§ Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
I beg to move, in page 1, line 19, to leave out the words "considers that it is desirable so to do," and to insert instead thereof the words:is satisfied that production in the United Kingdom of fruit, vegetables, or flowers will be thereby increased, or that the importation of any such articles, being articles of luxury, is not in the public interest.I move the Amendment because we are not satisfied with the Bill, which leaves the power to select entirely in the hands of the Minister when he deems it desirable to choose any of the articles in the Schedule. Yesterday the Minister, speaking on the Second Reading of the Bill, said:This Bill … is very definitely related to the general national emergency, andponit3 to the need of taking every possible step to reduce the imports of commodities which can either, on the one hand, be produced within this country, or, on the other hand, can be properly done without altogether."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th December, 1931; col. 1539, Vol. 260.]The Minister expressed the intention of the Bill in those words, and we insist that the Amendment which we are moving will give a more direct effect to the Minister's intention than the words which we wish to leave out. If I may be allowed to sketch the procedure under the Bill, the Minister is given special powers, as in a previous Bill dealing with new taxation, to issue Orders-in-Council specifying what articles are to be selected, and, having issued his Order-in-Council, to give notice as soon as possible to the House of Commons by laying on the Table of the House a copy of the Order. An Order will only remain effective for 28 days unless in the meantime it is approved by this House. There is provision for a longer period. If the House does not happen to be sitting, the 28 days can be extended until 1714 the House meets again. The maximum duty being imposed under these Orders is at the rate of 100 per cent. ad valorem upon the imported article. The Act can remain in operation for 12 months only. The Bill itself is quite simple, but it is the Orders-in-Council which provoke our opposition, and it is because of the Minister's reticence in regard to Orders-in-Council and general information with reference to those Orders that I have some comments to make in moving the Amendment.
We have not yet been told by the Minister which articles are likely to Le taxed and which articles are not to be taxed immediately. We have been given hints by the Minister that there may be variations and that there may be an immediate selection of some articles and that others may have to wait until the appropriate season comes along. Indeed, the Minister can select any of the articles according to his fancy. He may have his prejudices and his predilections. He will probably have the good advice of the officers of his Department added to his own great knowledge of agriculture and of the import trades, but the Bill says nothing about the duration of an Order. Having chosen his articles, there is nothing in the Bill, and nothing has been told us, as to the length of time the Order is to apply to a particular article.
The Act, it is true, only goes on for 12 months, but we have not been given any explicit assurance that orders which have been issued will operate for the whole of the 12 months, and we have not been told the rate of duty likely to be put upon any selected articles. We may find that there may be a varying rate of duty for the full period of 12 months or a full rate for a limited period less than 12 months. All these things are left in doubt. The Minister has not taken us into his confidence. We do not know what are his intentions, and we cannot discuss fully the merits of the Bill unless we know how the Measure is to be applied to the commodities mentioned in the list. We can see a good many dangers ahead, but if the Amendment which we propose is accepted, it will make it much more certain that the fullest consideration will be given to the conditions to which the Minister referred on the Second Reading. Without the existence of some scheme, all 1715 kinds of complications, and, indeed, most incongruous results may be produced. We heard last night the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) refer to the importation of new potatoes from Algiers and from the Channel Islands. Potatoes from both places come into our market at the same time, the new potatoes from Algiers valued at only 3¼d. a lb., and the new potatoes from the Channel Islands at 10d. a lb. The Minister has not the power to impose a duty upon potatoes from the Channel Islands, although it would be very proper, in a Bill to prevent luxury imports, to put a tax on the most expensive luxury. In the Bill, however, there is provision for taxing only potatoes from Algiers, and not from the Channel Islands.
§ Mr. HANNON
Do I understand the hon. Gentleman to say that potatoes come in from Algiers and the Channel Islands at the same time, and are sold in our market at 3¼d. and 10d. a pound respectively?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
Yes, I can produce evidence from the records of the Board of Agriculture. I remember the figures being given very well, and there is no question that there are many of these apparently irreconcilable facts. But the hon. Member must know that, while the wholesale price of the imported potatoes from Algiers is 3¼d. a lb., the retail price may be very much higher, and if he wants to get an explanation why potatoes at 10d. and potatoes at 3d. a lb. are bought and sold at the same time in the home market, he may find that there is not so much difference in the retail price as at the time of arrival.
§ Sir ERNEST SHEPPERSON
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the Algiers potatoes come in into this country at the end of March and the beginning of April, and the Channel Islands potatoes not till May?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
I will produce the figures before I sit down. I have not armed myself with all the details. They were given last night and not challenged then. I thought that I might give these figures, as they were not challenged by the Minister himself, although he was in the House at the time. The Minister has 1716 the power, which probably he will utilise, of putting on, perhaps, 100 per cent. duty—I do not know his intentions—on the Algiers cheap potatoes, and make them twice as dear or more before they reach the retailers, and so prevent cheap potatoes from coming on to the market, while allowing the luxury potatoes to come in. All kinds of queer results will happen from the application of the Bill as it stands, but if the Amendment we propose be accepted, we shall avoid many of these complications.
The Amendment requires the Minister to be satisfied on two points only—that he shall not impose duties, unless he is satisfied that, as a result of those duties, there will be an increase in the home production, or that the importation is of a luxury character not in the public interest. We want the Minister, before issuing his Orders, before determining the scale of duties and the period for which the duties are to be imposed, to have consideration for those two points. With regard to increase in the home production, the hon. Member for Lowestoft (Sir G. Rentoul), who spoke last night—and I listened to him with interest—gave us some figures. If there is one thing for which I criticise the Minister and those who support him it is the entire absence of figures and details. Here is a piece of legislation brought in for a special purpose, involving the future of the importation of these articles, the quantities coming in, their time of arrival and so forth. The Minister ignores all these details, and it is only from the speeches of some hon. Members that we have had any information to clarify the position.
The hon. Member for Lowestoft said that we are employing at the present time 18,000 people in commercial glass houses, and that they produce an output of the annual value of £5,000,000. If you take the ordinary rate of wages paid to men in this class of labour, it will be found that approximately one-third of the value of the product is paid in wages. Taking 18,000 people at a wage of £100 a year each, the figure is 35 per cent. of the total. It is a small proportion of the value of this class of production that goes in wages at the present time. Then there are the rents and the ground rents—[An HON. MEMBER: "And coal"]—I will say something about coal, too. 1717 Suppose the Minister does exercise his power, and puts an average of 50 per cent. duties on tomatoes and other horticultural products that come into competition here, and he thereby raises that £5,000,000 to £7,500,000 at the least, what proportion is to go in additional wages to the men in that industry? What advantage is there to be to the men employed in the industry? Is it not clear that unless there is some safeguard, there is the possibility of a considerable increase in profits?
We know well enough that this kind of commercial glass-house cannot be improvised. You cannot by a duty secure an increase of production under five years or more, and in the meantime, there is an increase of 50 per cent. in the price of the article, which will benefit exclusively those who sell the produce, without giving the country one iota of benefit. I hope that the Minister bears that in mind. When there is no possibility of increase in home production, the duty should not be put on until he is assured that the industry is prepared to take advantage of the increase of price. We all hope that the increase of price will be very small, because the additional money will have to be found by the consumers in this country, the consumers who, in the main, are the poorer class of people, who are already having a very difficult time.
