have, where there is continuous sunshine all the year round 1033 know that one is anxious for cloud and a rain storm now and then by way of variation.
But when you go beyond these articles, which are clearly luxury articles, and come to the case of potatoes and tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, you come to something which does require considerable justification from the point of view of those who are pledged not to tax food. I take it that the pledge not to tax food means food which is consumed by the masses of the population of the country. From inquiries I have made there is no doubt that these articles are consumed by the poorest of the poor; that is potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Potatoes come in from April to May from the Canary Islands, and the result of their importation is to keep down prices to a certain extent. If you are going to restrict this importation then the price of potatoes must to a certain extent go up; and you have this further point, that we export regularly from this country, from Lincolnshire and Scotland, 20,000 tons of seed potatoes of the value of £150,000, and that trade will be endangered if proposals of this kind go forward.
This year there is also the danger of a shortage of 25 per cent. in the normal supplies of potatoes, which is bound to cause a rise in price, and if on the top of that you are going to increase the price further by a tax on potatoes, possibly a tax of 100 per cent., you are going to cause an unnecessary and possibly an unfair rise in the cost of living of the working classes of the Country. Broccoli and cauliflower come in from November to March from St. Malo, France and from Italy, and there is a certain amount produced in cornwall at the same time. These are eaten by the poor, and if you tax them at the high rate that is possible you are going to increase the price of this commodity. Tomatoes Come in all the winter from November onwards from the canary Islands; none from elsewhere. They are a favourite article of food in the poorest districts of this country; tomatoes with the daily bacon are a popular feature of the table, and I know that many miners often take tomato sandwiches down the mine with them. It is perfectly clear that you are not dealing with something which only appears on the tables of 1034 those who dine at the Ritz or the carlton but with something which appears in the humblest homes of the Country.
I do not want to be placed in the position of opposing the Government on anything, and ask the right hon. Gentleman to say something which will show that these proposals do not tend in the direction which one fears. I hope it is perfectly clear that there is to be no interference with any of the goods which come from the channel Islands, from Guernsey and Jersey. Whatever happens, I hope that they will be allowed to come in perfectly free. It seems to me that there is a good deal to be said for transferring the administration of these duties from the Ministry of Agriculture to the Board of Trade. I do not know whether I am in order in referring to this matter—
§ Mr. MANDER
I anticipated, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that possibly you would take that view. There is one point I should like to put to the Government. It is always a great delight and pleasure to listen to the Minister of Agriculture expounding and justifying proposals be brings before this House, and I am sure that he has said everything he can in support of this Measure. But his words naturally have greater influence and persuasive power with conservative supporters of the National Government. Liberal supporters of the National Government would be greatly assisted in the course they have to take on matters like this if they could have a justification and an explanation of a measure like this front the Home Secretary or the President of the Board of Education, or the Secretary of State for Scotland. We know their views quite well, and also that they can only have consented to these proposals because they think they are necessary in the national interest and are not widely divergent from the views we hold as a party.
I hope that we may have the advantage of some statement from Liberal Members of the Government, because Liberal supporters of the Government are in a position of considerable difficulty, a position in which they do not want to be placed, because they desire to be loyal and faithful supporters of the National Govern- 1035 ment. I wish it were possible for the Government to have a mentor like the Roman Emperors of old. When a Roman Emperor was driven in triumph through the streets of Rome it was the custom for a slave to ride beside him whose duty it was to whisper to him every now and then "Remember, thou too art mortal." I wish it were possible for the Government to have some mentor who would say to them every now and then, "Remember you are a National Government not a conservative Government." I hope the Government are not going to be led astray by extremists and are not going to do anything which will make it difficult, and finally impossible, for those on these benches who are supporters of the National Government to continue that support.