Reference was made by the hon. Member for Lowestoft to a statement of my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley. One is almost afraid to quote these figures, because someone who was not present during the Debate last night may challenge them. But my hon. Friend was quoted by the hon. Member for Lowestoft as saying that in 1929 we grew at home 240,000 cwts. of strawberries, and in the same year we imported 200,000 cwts. The importation in that year was 5/11ths of the total. Next year, for a reason not given by the Minister or any of his supporters, probably owing to a failing season—
§ Mr. ANNESLEY SOMERVILLE
Of the 200,000 cwts. imported, can the hon. Member say how much came from the Channel Islands?
§ Mr. GRENFELL
I am speaking of the total quantity imported. In 1929, there was probably a short crop.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
The figures, I think, referred to strawberries, but for this purpose cherries will do quite as well. The quantity imported was 200,000 cwts., and the home crop 240,000 cwts. The next year the home crop was 404,000 cwts., and in that year the imported cherries only ran to 60,000 cwts. The consumption in both those years was approximately the same, the difference being one of only 24,000 cwts. It was a reduction of just over 5 per cent. as between years when the home production varied from 240,000 cwts. to 404,000 cwts. Which of those two years would the right hon. Gentleman have in his mind when assessing the rate of duty to be put on cherries, for example? Would he put a duty on to prevent the 200,000 cwts. coming in, or would he put on a duty just large enough to prevent the 60,000 cwts. coming in, or a duty which might be so large as to stop the cherries coming in altogether, and find that when he has been successful in stopping the cherries coming in, he has left this country, in a season of short crop, with only just half the quantity of cherries that is normally consumed?
The Minister must really pay attention to that kind of thing. It is not enough to ask the House to give him power to issue orders when he thinks it desirable to do so, without keeping before himself and the House two main considerations, one of which is the increase in the home production, and the other the stopping of luxury articles from coming in—not stopping the cheap supplies of fruit and vegetables for those people who must have cheap supplies. From the two illustrations I have selected it will be seen that it is quite possible for the Minister to make a mistake, and to find that he has left the people at home with fruit either too expensive to buy, or with no fruit at all, because the duty has stopped all foreign importation. Plums come into the same category, and the same illustration can be used with regard to figures given in this House in these Debates. One is almost tired of talking about cabbages and tomatoes. Plums and cherries sound very much nicer, and one is glad to go from the vegetable world to the fruit world.
1719 All sorts of abnormal results may accrue from the Minister's action, unless he has regard to the two considerations that I have mentioned. The importation of luxury articles is not in the public interest. I assume that the Minister wants to prevent certain articles from coining in because, in common with his colleague, the President of the Board of Trade, he is anxious to preserve the balance of trade in this country. He is anxious to stop expenditure on unnecessary things. We cannot argue the general question of the balance of trade to-day. If our Amendment were accepted it would be possible for the Minister to issue his orders and to make a selection of articles, because there are certain commodities which, in accordance with our Amendment, it would not be in the public interest that they should be imported. We do not believe that this country should be made a depository for all sorts of dumped goods. We object to dumping in the real sense but not in the sense that is so often interpreted in this House by hon. Members opposite. We do not believe that vast quantities of goods should be brought in here from abroad if there is home production of the articles in sufficient quantities and at a reasonable price. Our Amendment would imply that the Minister should have regard to the state of the market. Where it is not in the public interest to bring in unwanted goods we do not mind the Minister having power to issue orders prohibiting those goods from coming in.
On the general argument against food taxes, we maintain that it is necessary for the Minister to have the power which we offer in our Amendment. The Minister does not always decide what is the suitable occasion on which to take such action as is contemplated in the Bill. He is subject to all kinds of influences when he makes his choice. He is subject, like other Ministers, to pressure in the House and outside the House. We resent his action and that of his supporters in coming to the House and imposing food taxes under the guise of meeting emergency conditions which are supposed to prevail during the coming 12 months. That is the beginning of food taxation. Under the Bill the Minister may find it 1720 desirable to impose the maximum duty on all the articles mentioned in the Schedule. Among his supporters there will be found some person, or some group of persons, or some representatives of vested interests who will go over the list of articles, one by one, and make out a case for the highest duty on each article, and the Minister will be forced by the sheer weight of pressure 'behind him and by a certain amount of support—support which he might like to shake off and of which he would like to be independent—to put on the maximum scale of duty, unless he is able to say to the representatives of the vested interests, whether in this House or outside, that he is only empowered to issue orders on the two grounds laid down in our Amendment. If he accepts our Amendment we will strengthen his hand and help to give effect to the Bill as he explained it yesterday. We desire to protect the people of this country from the ramp which is taking place and which must end in a very high scale of taxation on the food of the people.
I support the Amendment, and, in doing so, I should like to draw attention to one or two statements that have been made by the Minister of Agriculture. I should like to know what is the objective of the Minister and his supporters in seeking to put duties on a large number of articles of food, such as vegetables and fruit, and also on flowers. It has been stated that the object of the Government is not to provide revenue but to keep out of the country the commodities that are scheduled in the list. If that be their objective, our Amendment is fair and just. Our Amendment says that the Minister shall have power to apply the Act if heis satisfied that production in the United Kingdom of fruit, vegetables, or flowers will be thereby increased, or that the importation of any such articles, being articles of luxury, is not in the public interest,That is a fair Amendment and it ought to meet the desires of the promoters of the Bill. In the list there are certain articles in regard to which there is considerable difference of opinion. There are great differences of opinion as to what is a luxury article. No one has been bold enough to say that a turnip 1721 or a tomato is a luxury or that certain other articles in the list are luxuries. There are articles scheduled in the list which are the daily common food of the working people. We are entitled to say that if the Government prohibit various vegetables that are imported into this country during times when there are no home grown vegetables to take their place, the only thing that can happen will be that the cost of living of the working people will be tremendously increased.
Many jokes have been made on the question of tomatoes, but I submit very seriously that on a large percentage of the tables of working people the tomato plays a very important part as an article of every day food. Can the Minister of Agriculture say that if a duty of 100 per cent. is to be put on these articles that there will be English grown tomatoes to take their place and that they could be sold at such a price that the working class could afford to purchase them? The Amendment gives the Minister all the power that he need desire. We have a right to know what articles will be scheduled and what amount of duty will be imposed.
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being present—
Unless the Minister is satisfied that home-grown produce is available in abundance and at a reasonable price he ought not to raise any objection to an Amendment which gives him power to levy the duty when that objective has been achieved. There is no justification for putting duties on articles of common daily food unless the Minister can say that we have sufficient home-grown commodities to replace them at the same price. The wives of the working men, who have to purchase the food, ought to be assured that the duty that has been imposed has been in accordance with the Government's election addresses and that it will not increase the cost of living. The Amendment ought to satisfy not only the Minister but everyone interested in agriculture or horticulture. I hope the Amendment will be accepted; if not, I hope that those who are opposed to any increase in the cost of living will COMB into the Lobby to support us.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not for one moment consider the acceptance of the Amendment. If he did accept it, the Bill might as well be torn up. There are differences of opinion as to what articles of food the working-classes consume. I admit that the hon. Members who are supporting the Amendment have shown that they are opposed to the imposition of anything in the nature of food taxes. They appear to have overlooked the fact that it is little more than a month since the National Government were returned with sufficient powers to carry into effect any sort of Measures which they consider to be of advantage to the people of this country.