Sir ERNEST SHEPPEFISON
I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the speeches of the Mover of the Amendment and of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton East (Mr. Mander). The hon. Member for East Wolverhampton mentioned that the Liberal Members of the Cabinet were being pushed on by the conservative Members of the Cabinet. We feel that the conservative Members of the Cabinet are being retarded by the Liberal Members of the Cabinet. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment made some joke upon this Measure, in that it referred to turnips and mushrooms, but he made no mention that it referred to green peas, new potatoes, cauliflowers and so on. Those are articles which are to be brought within the scope of the Bill, and their inclusion will do a very great deal to help a section of the arable industry in this country. I wish that the Government proposal had been far more comprehensive than it is, hut so far as it goes I wish to express my appreciation of it as an agriculturist. I sometimes think that many of the agricultural Community do not yet appreciate to what extent the Bill when passed will help them. Reference has been made to cauliflowers. The hon. Member opposite said that this Country Could not be self-supporting so far as cauliflowers were Concerned. Why has it not been self-supporting Simply because the cream of the market for vegetables has been taken off by imports from abroad which 1036 have reached this country at an early date.
Take the case of carrots. Our climate is not as favourable as the climate of the South of France for growing things early. A farmer may plant his carrots in January or early February in the hope of getting them on the market early. But we get cold weather in March and April, and however great the farmer's efforts he finds that the market is flooded with carrots from the South of France and elsewhere. The Bill will give the market to the British farmer for those early carrots and for such things as cauliflowers. The Bill will help to extend the market gardening section of agriculture. Let me pass to new potatoes. The argument has been used that there was no trouble for the British producer of potatoes except when there was a surplus. Why two years ago was there a large surplus of British potatoes? Because the market was taken away from the old English potatoes in March and April and May. In the past the English grower of main crop potatoes could look to a, Consumption in March, April and May. In the last few years in the early part of March potatoes have come in from Algeria, and then from the South of France, and the market for potatoes in March, April and May has been taken away from the British farmer. That was the cause of the slump in the potato market two years ago.
If this Bill becomes law the British farmer will know next year that he will have a certain market for his produce, a market that will extend to the months of April and May, and he will not flood the market with his produce in the earlier months. He will know next spring that if he will make the effort to grow cauliflowers and carrots and more of the things mentioned in the Schedule, he will have a market for them. The industrial towns of England should look to the English land as the garden that will provide British fruits, vegetables and foods for the people, just as the occupants of a house look to the garden around the house to supply fresh fruits and vegetables. We can then look for the more bulky foodstuffs from the other parts of the Empire and elsewhere. This proposal is a step in the right direction, and though I would have liked to see it extended to many more articles, 1037 yet, as far as it goes, I am definitely of opinion that it will do a very great deal to help British agriculture. That is its one purpose. It will function in another way, in that it will help to improve the trade balance of the country by curtailing the importation of early vegetables and fruits and so saving the cost of those imports.
§ Mr. COCKS
The hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) presented the pathetic spectacle of a good man struggling with adversity, of a Liberal Member wrestling with his pledges. I gathered that during the election he pledged himself not to vote for any food taxes. Now be pathetically asks the Minister of Agriculture to assure him that all the products mentioned in this Schedule are not food. The hon. Member said, in effect, "I am not going to vote for a tax on food. I do not mind voting for a tax on early strawberries, for I do not regard them as a food at all. I do not mind voting for a tax on early asparagus, for I do not consider that to be a food of the people either. But I want the Minister to tell me something about turnips. Will he assure me that turnips are not food?" I do not know whether the. Minister will say: "Ah, my friend, you can vote for that safely, and you will not break your pledge." Then there are the tomatoes which, as the hon. Member said, are taken down into the mines by the miners. Are they food? I wonder what the Minister is going to say to the hon. Member about them. Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to salve the Conscience of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton in that respect'? What about broccoli, what about cauliflowers, and, lastly, what about carrots? I am afraid when it comes to these the Minister will have to give up the attempt to save the soul of the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton.
The hon. Member stated on platforms during the election that he was not going to vote for any food taxes, but he wants to support the National Government. If he reads through this list of articles, I feel that, as a conscientious and honourable man, he will be found in the same Lobby with us. As far as I am Concerned I am a little bit of a heretic on this question. That is to say, having studied the tariff problem for nearly 30 years I 1038 have finally Come to the Conclusion that both the merits and demerits of tariffs are greatly exaggerated on both sides. Anyhow, we in the Labour party are not opposed to the regulation of imports, and I think that point ought to be made quite clear. We are in favour of it, and in the last Parliament we advocated the regulation of imports by means of import boards.