May I ask whether the hon. and gallant Member, or any member of the party supporting the National Government, stated in his election address that he was in favour of the taxation of food?
§ 4.30 p.m.
Sir F. HALL
I am not in a position to answer for anybody but myself, but I say this, that as far as my constituents were concerned I asked for full powers to do whatever was necessary to deal with the problem of unemployment. The memories of some hon. Members are very short. They forget the difficulties which we are facing and the fact that the amount of unemployment, although slightly reduced during the last few weeks, is still abnormal. The Government must carry out whatever measures they consider necessary to deal with that problem. We have been taunted with the fact that the importation of these articles is only a very small proportion of the total imports of the country. That may be so, but we must not overlook the fact that the countries from which they come are favoured with much better weather conditions and that these early importations have a very detrimental effect on the growers of these articles in this country. The list of articles it has been said, does not include this produce and that produce. Many other articles might have been mentioned and I am sorry the list is so small; I should like to have seen many other articles in the list. It is only by the protection of our industries that we can possibly hope to reduce the 1723 amount of unemployment which unfortunately exists.
It has been said that many of the working classes will not be able to have some of these articles on their table. Many of the middle classes also are not in a position to spend money on what may be called luxury articles. If they are luxury articles and can be produced in this country by all means let us give a certain amount of protection to those engaged in the industry. Much of this produce is grown under glass, and surely a measure like this is going to give an impetus to the building and construction of glass-houses whilst there is also the increased transport which will be necessary in the case of increased production in these various industries. Have hon. Members of the Labour party studied the rate of wages paid in other countries in the production of the articles mentioned in the Schedule I It is well known that in the south of France and in Italy the wages paid to horticultural labourers and agricultural labourers are not comparable with the wages paid in this country. They are always telling us that they are advocates of increased wages for the working classes, but I could understand that attitude a little better if they paid some attention to the way in which this increase could be obtained. I suppose hon. Members of the Labour party are carrying out what they consider to be the duty of an Opposition. It is not a question as to whether it is advisable or inadvisable; they are going to oppose whatever measures are proposed simply because they are an Opposition. I have discussed these matters with some members of the Labour party and they have expressed an opinion which is quite common amongst the party, that it is time some measures were taken to protect the industries of this country.
I am glad that these proposals have been brought in. They are just a sample of what I hope will be a full dose in the near future. Practically all Members on the Government side of the House have been returned on the distinct understanding that they will take all steps necessary to improve the general position of the country. The first thing to do is to find labour for our own people. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not accept 1724 the Amendment; it would take away the kernel of the Measure altogether. It is a small Bill as it is, but in these days we have to be thankful for small mercies. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will set to work after the Recess and inquire most carefully into many other articles which can be produced in this country and bring forward a Measure to look after the interests of this country. If he does I am sure that he will have the whole-hearted support of the great bulk of Members of the House.
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Sir John Gilmour)
It would be well if I indicated to the Committee my view of the Amendment. I cannot accept it. The Mover and Seconder of the Amendment have tried to imply that the National Government were not given a free hand to deal with these problems. I think that is beyond all doubt, and, therefore, any suggestion that this Measure infringes any principle or rides across any pledge which we may have given to our constituents is beside the mark. I have here a statement made by an hon. Member in an agricultural constituency, in which he made it perfectly plain that as far as the farmers and market gardeners and smallholders were concerned—it is their interests we are considering to-day—he was prepared to support the National Government in a policy of prohibition or quotas or tariffs, or in any other way which would give the most effective help.
The Amendment, if I judge aright, is based upon the lines of the Abnormal Importations Act. That shows that there are many hon. Members who seem to think that you can treat industry and agriculture on exactly the same lines. It makes one rather despair of the outlook of some hon. Members on the agricultural problem when they believe that you can apply exactly the same principles to agriculture as you do to industry. In the case of the Abnormal Importations Act the Board of Trade have to satisfy themselves that commodities are being imported into the United Kingdom in abnormal quantities before making an Order imposing duties under that Act. The test which the Board of Trade have to apply is a mathematical test. In the case we are now considering it is very far from being such a test. It is true that the Orders which I shall make will be 1725 based upon statistics and returns, but, quite obviously, there are a great many other factors which must be taken into account. It is impossible at this stage for me to divulge or state in any way what I propose to do in the Order. If that were done one of the main objects of the Bill would be defeated.
It must be remembered that every Order the Minister of Agriculture makes will be submitted to the House. The Minister will have to defend the Order, and the House will be able to judge whether that defence is adequate or inadequate. On the occasions when any Order comes up for discussion the House will be Able to discuss the reasons why the Order should be made. Take the case of early potatoes. It is quite clear that some of these early potatoes are luxury articles, and so far as they are concerned hon. Members opposite have not the slightest desire to interfere, even if we put a duty upon them or shut them out altogether.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
The question of early potatoes has been dealt with time after time, but would the Minister of Agriculture say to which new potatoes he refers when he says they are a luxury. Does he refer to Algerian potatoes, to Spanish potatoes, or to the potatoes from the Channel Islands?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The potatoes from the Channel Islands are not touched by this Measure. Of course the luxury potato comes from outside that area. The point is very clear. The object of these Orders is to encourage our own people to plant early potatoes.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Does the right hon. Gentleman refer to the Channel Islands when he speaks of "our own people" We ought to be clear about it.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The Channel Islands are part of the Empire, and I am dealing with this problem from that point of view.
§ Sir STAFFORD CRIPPS
The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom. The words in the Bill areThe production of which in the United Kingdom can be increased.That does not include the Channel Islands.
§ Sir BERTRAM FALLE
If the great Dominions and other dependencies are not excepted why should the Channel Islands be?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
After this controversy over my unfortunate body perhaps I may be allowed to develop my own argument. If I were completely tied down by the Amendment, I do not think it would be a workable proposition. Clearly, in dealing with a question like that of potatoes, there is the possibility of increasing the quantity of our early potatoes, but if it be demanded of the Minister that in no circumstances shall he make an Order unless he is at that period completely satisfied that there is going to be an increased production of these early potatoes over what exists at that moment, obviously the Minister could not make such a statement, or, if he made it, I should be very doubtful of his position. It is clear that we must have latitude in this matter. I admit that a great deal of what one would have to decide in issuing these Orders is bound to be a matter of opinion. The Minister's opinion would be based upon the best information which the Government Department could secure from the market at the time and from the records of the past, and this House could look as critically as it pleased at an Order when it was made. In all these matters we are dealing with a Measure which is to last for only a year. It is introduced as an emergency Measure. It is directed to encouraging the production in this country of some of these early vegetables, and to giving our own people an opportunity which they have a right to demand. In the circumstances I am unable to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. GROVES
I am greatly surprised at the speech of the Minister. I imagined that he would readily accept the Amendment, if he really had any faith in the statements of those who advocate tariffs in this country. As I understand them, the advocates of a tariff say that one of the results of putting on a protective duty is to increase home production. The charge that a tariff will increase prices and send up costs to the consumer has often been met by Protectionists with the reply, "But you forget that by putting on a tariff your industry at home will increase, your home market will increase, 1727 your overhead charges will be less, your unit costs will be reduced, and there will be no increase in price." The Amendment merely applies to the Bill the test of the tariffists themselves. The Amendment says that before this duty is imposed it is necessary to be sure that there will be an increase in production. I thought that the Protectionist was always confident that a tariff would increase production, and as a result would keep more people in employment. Now the Minister refuses to apply his own principles. He shakes his head, but it is within the recollection of the House that he has said during this Debate that this Bill will increase production in this country, as far as the commodities included in the Bill are concerned. We ask him to be true to his own principles. Even the preamble of the Bill contains almost the very words of the Amendment. The Preamble says:The production of which in the United Kingdom can be increased.It is admitted, therefore, that production can be increased in the United Kingdom. We are seeking to put that into the Clause, and yet the Minister has not enough faith in his own tariff gospel to apply the very test which Protectionists have asked us over and over again to accept. We have been told that there is a crisis, a tremendous emergency in this country, that the country is toppling over the precipice, and yet yesterday and to-day we have had one of the sparsest attendances I have ever seen in the House. The right hon. Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) and others charged us yesterday with not being sympathetic to agriculture. They told us that they were the party who had the interests of agriculture at heart. Yet yesterday we had a count and this afternoon we have had a count. It shows the cynicism of hon. Members when they cannot attend even in an emergency to discuss this great industry of agriculture. This is a fiddlers' Bill. If Rome is burning this House is fiddling at the moment. In a state of grave emergency we are dealing with carrots and turnips and asparagus. Could anything be more ridiculous?
§ Mr. GROVES
I have only one other point to make. One thing that strikes me in the Bill as important is that it marks a distinct change in the policy of this country as far as industry is concerned. I always thought that the way to prosperity was by expansion, by increased production. It has been our proud boast in the past that British industry has developed, that our markets have extended, that our production has increased, and that progress means increased production. Here are a Bill and a Clause which reverse the whole of that doctrine, and British agriculture in this instance, and British industry in general, are now being forced to accept a policy of restriction and of scarcity. The right hon. Gentleman stands for a policy of restriction and curtailment. "Less, scarcity, increased prices, more costly living for the workers and consumers"—that is the policy of the Bill and of the Clause—scarcity in order to save the agricultural industry. "Let us have less and less, and higher prices. Let us make the cost of living dear, let us have scarcity instead of abundance, dearness instead of cheapness"—that is the policy of the Bill. I say to the Minister and those who support him, "Oh, ye of little faith!" If they had the faith that the Bill would increase home production why do they not accept the Amendment? As a matter of fact they know that it will not increase home production. They are afraid of the results of their own policy. They are running away from their own principles. This is a tariff Government. I admit that it has the right to bring in tariffs if it so desires. I do not know about the Liberals.
§ Mr. GROVES
I want to ask the Minister again quite nicely and sympathetically to accept the Amendment. Let us have an exhibition of courage. Let us on this side feel that the Protectionists as a party and the Protectionist Minister of Agriculture are not afraid to have in black and white on the Statute Book that this Bill will increase home production, that it shall not become operative unless it does increase home production, that the Minister knows it will increase production and that unem- 1729 ployment will become less, and that because there will be increased home production prices will not be raised. Let us see him here and now prepared to accept the whole of the principles of the tariffists, and to stand firmly by them, with flag flying, in support of the Protectionist policy of the Tory party.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. A. SOMERVILLE
The hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) has made a Second Reading speech into which I do not propose to follow him further than to say that the Bill is a good beginning in dealing with agriculture. I was very glad to hear the Minister say that he could not accept this Amendment. It seems highly desirable that the right hon. Gentleman should have as free a hand as possible particularly in the interests of providing employment. I intervene in order to say a word on behalf of the nurserymen in my constituency of Windsor and in the districts of Wycombe and Farnham. These nurseries already give a large amount of employment and by the judicious use of this Measure that employment might be greatly increased. When we come to deal with the Schedule, I hope it will be possible to get the Minister's assurance that the items mentioned therein will be interpreted as widely as possible. I should like to ask him in particular if he can extend the item of foliage so as to include such products as shrubs, ornamental trees and herbaceous and Alpine plants and fruit trees. If he could do so, it would greatly increase employment in the nurseries which I have mentioned. I feel satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman is taking the proper course in refusing to accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I am rather surprised that the right hon. Gentleman has not responded to the appeal which has been made to him. If he really believes in the terms of the Preamble he has no alternative but to accept the Amendment. It is perfectly obvious that despite the protestations of the hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) to the effect that the Bill is going to create a tremendous amount of employment in certain parts of the country, the right hon. Gentleman himself has no faith that it is going to provide any employ- 1730 ment at all. The Preamble includes these words:With a view to reducing the importation into the United Kingdom of certain classes of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and other horticultural products, the production of which in the United Kingdom can be increased.Why should he include those words in the Preamble and then shy at the words of the Amendment which are practically the same? The explanation is perhaps to be found in Clause 1 of the Bill. The Preamble is a very nice and ingenious demonstration to the horticulturists of the country, but in the very first line of Clause 1 the Minister takes power to supersede the terms of that Preamble absolutely and entirely. Clause 1 provides:If the Minister … considers that it is desirable to do so, he may … by order apply this Act.He may or he may not. Apparently he can ignore the Preamble. Because of that fact the right hon. Gentleman ought not to hesitate to accept the Amendment. If he believes that certain articles are luxuries and ought to be kept out, we do not object. If on the other hand he feels that the imposition of duties on these articles will create more employment, then he ought not to object to the Amendment. It was obvious from the speech that the hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich had not been present during the earlier Debates on this Bill, or else that he had, unfortunately, failed to understand many of the arguments which were submitted. May I recall to him the intention and purpose of the Bill as explained by the Minister himself. The Minister says he wants to secure an improvement in our adverse balance of trade. Therefore he brings forward a Bill giving himself power to impose duties on certain imported fruits, vegetables, flowers and so forth. He proceeds to say, in effect, that imported potatoes from Algeria at 3¾d. a lb. are luxuries and that a duty must be imposed upon them which will make it impossible to import them in future. He is going to keep out Algerian potatoes at 3¾d. a lb. and Spanish potatoes at 3d. a lb. as luxuries, but he is going to continue to permit the importation of new potatoes from the Channel Islands at 10¼d. a lb.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the question of these potatoes is a matter which might be better discussed on the schedule.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I quite agree, but I think the point which I was about to make has some relevancy to the Amendment. We suggest in the Amendment that the right hon. Gentleman ought to assure himself and the Committee that the Bill is going to create more employment. We say that the mere process of keeping out certain articles will not in itself create more employment. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether new potatoes are to be grown in this country to be available in January, February or March and if so what amount of employment would be required to produce those potatoes. It is to be remembered that new potatoes constitute an important item in the Schedule. We want to be assured, if the Amendment is not accepted, that we are not going to keep out Algerian and Spanish potatoes at 3d. and increase the importation from the Channel Islands of potatoes at 10¼d. To do so will not help to secure a favourable balance of trade. It will be to encourage luxury imports instead of discouraging them and it is not calculated to create any more trade in this country.
The Minister will have power under the Bill to prohibit importation or to impose duties up to 100 per cent. in the case of tomatoes. Is the mere process of doing so going to find employment in this country? If he thinks so, why does he not accept the Amendment? We had an experience last year which ought to encourage the right hon. Gentleman to accept the Amendment. The available supplies of strawberries were then about 50 per cent. of the normal quantity. Surely if the Minister thinks that the Bill is going to have any effect in providing more employment in the production of strawberries, he ought to accept the Amendment. But we are obliged to conclude that as regards luxuries, only the 3¾d. potato is a luxury while the 10¼d. potato is a necessity and that tomatoes imported between January and April at 4d. to 5d. a pound are also to be regarded as luxuries.