§ Mr. COCKS
I was not going to enter into details on that point. I merely mention that we are not opposed to the regulation of imports. As far as tariffs are Concerned I am not going to rise in passionate indignation to oppose a tariff on early asparagus or strawberries at half-a-crown a pound, but the Government are optimistic if they think that by stopping the importation of asparagus and strawberries, they are going to rectify the exchanges or prevent the attempt of the French Government to destroy the pound sterling. I am prepared to prohibit the importation of luxury goods including champagnes and French silks. I rise, however, chiefly for the purpose of referring to tomatoes, about which I have some rather strong views. It was explained last night that the luxury tomatoes are the British-grown tomatoes. There is no question of the importation of tomatoes being prevented because they are luxuries, because they come in earlier and because they catch the early market.
The most expensive tomatoes, those which are really luxuries, are British-grown, and the imported tomatoes are the cheap tomatoes which are the food of the people. The two do not compete and because we import tomatoes from foreign parts, we are able to have tomatoes all the year round. Tomatoes come here in January from the canary Islands at the price of 5s. 3d. per 12 1bs. In February the same tomatoes are 5s. 11d.; in March 5s. 1d.; in April 5s. 3d.; in May 4s. 11d.; in June 4s.; in July 4s. 6d. Then the canary Islands tomatoes cease to come in, and in August we get the Dutch tomatoes at 2s. 8d. In September the same tomatoes are 2s. 3d., in october 3s. 6d., and in November 3s. 8d. In December we go back to 1039 the Canary Islands tomatoes again, and we get them in at 5s. 5d. That is the whole range of the cheap tomatoes. What about the British tomatoes. They are not available until April, and they are 31s. 6d. for 12 1bs. In the same month the British tomatoes are selling at 31s. 6d. and the foreign tomatoes at 5s. 3d. There is no competition there. These are two entirely different classes of commodity, and a tariff upon these foreign cheap tomatoes will not help the British grower at all. What it will do will be to increase the Cost of the food of the people.
§ Mr. COCKS
There is nothing about Empire tomatoes in the list. My point is that you are not protecting the homegrown tomatoes. As regards channel Island tomatoes, they are very high-priced also—I think 28s. You are putting a tax on the canary Island tomatoes—a different commodity altogether—and my contention is that you are not going to help the British grower but you are going to make food dearer for the worker by doing so. That point was not answered by the Minister last night. I gathered from his speech earlier to-day that he did not answer a good many points, but that is one specific and important point with which he ought to deal. The coming winter is going to be very tragic and dreadful for millions of our fellow-subjects. It is going to he a very bad time for the unemployed, for the poor, for those who are being tortured at the present time under the public assistance committees by the means test. I am not going to be a party to making the case of those who are going through such a terrible time worse by voting for another tax upon their food. I am entirely opposed to such a proposal, and I think that other hon. Members here do not want to increase the cost of living to the unemployed and the poor.
1040 I have every sympathy for the growers of tomatoes at Worthing. I want to see them get a fair price for their products, but we know that there is a great difference between the price at which tomatoes are sold in the shops and the price received by the grower in Worthing, and other places. I remember that in the Linlithgow Report some years ago, details were given of a case in which a consignment of tomatoes was traced from where the tomatoes were grown, somewhere on the Sussex coast, to a shop in Bath where they were sold, after having passed through several hands. I speak from memory but I believe that the price at which they were sold in the shop was about eight times the price received by the grower. That is a bad thing and ought to be remedied, but it can be remedied only by better marketing and by cutting out all the different hands through which the tomatoes pass in their transit from the grower to the shop. It is not going to be remedied by a tariff which will affect a different kind of tomatoes altogether. As I say, by putting on this tariff on tomatoes you increase the cost of living to the poor and you do not benefit the grower at all. Unless the Minister can give a satisfactory reply to that proposition, I shall go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I understand that the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) had some complaint against me for not having answered all the numerous questions which had been put to me in the Debate yesterday, but I have endeavoured to give the House fairly full information on the problems which we are discussing. This Amendment, if it were carried, would clearly rule out of the operation of the orders which I propose to make all fresh vegetables. That is the object of it. Can it honestly be said that fresh vegetables cannot be produced in this country by our people, and is it contended that the very early importation into this country of what in their earliest forms are very often extreme luxury products is a justifiable thing in the present circumstances?