The Preamble to the Bill ought to indicate the intention of the Government. Having given the Minister the powers which he seeks, we ought to have a defi- 1732 nite guarantee from him either that more employment will be found in this country, or that he will not impose duties, such as would increase the cost of living, on any of the articles of necessity embodied in the Schedule. We would have more confidence in the result of the Bill if the Minister would see the wisdom of accepting our Amendment. The Bill may find more work in the Channel Islands, but it will not find any more work here. It may help to enrich a few people in the Channel Islands, but it will not help the financial position of this country and in the absence of the words proposed by the Amendment we have no confidence in these proposals.
§ Sir B. FALLE
I should like to correct one or two statements made by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams), doubtless in all good faith, but in which he is mistaken. He referred to potatoes from the Norman Islands at 100 a pound. As a matter of fact, such potatoes are not imported in any considerable quantity, but are sent here by parcels post. They are grown under glass and there is no earthly reason why they should not be grown under glass in this country in the same way and if they were grown in the same way in this country, it would give more employment here. I can assure the hon. Member from personal knowledge that such is the case. The same remark applies to tomatoes. All the early tomatoes which come to this country from the Norman Islands are grown under glass and there again, no earthly reason exists why they should not be grown under glass in this country. That would also give more employment here. If there is increased production here, market gardeners must employ labour. It seems to me that a large part of the hon. Member's argument relating to potatoes and tomatoes and such like, which come here from the Norman Islands is based on a mistaken view—
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Surely the hon. Member does not object to the figures recorded in the Minister's own departmental document. Should any of the figures in the return relative to any of these articles be wrong, we accept no responsibility for them. We only state them as we find them here.
§ Sir B. FALLE
I wish to point out to the hon. Member the fact that in regard to the potatoes to which he has referred as corning from the Norman Islands, it is not a question of tons. As I say they are sent here by parcels post in a form which is a speciality of the Islands. They are sent by those growers whose farms never exceed 25 acres who have the wisdom to grow them under glass and there is nothing to prevent them being grown in the same way on this side. The bulk of outdoor grown potatoes do not fetch 1½d. per pound. As regards the price of 10¼d. a pound, it is absurd to suggest that any Considerable quantity of potatoes is imported at that price. In no case is as much as half a ton of potatoes in one lot sold at that price. Why, if it were found that potatoes could be grown under glass in this country to be sold at £100 a ton, the gold mines of Johannesburg would not be in it with such an enterprise. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the figures he gave must have been for pounds, not tons and they only affect the small grower, who never owns more than 20 acres of land in the Islands, and whose produce is grown, as I say, under glass.
I want to thank the Minister for resisting this Amendment. The Opposition always try to block anything that savours of industrial progress. In any matter of Protection, they always demand some sort of safeguards; even though they have in front of them the ridiculous failure of their own Free Trade policy. I am particularly sorry to find that one of the
§ Yorkshire Members in the Labour party has taken such an active part in opposing this Measure. The farmers in his constituency expect him to look after them, not to oppose them, and I am very glad indeed that the Minister has told them plainly that the Government will not tolerate any nonsense of this sort. I would like to ask my right hon. Friend whether he can definitely give us a proper definition of when a potato is new and when it is old.
I hope the Minister, in resisting the Amendment, is also going to use the utmost vigour in prosecuting this Measure in every possible way, that the powers which he is taking will be used in a very strong way, and that we shall find immediate results. Our potato growers, particularly in Yorkshire, do not want to find themselves subject, as they were two years ago, to having to store their potatoes and then finding that they could not even get the amount of money required to cart them to the station. That was the ridiculous position in which the past Government, with their Free Trade tenets, placed our farmers, and now that we are going to remedy the situation, I hope the Opposition will alter their view when they see the beneficial results of this Measure.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 345; Noes, 37.1737
|Division No. 34.]||AYES.||[5.19 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Brown,Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Browne, Captain A. C.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Buchan, John|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.|
|Albery, Irving James||Beaumont, R. E. B.(Portsm'th, Centr'l)||Bullock, Captain Malcolm|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'I, W.)||Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Burghley, Lord|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (B'K'nh'd, W)||Bernays, Robert||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Burnett, John George|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Butler, Richard Austen|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Boothby, Robert John Graham||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Apsley, Lord||Borodale, Viscount||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Bossom, A. C.||Carver, Major William H.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Boulton, W. W.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Bowater, Col. Sir T, Vansittart||Castle Stewart, Earl|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R.(Prtsmth., S.)|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Braithwalte, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. SirJ. A.(Birm.,W)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Brass, Captain Sir William||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Balniel, Lord||Broadbent, Colonel John||Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh,S.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric|
|Chotzner, Alfred James||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Patrick, Colin M.|
|Christie, James Archibald||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pearson, William G.|
|Clarke, Frank||Hepworth, Joseph||Peat, Charles U.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Herbert, George (Rotherham)||Penny, Sir George|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Hillman, Dr. George B.||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Petherick, M.|
|Colville, Major David John||Hornby, Frank||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Horobin, Ian M.||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Horsbrugh, Florence||Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Potter, John|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Hurd, Percy A.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.(M'tr'se)||Purbrick, R.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Inskip, Sir Thomas W. H.||Pybus, Percy John|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||James, Wing-Com. A, W, H.||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)|
|Cross, R. H.||Jamieson, Douglas||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Crossley, A. C.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Ramsbotham, Herswald|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colenel Bernard||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Ramsden, E.|
|Curry, A. C.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Rankin, Robert|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Ker, J. Campbell||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Kimball, Lawrence||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Kirkpatrick, William M.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Denville, Alfred||Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Remer, John R.|
|Dickie, John P.||Knebworth, Viscount||Rentoul Sir Gervals S,|
|Donner, P. W,||Knight, Holford||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Doran, Edward||Knox, Sir Alfred||Robinson, John Roland|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Law, Sir Alfred||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodoridge)|
|Duqgan, Hubert John||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Rothschild, James L. de|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Leckie, J. A.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Dunnlass, Lord||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Eady, George H.||Lees-Jones, John||Runne, Norah Cecil|
|Eden, Robert Anthony||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Ednam, Viscount||Levy, Thomas||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Lewis, Oswald||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Ellis, Robert Geoffrey||Llewellin, Major John J.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Salt, Edward W.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd. Gr'n)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. O.|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Mabane, William||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Scone, Lord|
|Fermoy, Lord||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Flelden, Edward Brocklehurst||McEwen, J. H. F.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Flanagan, W. H.||McKeag, William||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||McKie, John Hamilton||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||McLean, Major Alan||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(Cornll N.)||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||Magnay, Thomas||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Cot. Sir M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine.C.)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Marjoribanks, Edward||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Glosson, C. W. H.||Millar, James Duncan||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||Mills, Sir Frederick||Soper, Richard|
|Golf, Sir Park||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'damp; Chisw'k)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Mitcheson, G. G.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Graves, Marjorie||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Moreing, Adrian C.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Grimston, R. V.||Morgan, Robert H.||Stones, James|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Morrison, William Shephard||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & ZetI'nd)||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Munro, Patrick||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Hertland, George A.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth,Kenningt'n)||Normand, Willrld Guild||Thomas, Major J. B. (King's Norton)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nunn, William||Thompson, Luke|
|Haslam, H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||O'Connor, Terence James||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Ormlston, Thomas||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd,Henley)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Train, John|
|Turton, Robert Hugh||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon||Wells, Sydney Richard||Womersley, Walter James|
|Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)||Weymouth, Viscount||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Wallace, John (Dunfermline)||White, Henry Graham||Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)||Wills, Willrid D.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Watt, Captain George Steven H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Wayland, Sir William A.||Wise, Alfred R.||Mr. Shakespeare and Lord Erskine.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Griffiths, T, (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grundy, Thomas W.||Maxton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W.H., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, Gabriel|
|Buchanan, George||Hirst, George Henry||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Kirkwood, David||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, William G.||Lansbury, Rt. Hen. George||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Leonard, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Edwards, Charles||Lunn, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McGovern, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. Groves.|
§ Mr. J. JONES
On a point of Order. Is there any Rule of the House that precludes a Member from giving a vote in the Opposition Lobby when Members are going through the Government Lobby?