The hon. Member for Westhoughton wanted to know all about the quantities of all the various vegetables included in the list. I do not propose to weary the House by going into the full list of the quantities of these vegetables. If the 1041 hon. Gentleman wishes that, he can no doubt put down a question, unstarred, and get it, but I will give the House, in deference to what the hon. Gentleman has asked for, some of the values at any rate of the total imports of some of these things which we are discussing; and I suggest that while these total amounts of money values, in relation to the general trade balance, may be comparatively small, yet they are sufficiently great to justify us in encouraging our growers to fill in this gap and so to save that expenditure.
If you take the question of asparagus, something like £200,000 worth of it is imported into this island. The hon. Member for Westhoughton said that he had seen experts upon the problem of beans. Whatever the experts may have said to him, at any rate this remains a fact, that we import into this country something like, 23,000 worth of beans, 300,000 worth of cauliflower and broccoli, £330,000 worth of carrots, £120,000 worth of cucumbers, £240,000 worth of lettuce, and £170,000 worth of mushrooms. The hon. Gentleman spoke as if mushrooms were an item which should be a matter of laughter in this House, but mushrooms can be produced all the year round in this country, and it is only necessary to give this encourgement to the producers, and I am satisfied that they can produce them.
I have been asked if, in all the cases with which we propose to deal, we can satisfy the demand. In some of the cases of the early luxury things, I do not want to satisfy the demands—I quite frankly think it is right that that demand should not be satisfied—but with regard to some parts of this production, I contend that by the action which we are taking, by the encouragement which we are holding out, it will be possible to satisfy that demand, and, indeed, the orders which I shall frame will be framed with the object of stimulating and encouraging production in this country and not unduly or entirely in some cases shutting out these things which Come in. Artichokes were left out because I considered that that trade was too small. I was asked about turnips. Turnips, after all, are described as tender turnips. They are not the ordinary turnips that are used in this country, but they are the very earliest varieties which come from abroad. Is it 1042 to be said that we cannot do without them, or is it to be said that we could not, under glass or in other circumstances probably, make good what is required?
I have tried, to the best of my ability, to understand the intentions of the hon. Members opposite, and I think I do. They say, as every Opposition is entitled to say: "Here are the Government trying to deal with this problem in a foolish manner, in an insufficient manner," and so on. If I turn to the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) for a moment, he appealed to me to say whether I think this infringes any question of taxes on food or makes it difficult for him and his friends to support this proposal, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary to give some kind of guidance and leading. This proposal is the approved proposal of the cabinet of the National Government, in which those of his party sit, and I do not for a moment doubt that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary and his Friends are agreed that this does not infringe any of the views which they held or commitments which they made at the General Election.
§ Mr. MANDER
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that the view of the Members of the cabinet is that these are not food taxes and do not infringe any pledge not to tax food?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
No, I did not say that, but that the Members of the National Government, of the Cabinet of the National Government, are pledged to deal, with an open mind, with all the problems. We have a free hand, and while it may be true that this or that variation of idea may be in the minds of individuals, clearly the Government have a free hand, must have a free hand, and must examine these problems from every aspect, and cannot be tied by the old shibboleths either of excessive Free Trade, on the one hand, or excessive Protection on the other.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that the Liberal Members of the Cabinet are in favour of this proposal?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The hon. Gentleman really knows this House perfectly well. He knows it well enough to have 1043 the knowledge that I would not be here as a Member of the cabinet responsible to my colleagues putting forward proposals to which the cabinet had not given their consent.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The hon. Member, when he has had an opportunity of sitting in the cabinet, will understand the position well enough. I have been asked to say something on the vexed question of tomatoes. I recognise that the tomato is a part of the general diet of a great mass of our people. On the other hand, there are certain periods of the year when there is an overlapping of the tomatoes that come into this country with the home-produced tomatoes, and it is only reasonable that a crop such as the tomato, which can be expanded very considerably in this country, should have some measure of encouragement. I am ready to admit that hon. Members have a right to ask me on a problem of this kind the sort of views which I have with regard to it. It is not, however, my duty at this time—indeed, it would be improper—to divulge in any way how I propose in detail to deal with these problems. I am well aware that tomatoes are widely used in our industrial areas, and in dealing with this problem I shall have regard to such a circumstance; but I felt that in view of the fact that the tomato was in the same category as many of those vegetables, the cultivation of which we can properly encourage, I thought it proper to include it in this Schedule in order that we might with care and circumspection increase the production and by that means give a large amount of employment.