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that I can explain to the hors. Member what happened to him. The operation of voting consists of two parts, one, getting into the Lobby, and the other, getting out of the Lobby. The hon. Member, I think, failed in the first part. The difficulty for Government supporters is getting in. Getting out is easy enough.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Rules of the House provide for the doors of the Lobbies being locked after a certain time. I understand that there is more than the usual accommodation in the Lobby which the lion. Member uses.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the. Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Viscount WOLMER
I wish to raise a point on this Clause, because it seems to be the only point in the Bill where it can be raised. It is a point of some importance. In Clause 1, Sub-section (2), and subsequent Sub-sections, it is provided that when the Minister makes an Order it requires the assent of this House but not of the other House. It is laid down in Sub-section (3) that 1738an order so made may be varied or revoked by a subsequent order made in the like manner subject to the like provisions.I take that to mean that if the Minister wishes to amend the Order in any respect, he has to bring it again to this House, and on the decision of this House rests whether the Order shall be amended or revoked. I take it that it is the view of the Government that this is a money Bill within the meaning of the Parliament Act, and that therefore the other House has no right to be consulted in regard to Orders made under it. I understand that Mr. Speaker has given a certificate in the case of the Abnormal Importations (Customs Duties) Act that it is a money Bill, and it is to be presumed that he will give a certificate in the case of this Bill also. That being the case, I do not wish to complain on a technical score about the procedure which the Government have adopted in this Bill. In so much as it is only a temporary Measure which is to expire in a year's time, I have no complaint of substance to make in regard to this point. We on this side of the Committee, however, hope very much that before this Session is over we shall have a permanent Act dealing with importations of agricultural produce and embodying the Government's agricultural policy, or a very large part of it. If that be the case, I hope that my right hon. Friend will so draft that Bill that any Orders made under it will he subject to review in another place as well as in this House.
I urge that for this reason. Although this Bill may be technically a money Bill, it goes very much beyond what Parlia- 1739 ment meant when it defined a Money Bill in the Parliament Act. A money Bill as there defined is primarily a Bill to raise taxes. The primary object of this Bill is not to raise taxes, but to give protection to certain classes of British agriculture. Therefore, it raises great questions of policy in which the other House has as much right to be consulted as this House. There is the further point, which I am sure my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture will appreciate, that, if his agricultural policy is to be successful, one of the most necessary conditions is that there shall be a quality of permanence and of security about it. I remember that when my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council announced about 18 months ago his acceptance of the policy of the guaranteed price for wheat, he laid special emphasis on the necessity of getting that policy in a form which would be permanent and not subject to sudden reversals like the Corn Production Act. If the agricultural policy of the Government can be reversed by a vote merely of this House, you are sacrificing one of the great elements of security and permanence which our Constitution still provides.
Therefore, I have risen at this point to express the hope that the Minister of Agriculture will not regard this provision in Clause 1 as a precedent for any further Bill that may take the place of this Bill when it expires. It is absolutely essential for the success of any agricultural policy that the farmers should feel that they have security in regard to its provisions. It is the object of my right hon. Friend and of his supporters here to get increased agricultural production in this country. That necessitates the employment of further capital, and, in regard to the Bill which we are now considering, for instance, the building of more glasshouses. I hope that a great deal of fresh capital will come into the industry as a result of the Bill and give employment in other trades as well as in agriculture. But that result cannot possibly be achieved unless those who are considering embarking their capital have some security that the policy on which this Bill is based will not be reversed in five years time by a vote of what may be a transient majority in this House, such as we had in the last Parliament. There- 1740 fore, I hope that my right hon. Friend will take note of this, because I am sure that it is a point to which the National Farmers Union and farmers generally will attach the greatest importance. We are not yet living under single chamber Government, and I hope that this Clause will not set any unfortunate precedent in that respect.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I quite agree with the Noble Lord and I hope, from another point of view, that the Minister will not regard the Bill as a precedent, for I think that it is a thoroughly bad precedent. I also agree with the Noble Lord that it goes far beyond the Parliament Act, for the framers of that Act never thought that a Minister would be given power to levy taxes by an Act of Parliament. I have great faith in the benevolence and sound constitutional position of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Agriculture, and, if we are to have taxes imposed by the Minister of Agriculture, he is as safe a man with his Scottish caution as we could have. The suggestion now, however, is that the House of Lords is to butt in and have a share in this taxing. The purpose of this Bill is to levy taxes at the Customs House or by giving monopolies to or opportunities for farmers to raise prices by eliminating competition. The right hon. Gentleman has said that it is impossible at this stage to divulge what he intends to do as it would prevent what he wishes to carry out. The Committee will agree that we have in the right hon. Gentleman the personification of modesty, a man of probity and a man whom we can trust, and I am going to ask him a simple question. Has he any idea of the rate of tax which he intends to levy under these powers? That is a very reasonable question. We know that the President of the Board of Trade fixed his tax at 60 per cent. He had very good reason for not telling the House what he intended to do, because the object of his Bill was to prevent forestalling. This Bill is not intended to prevent that. It deals with perishable articles, and it is quite impossible in the case of cherries, cabbages, or broccoli or whatever is to be taxed to forestall. The right hon. Gentleman must have some idea of the sort of tax he is going to impose. Is he going to vary it according to the country from which the articles come, or according to 1741 the articles to be taxed? On what principle is he going to levy his tax? We are entitled to know that before we depart from this Clause.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Clause 1 provides that these Orders shall cease to have effect at the expiration of 28 days, and I assume that the farming community will want some guidance as early as possible as to how the taxes will be levied and how they are to be announced, so that they can get ready to produce the crops that hitherto were imported. For instance, tomatoes require glass-houses to be constructed—
§ Mr. HARRIS
I do not want to discuss the articles but to raise the simple point as to how the taxes are to be announced, when, what amount, and how much notice the importers are to receive on the one hand, and, what is more important, how much notice the producers are to receive on the other band. Agriculturists will have to make up leeway for the shortage of supplies which will be consequent on the levying of the tax, and they must have reasonable warning. We have been told by the right hon. Gentleman that you cannot provide glass-houses or provide for new crops without many months' notice. This Bill is for only 12 months; it provides for emergency Customs duties; and, if it is to be effective in its working to help agriculture, the right hon. Gentleman should not wait for the Recess, but immediately announce the rate of taxes, how they are to be imposed and when they are to be imposed, so that the farming community can get to work to produce the necessary crops, and so that the supply should be available. I understand that currant bushes have to be planted—well, I am, not sure whether it is not too late to plant them now. The Noble Lord, who is an expert in agriculture, will tell us whether it is too late. In the small garden plot which I have we put in our currant bushes in the autumn. [Interruption.] I am told that now is the time.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am not sure whether the hon. Member has already made this speech, but he ought to have done so on Second Reading.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I am only pressing the Minister with regard to the word "now"—the time. I wish the Minister to announce his taxes at once, before we part with this Clause. If he will do that he will be helping agriculture, helping to protect consumers, and helping his Bill to work.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I would say, in reply to the Noble Lord, that the procedure which is being followed in this case is exactly the same procedure as was applied by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade in connection with an earlier Measure, and I believe it is correct to say that this will be a Money Bill. I am, of course, very sensible of the fact that in another place there are many Noble Lords who are intimately connected with agriculture, whose interest in the matter is considerable, but under our procedure we must carry out the steps in the way we are carrying them out. With regard to what the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) said, I shall divulge these Orders as soon as I have the authority of Parliament to do so. He has invited me to do something which is quite contrary to Parliamentary usage. I cannot promise to make the announcement before this House rises, because probably the Measure will not receive Parliamentary authority until the last moment.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