This proposal is one which, whatever the views may be as to minor details, the House can accept with confidence that it will not materially increase the cost of living to the great mass of our people. That it will deny to large restaurants and hotels the earliest products is true, and I do not see why that should not be done. That it may deprive some people of eating some of these articles out of season is true, but I think that the House should not shrink from taking this action. That 1044 it will stimulate production of some of the raw material for manufactures such as canned fruit and jam, I believe to be certain. That it will stimulate and give encouragement to many of our small producers, who in any agricultural policy deserve as much consideration as the larger farmers, is also true. It is for that reason, and because it is necessary to have this legislation now in order that we may do something to deal with some of these problems in the earlier months of next year, that I ask the House to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) will be satisfied after the right hon. Gentleman's speech that, whatever his election pledges may have been, whatever may be the ideas of the right hon. Gentleman, he has satisfied himself and all Members who were listening to him that his definite intention and purpose with regard to the largest item in this catalogue of fruit and vegetables, namely, tomatoes, is to put a Protective tariff upon them. There seems to be no shadow of doubt about that. My hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Mr. cocks) showed that competition had brought the imported tomatoes much nearer to the quality of the English tomatoes and that they were from a half to one-third the price of the home-grown commodity. The only possible way whereby the right hon. Gentleman can encourage an increased production of that vegetable at home will be by imposing a tariff at the maximum rate of 100 per cent. That clearly means depriving a vast number of people of the opportunity of enjoying this vegetable at all.
We know the intention of the right hon. Gentleman and the purpose of the Government, and if Members who have hitherto called themselves Liberals do not vote with the Opposition on this occasion, the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say when he goes back to his cabinet: "We have ensnared the Liberal party to such a point that they cannot turn back. They are now real supporters of the National Government. They have taken the first plunge into the realm of Protection, and there are no lengths now to which they are not prepared to go." To that extent, I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman upon his very calm, cool 1045 and collected method of ensnaring his political enemies. He has done very well indeed. For our part, we see the truth of the whole thing crystal clear. It is taxation upon food in a very small way. The right hon. Gentleman said that it is only a tiny little thing to which nobody ought to object; the pill ought to be swallowed even by Socialists. It may be a pill to-day, but it will be an elephant to-morrow. I hope I shall be here long enough to see those Liberals who have so far supported this Protectionist Government swallowing the elephant which will be the natural successor to the pill which the Minister is giving them to-day.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I want to make a few comments to the right hon. Gentleman who assists me in the representation of the city of Glasgow in this House. It is very interesting that he should have been chosen as Minister of Agriculture, for there are scarcely two yards of cultivable territory in the whole of his constituency. It is occupied by garden plots which are of the average size of a pocket handkerchief. I would not have levelled the same gibe at the Liberals as my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) has done. I do not think that it is the Liberal Members who are being "had"; it is the conservative Protectionist Members. We all know perfectly well that the Government did not want to do anything on this issue until after the long Christmas Recess was over. They wanted to think about it.
The right hon. Gentleman threw a gibe at me about never having been in the cabinet. I do not know that that is really a matter for shame. If I have never been in a Cabinet, I have had the opportunity of watching some six or seven in operation, and I always seem to see exactly the same process. A Government comes in, having made the maximum promises to the electorate, and then spends its period of office trying to see how they can get away with a minimum performance. If any Government has descended from the high levels of great promise to very low levels of performance, it is the present National Government, which came in with greater gusto than any other Government. Here is a Government that will not do anything until 1932, hoping that by the time 1046 they have reached 1932, they will find some good reason for doing nothing until 1933. Some of the newspapers supporting the National Government took them seriously, and started shouting for more, and the cabinet, disturbed out of its normal desire to do nothing, said "We must do something for these agricultural people." After a long meeting at which Liberal Members, ex-Labour Members and the conservative Members were present, they decided to throw the mob a carrot. When I was on the back benches when the Labour Government was in office, I did not get much out of them, but they never put me off with a carrot. It would have been, in my view, very insulting—a carrot of all vegetables! I want the conservative Members who sit behind the National Government to think of the humiliating position they are in just now and the position that, as far as I can judge, they are accepting. They will be going back to their constituencies at the week-end and saying, "Boys, we have got cabbages protected, turnips and early asparagus. We are saving agriculture—a bit at a time—a cabbage at a time."