No, Sir. A hint is often not entirely correct, and, in my view, it would be unwise to say anything.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I was glad to hear the right hon. Gentleman rebuking the Noble Lord. I have always thought the Noble Lord had never read the whole of this Measure, otherwise he would not have put to the Minister the question which he did. If he will turn to page 4, he will find it stated quite clearly that the Measure is to continue in force for 12 months, and no longer. He assumes that this Government is a stable Government, that it has a great deal of per- 1743 manency about it. I am very pleased for once in a while to see that the Liberal party in the person of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) are waking up to the realities of the situation. In Clause 1 the right hon. Gentleman is taking the powers that are necessary for administering this Bill. Last evening he let drop one or two statements which are very important in connection with this Clause. Before we pass the Clause, we are entitled to know from him what he meant by those statements. He said:I have discussed with them, in a perfectly amicable frame of mind and with, I hope, mutual advantage, seine of the aspects of these problems, the problem of the tomatoes we get from the Canary Islands, or the early potatoes we get from Spain, or the other goods which come from Holland, Belgium or France."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 7th December. 1931; col. 1638, Vol. 260.]We are entitled to ask the right hon. Gentleman what progress he has made with representatives of foreign countries who came here, presumably, on account of this Bill being before us. There is another point which I do not think I can raise in a general way except on Clause 1. At the period of the year when this country is not producing commodities available for consumption is it intended to impose a duty on similar commodities from foreign countries at that time?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid the hon. Member is too late. He should have raised this point on Second Reading.
§ Mr. DAVIES
I bow to your Ruling, but I would point out that the right hon. Gentleman introduced these points into his speech last evening, and I thought this would be the only opportunity I should have of dealing with them, because Clause 1 is intended primarily as the governing Clause of the Bill. One thing the Committee ought to know from the right hon. Gentleman is whether he hopes to increase the horticultural products of this country by the imposition of these duties. When the Noble Lord told us this afternoon that another place ought to have a determining voice on this issue, I was very pleased indeed to hear the democratic sentiments of the right hon. Gentleman, and I am also pleased to see for once in a way two prominent Liberal Ministers on the Treasury Bench. I have been pointing out all along that we 1744 have not had a fair representation of the Government in the conduct of this Bill. Would the right hon. Gentleman tell us, at any rate, what progress he has made in the negotiations he has had with foreign countries with regard to these duties?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am afraid I cannot allow that question to be gone into here. Even though this is one of the most important Clauses of the Bill, the hon. Member cannot be allowed to make a Second Reading speech.
§ Mr. COVE
The right hon. Gentleman has dealt with this Clause in a very inadequate manner. He confined himself to generalities. An hon. Member opposite seemed to be missing the whole point of the Clause when he was pleading for democracy. It is too late in the day to plead for democracy. This Clause establishes a dictatorship in the Ministry of Agriculture, and I can see the right hon. Gentleman enjoying himself in the role of farmer dictator, especially during the festive season which we are about, I hope, to enjoy. As he is going to be a dictator, I do not expect him to give us details, to say whether he will impose a duty of 50 per cent. or 80 per cent., but we have not had from him any general indication of the principles upon which he will act. There is a phrase in the Bill which empowers him to impose these duties as he may think "desirable." As far as I can see, he can impose duties on whatever things he wishes, and the amount of the duty may depend on how he is feeling when he gets up in the morning. If he is in a happy frame of mind he will let the consumers off lightly, but if he rises in A bad frame of mind the consumers will "get it in the neck." High duties when he gets up bad tempered, and low duties when he is in a nice mood.
We are giving very wide and dangerous powers to the Minister, and genial though the right hon. Gentleman may be, and is, we ought not to part with this Clause without some definite indication as to the principles upon which he will act. I do not think any Member of the Committee has the slightest idea whether the Minister will base his action on statistics as to production in foreign countries, or upon the statistics of production in this country, upon the statistics of pre- 1745 vious years or upon what. We are left in a complete fog, and out of courtesy the right hon. Gentleman ought to let us know what is in his mind. We ought to press him to tell us exactly what is behind the word "desirable." If he does so, I am sure it will help us to come to a more reasonable decision when we go into the Lobby. I repeat that I do not expect him to take the Committee completely into his confidence. I should not expect a dictator to do that, because it would be alien to the spirit and methods of a dictatorship to take a democratic assembly into confidence on minute details, but we may as well keep up the semblance of being a democracy. We have been elected, and I presume that the supporters of the National Government regard themselves as part of the democracy. Therefore, I ask the right hon. Gentleman at least to let us know the general principles upon which he will act in applying this Bill.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
May I very respectfully raise with you, Sir Dennis, the point which you decided against my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies)? Sub-section (1) of this Clause says that the Minister, if he considers it desirable so to do,may, with the concurrence of the Treasury, by order apply this Act to any article of any of the descriptions set out in the Schedule to this Act.My hon. Friend wanted to know from the Minister how he would decide what was desirable, and I understood you to rule that that could not be raised on the Clause. I respectfully suggest that we are entitled to discuss the Clause, and to ask the Minister to explain it to us. I would like to have your Ruling.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have no recollection of giving quite such a Ruling as the right hon. Gentleman suggests, but when it came to a question of arguments in favour of or against making an Order applying to certain articles then I said, and I still say, that the time to raise that is on the Schedule, where the particular articles are set out.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I understood you—or I may have misunderstood you—to say that the point raised by my hon. Friend was not in order. He was asking how the Minister would decide when it was desirable to make an Order. Will it be 1746 when he has convinced himself that there is enough of a certain article in a country, or that there is too much of it in the country On what basis will he decide whether a thing is desirable or not? I understood you to rule that that could be discussed only on Second Reading.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think the right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood me. The hon. Member was referring to other matters. The point which the right hon. Gentleman is now raising is quite in order.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Will the Minister of Agriculture tell us the basis on which he thinks it is desirable to make an Order? Will it be the price at which the articles will be sold? I think it is important that we should know what the right hon. Gentleman considers is desirable and what is undesirable, and before we part with this Clause we ought to have an answer to that question. I do not want to argue this point at any length, but I would like an answer to the question as to what is the basis upon which the Minister is going to determine that an Order is necessary?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I can understand the anxiety of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to draw me upon this subject. I fully explained all these points on the Second Reading when I stated fully the intention of the Government in dealing with this problem. The administration and the issuing of an Order must be determined by the responsible Minister, after the fullest consideration of every kind of representations made to him. Of course, f cannot go into details until I have determined what the Order is to be, how it is to work, and for what period. It is a limited period in any case. I shall be prepared to give the fullest details when I bring an Order to this House, which I shall do on the first opportunity, as is provided for in the Measure, and that will provide an opportunity for the discussion of these points.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The fact remains that I shall have the responsibility of issuing the Order, and I shall give a full explanation when I bring the Order before the House.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The right hon. Gentleman does not appear to understand what we are asking for. We want to be quite sure that the Minister will not consider the making of an Order unless he is convinced that there is an abundant supply of commodities at a reasonable price—I am referring to articles used largely by the working people. We want to be told by the Minister that that is the basis upon which he will decide whether to issue an Order or not. That is a very simple question, and it is one which should not be postponed. It is a matter of principle.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
It is impossible, at this stage, to go into the details as to what I shall do in regard to this or that particular commodity. I shall have to take into account not only the question of supplies, and the nature of the commodity, but whether it is a pure luxury or partly a luxury. It would be unfair to go into all those details now, and say what I shall do until I have had an opportunity of consulting with those concerned and of making up my mind.