I do not think that the gibe that the opposition should throw across is that the Liberal party are being "done in," because the Liberal party are getting a far bigger concession out of the present proposal of the Government than the conservatives who form the vast majority of their supporters. I, for one, am frankly sorry, because the conservative element in this country has steadily believed that it is only by adopting tariffs that you can save the country and bring great prosperity for the working classes. That is a belief that can only be disproved when demonstrated by facts of experience. My answer to the Government is "Get on. Give a 10o per cent. tariff. Pile it on, and do not wait until 1933 or 1934. Put it on now. Let us feel the full effect of it at once, and then we shall know exactly what the situation is." one or two hon. Members talked about welcoming this, because it would give the British farmer an opportunity of getting in first in the home market. One of my hon. Friends opposite, who has always been a sound agricultural Member since I have been in this House, was particularly strong on the British farmer getting the first 1047 of the market for his vegetables, but where is this home market 7 What home market is he talking about?
The hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) talked about ruiners eating tomatoes. It is this market that you are starting to prepare for production next year which your Government's policy is deliberately and definitely destroying. Last year you had the working man who could spend 17s. and you have deliberately reduced him to 15s. 3d. You are going to make your cotton operative unable to buy his tomatoes early or late. By the time you have the crops planted next year for this home market, there will not be any home market, because the people who are to buy these things are bound to be the British working class, and if they have no incomes, no matter how much turnips or carrots you produce, there will be no money to buy them. I hope in tackling one end of the problem in this miserable way the Government will not forget there is another end to the problem and that you must have not merely producers but consumers as well.
I am not very much interested in this Debate. My views on the Tariff-Free Trade issue, which is innate in this Amendment, were formulated many years ago when I read the views of Karl Marx on the subject. He was the only economist who had ever satisfied my craving for fundamental explanations, and he took the trouble to examine the merits of the Free Trade-Protectionist issue, and he came to the conclusion that, weighing them both up, he preferred Free Trade to tariffs because, on the whole, he expected it would lead to a speedier collapse of the capitalist system. I am sure if he had been alive to-day and had an opportunity of viewing the situation at the present time he would revise his views, and would prefer tariffs to Free Trade, because they would bring about the speedier collapse of the capitalist system.
While I am on the question of Karl Marx I would like to say this word of friendly warning to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Agriculture. I noticed yesterday, when he was introducing this Measure, it was because he 1048 wanted to stop society hostesses from buying hot-house grapes. In nine years this is the first time I have ever seen him aroused to heights of passion, because he is usually very restrained even when dealing with very big subjects which might arouse opposition in other men. Yesterday he was really angry about the idea of the society hostess who, for the sake of achieving distinction among her fellow hostesses, would rush into the market to buy these luxury grapes, and so on. He was going to put that down with a firm hand. No monkeying of that description. I want to say this to him. He has got to remember that he is a Minister of a National Government supposed to represent all sections of the community, and he must not, in his utterances from that Box, allow class hatred to come in. Yesterday he was talking merely of the society hostess craving for distinction, but I would ask him, if she was getting distinction among her fellows by buying hothouse grapes at 15s., would she not achieve greater distinction still by buying them at 30s.?
Therefore, the putting on of the additional 100 per cent. tax might be of value to revenue, but it Could have no effect in rectifying the balance of trade, because the grapes would still come in, and the hostess would still have her social distinction. To-day he has come away from the society hostesses, and has admitted that these taxes, particularly those on vegetables, will add to the cost of the foodstuffs which ordinary people have got into the habit of using in their ordinary lives. Hon. Members, Liberal and conservative alike, before rejecting this Amendment ought to consider whether it is fair play on the part of the National Government again to hit the working-classes, who, in the few short weeks of their existence, they have already hit very hard in several different places. I urge those conservative Members who are out for big things in national policy not to assent to this miserable little Measure, which cannot achieve any of the big results they hope for their wider policy, but can certainly achieve the result of lowering the opportunities of happiness of a big proportion of the poorer section of the community.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Resolution."1050
§ The House divided: Ayes, 303; Noes, 43.1051
|Division No. 28.]||AYES.||9.37 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Elmley, Viscount||Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd, W)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Lyons, Abraham Montagu|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Mabane, William|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Flanagan, W. H.||MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McConnell, Sir Joseph|
|Balley, Eric Alfred George||Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Ganzoni, Sir John||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Gibson, Charles Granville||McEwen, J. H. F.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||McKeag, William|
|Barclay-Harvey, G. M.||Gilmour, Lt.-Cot. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Gledhill, Gilbert||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Glossop, C. W. H.||McLean, Major Alan|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Corn'll N.)|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McLean, Dr. w. H. (Tradeston)|
|Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'th, Centr'l)||Gower, Sir Robert||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Granville, Edgar||Magnay, Thomas|
|Bernays, Robert||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Manningham-Butler, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Birchall Major Sir John Dearman||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Bird Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Mlddlesbro', W.)||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Borodale, Viscount.||Guiness, Thomas L. E. B.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Boulton, W. W.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Merrlman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hales, Harold K.||Millar, James Duncan|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Hanley, Dennis A.||Mills, Sir Frederick|
|Braithwaite J. G. (Hillsborough)||Harbord, Arthur||Milne, Charles|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Hartland, George A.||Molson, A. Harold Elsdale|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Harvey, Major S. E (Devon, Totnes)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Haslam, H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Morgan, Robert H.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)|
|Burghley, Lord||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Butler, Richard Austen||Hills, major Rt. Hon. John waller||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Muirhead, Major A. J.|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Munro, Patrick|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Hornby, Frank||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Horobin, Ian M.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Horsrugh, Florence||normand, Wilfrid Guild|
|Cassels, James Dale||Howltt, Dr. Alfred B.||Nunn, William|
|Castle Stewart, Earl||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N)||O' Donovan, Dr. William James|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Ormiston, Thomas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.|
|Chapman, sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Jamleson, Douglas||Palmer, Francis Noel|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Jennings, Roland||Peake, captain Osbert|
|Chotzner, Alfred James||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Pearson, William G.|
|Peat, Charles U.|
|Clarke, Frank||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Penny, Sir George|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Clayton Dr. George C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Petherick, M.|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Peto, Geoffrey K.(Wverh'pt'n, Bllston)|
|Colville, Major David John||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Potter, John|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Kirkpatrick, William M.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Knebworth, Viscount||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Pybus, Percy John|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ralkes, Hector victor Alpin|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)|
|Cross, R. H.||Leckie, J. A.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Crossley, A. C.||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Ramsbotham, Herswald|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Lees-Jones, John||Ramsden, E.|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Dickie, John P.||Levy, Thomas||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Donner, P. W.||Liddall, Walter S.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Remer, John R.|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Llewellin, Major John J.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Ross, Ronald D.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Runge, Norah Cecil||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Soper, Richard||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Russell,Hamer Field (Sheffield,B'tslde)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Rutherford, Sir John Hugo||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Salmon, Major Isidore||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Stevenson, James||Wedderburn,Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Stones, James||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Storey, Samuel||White, Henry Graham|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Stourton, John J.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Scone, Lord||Strauss, Edward A.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Selley, Harry R.||Strickland, Captain W. F.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Sutcliffe, Harold||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Shaw, Captain William T. (Fortar)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Templeton, William P.||Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff)|
|Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles||Wragg, Herbert|
|Sinclair, Col.T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Skelton, Archibald Noel||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Smiles, Lieut-Col. Sir Walter D.||Titchfleld, Major the Marquess of||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)||Lord Erskine and Mr. Blindell.|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Harris, Percy A.||Milner, Major James|
|Briant, Frank||Hicks, Ernest George||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hirst, George Henry||Price, Gabriel|
|Buchanan, George||Holdsworth, Herbert||Thorne, William James|
|Cape, Thomas||Jenkins, Sir William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||John, William||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Cripps. Sir Stafford||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Kirkwood, David||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycrost)||Leonard, William|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Logan, David Gilbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McEntee, Valentine L.||Groves.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