§ Mr. MANDER
I want to know whether it is desirable that the administrative authority for issuing these Orders should rest with the Minister of Agriculture. I understand that a Measure of this kind is in charge of the Minister of Agriculture, but there are a good many interests which feel that it would be desirable to place the administration of this Measure in the hands of the President of the Board of Trade, because there is a feeling that the Minister of Agriculture is too closely interested, and is too much under the influence of the Farmers' Union and bodies of producers of that kind. It is felt that the interests of the consumers are not likely to receive the same sympathetic consideration from the Minister as the producers. This point has been put to me by those representing industrial areas which are going to be affected by this Measure. I ask the Minister if he has considered this point, and whether he thinks it might not be possible to introduce an Amendment—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must call the hon. Member's attention to the fact that the point with which he is dealing has already been settled by the House is the Financial Resolution, and that point cannot be further discussed on this Amendment.
§ Mr. MANDER
Will the Minister of Agriculture be good enough to tell the Committee, that before issuing these Orders he will consult the President of the Board of Trade, because that would give an assurance to the country that the point of view of the consumer as well as the interests of the producer would be considered?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I do not object to the Minister of Agriculture issuing these Orders on personal grounds, but I object on other grounds. I do not know that it would be a much better safeguard if the Minister did consult the President of the Board of Trade, who knows much more about shipping. The President of the Board of Trade is no longer a member of the Liberal party, and I do not know that we trust him any more than we trust the Minister of Agriculture. There is a good deal involved in the question which has been put to the Minister by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). I do not think there is much to choose between the two Ministers. Much as we dislike the policy of the President of the Board of Trade, and much as we detest all his political associations, we are prepared to accept him as the best Minister for dealing with such hopeless propositions as those which are raised in this Bill.
§ Mr. HARRIS
The President of the Board of Trade is responsible for dealing with food prices which come under his supervision, and we want these orders to be considered from the point of view of the consumer. For this reason, I think it is advisable that the President of the Board of Trade, as the protector of food prices, should be consulted before any Order is made.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."1750
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 350; Noes, 39.1751
|Division No. 35.]||AYES.||[6.12 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Copeland, Ida||Herbert, George (Rotherham)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Hillman, Dr. George B.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Cranborne, Viscount||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Albery, Irving James||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Crooke, J. Smedley||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Allen, Maj. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd, W)||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Hornby, Frank|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Cross, R. H.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Crossley, A. C.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Apsley, Lord||Curry, A. C.||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Aske, Sir William Robert||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Davison, Sir William Henry||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Denville, Alfred||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.(Montr'se)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Inskip, Sir Thomas W. H.|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Dickie, John P.||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Balniel, Lord||Donner, P. W.||James, Wing-Com, A. W. H.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Doran, Edward||Jamieson, Douglas|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Drewe, Cedric||Jennings, Roland|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Duckworth, George A. V.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Duggan, Hubert John||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Beaumont, R. E. B. (Portsm'th, Centr'l)||Dunglass, Lord||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Eady, George H.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Eden, Robert Anthony||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Bernays, Robert||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Kimball, Lawrence|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey||Kirkpatrick, William M.|
|Blinded, James||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.|
|Boothby, Robert John Graham||Elmley, Viscount||Knight, Holford|
|Borodale, Viscount||Emmoll, Charles E. G. C.||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Bossom, A. C.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Entwistle, Major Cyril Fullard||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Leckie, J. A.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lees-Jones, John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Fermoy, Lord||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Levy, Thomas|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Flanagan, W. H.||Lewis, Oswald|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Llewellin, Major John J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||Lloyd, Geoffrey|
|Buchan, John||Ganzoni, Sir John||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Loder, Captain J. de Vere|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Burghley, Lord||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Glossop, C. W. H.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu|
|Burnett, John George||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Mabane, William|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Waiter||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Butler, Richard Austen||Goldie, Noel B.||McConnell, Sir Joseph|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McEwen, J. H. F.|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Gower, Sir Robert||McKeag, William|
|Caine, G. R. Hall-||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Graves, Marjorie||McLean, Major Alan|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(Corn'll N.)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Grimston, R. V.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Magnay, Thomas|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Maitland, Adam|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R.(Prtsmth., S.)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Hanbury, Cecil||Marjoribanks, Edward|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J.A. (Blrm., W)||Hanley, Dennis A.||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Hartland, George A.||Merriman, Sr. F. Boyd|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edlnburgh, S.)||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Harvey, Majors. S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mills, Sir Frederick|
|Chotzner, Alfred James||Haslam, H. C. (Lindsay, Horncastle)||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw-|
|Christie, James Archibald||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Morgan, Robert H.|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Muirhead, Major A. J.|
|Colville, Major David John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Munro, Patrick|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hepworth, Joseph||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Runge, Norah Cecil||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Nunn, William||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Thomas, Major J. B. (King's Norton)|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Thompson, Luke|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Salmon, Major Isidore||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Salt, Edward W.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Pearson, William G.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Peat, Charles U.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Train, John|
|Penny, Sir George||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Petherick, M.||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bliston}||Scone, Lord||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Pickering, Ernest H.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Potter, John||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Ramsbotham, Herswald||Smithers, Waldron||White, Henry Graham|
|Ramsden, E.||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Rankin, Robert||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Soper, Richard||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Rea, Walter Russell||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T, E.||Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Reed, Arthur c. (Exeter)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Remer, John R.||Stones, James||Womersley, Walter James|
|Rentoul Sir Gervals S.||Stourton, Hon. John J.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Strauss, Edward A.||Wood, Major M. McKenzie (Banff}|
|Robinson, John Roland||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Summersby, Charles H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Sutcliffe, Harold||Mr. Shakespeare and Lord Erskine.|
|Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grunoy, Thomas W.||Maxton, James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Milner, Major James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Price, Gabriel|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hirst, George Henry||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Buchanan, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwood, David||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Cove, William G.||Lawson, John James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Daggar, George||Leonard, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Edwards, Charles||Lunn, William||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McGovern, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. John and Mr. Duncan Graham.|