§ Motion made, and Question put "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said resolution."1052
§ The House divided: Ayes, 301; Noes, 44.1055
|Division No. 29.]||AYES.||[9.49 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Braithwalte, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Craven-Ellis, William|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Brass, Captain Sir William||Crookshank, Col. C.de Windt (Bootle)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Broadbent, Colonel John||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)|
|Alnsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Croom-Johnson. R. P.|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd, W)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cross, R. H.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Crossley, A. C.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Cruddas, Lieut. Colonel Bernard|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Burghley, Lord||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset,Yeovil)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Butler, Richard Austen||Dickie, John P.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Butt, Sir Alfred||Donner, P. W.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Dower, Captain A. V. G.|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Carver, Major William H.||Dunglass, Lord|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Cassels, James Dale||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Castle Stewart, Earl||Elmley, Viscount|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Beaumont, R. E. B. (Portsm'th, Centr'l)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Belt, Sir Alfred L.||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Chotzner, Alfred James||Flanagan, W. H.|
|Bernays, Robert||Clarke, Frank||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Clarry, Reginald George||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Clayton Dr. George C.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Clydesdale, Marquess of||Fuller, Captain A. E. G.|
|Bird Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Coltox, Major William Philip||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Borodale, Viscount.||Colville, Major David John||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton|
|Boulton, W. W.||Conant, R. J. E.||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cook, Thomas A.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Cranborne, Viscount||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||McCorquodale, M. S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halie||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield,B'tside)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McKeag, William||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Gower, Sir Robert||McKie, John Hamilton||Salmon, Major Isidore|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||McLean, Major Alan||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Corn'll N.)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Scone, Lord|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Magnay, Thomas||Selley, Harry R.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Hales, Harold K.||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Harbord, Arthur||Martin, Thomas B.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Hartland, George A.||Mayhew, Lieut-Colonel John||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Haslam, H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||Millar, James Duncan||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Mills, Sir Fredrick||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Milne, Charles||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Molson, A. Harold Elsdale||Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Moore-Brabzon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Hillman, Dr. George B.||Moreing, Adrian C.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Morgan, Robert H.||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Soper, Richard|
|Hornby, Frank||Moss, Captain H. J.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Munro, Patrick||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward.|
|Howltt, Dr. Allred B.||Nall, Sir Joseph||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stevenson, James|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Bring)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Stones, James|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||storey, Samuel|
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.||North, Captain Edward T.||stourton, John J.|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Nunn, William||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Jennings, Roland||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Ormiston, Thomas||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Palmer, francis Noel||Templeton, William P.|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Peake, Captain Osbert||Thomas, Sir Fredrick Charles|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Pearson, William G||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Peat, Charles U.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Penny, Sir George||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Percy, Lord Eustace||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R||Peters, Dr. Sldney John||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Knebworth, viscount||Petherick, M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Knight, Holford||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Pickering, Ernest H||Wallace, John (Dunfermilne)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Potter, John||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Leckie, J. A.||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Lees-Jones, John||Pybus, Percy John||Wavland, Sir William A.|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Ralkes, Hector Victor Alpin||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Levy, Thomas||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||White, Henry Graham|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Ramsbotham, Herswatd||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Ramsden, E.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Rea, Walter Russell||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Llewellln, Major John J.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Remer, John R.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Ropner, Colonel L.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Mabane, William||Ross, Ronald D.|
|MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Lord Erskine and Mr. Blindell.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Duncan, Charles (Derby, Claycross)||Jenkins, Sir William|
|Batey, Joseph||Edwards, Charles||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Briant, Frank||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Kirkwood, David|
|Brown. C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Buchanan, George||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lawson, John James|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Leonard, William|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Harris, Percy A.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Daggar, George||Hicks, Ernest George||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Hirst, George Henry||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Holdsworth, Herbert||Maxton, James|
|Milner, Major James||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Owen, Major Goronwy||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Price, Gabriel||Williams, David (Swansea, East)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)||Mr. John and Mr. Groves.|
|Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
§ Bill ordered to be brought in upon the said Resolution by Sir John Gilmour, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Archibald Sinclair, the Solicitor-General and Major Elliot.