§ 20. Mr. LEWIS
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether at the forthcoming conference at Ottawa the consideration of possible preferential duties will be confined to those articles upon which it will be possible to impose such duties within the scope of the Import Duties Bill without further legislation being necessary?
§ 24. Sir H. CROFT
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will give an assurance that no commodities will be excluded from consideration at the Imperial Conference at Ottawa, and that the British representatives at that Conference will have a free hand in promoting agreements involving preference on any products?
Mr. J. H. THOMAS
The Ottawa Conference will obviously be free to discuss any proposal which the representatives of any Dominion or other Government concerned may desire to bring forward, and His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom would certainly not seek to exclude beforehand any proposal which might be made. But final decision on the part of any Government must, of course, always be subject to any general considerations involved in the domestic policy of that Government.
It means that His Majesty's Government will be prepared to discuss at Ottawa any proposals brought forward by any Government.
§ Sir H. CROFT
In view of the very important decisions to be taken on the Schedule, may the House definitely understand that the question of meat and pig products will not be precluded from an agreement at Ottawa?
I have clearly and specifically indicated that it is open to 203 any Dominion to bring forward any proposals, including meat or anything else; but equally it is open to the representatives of His Majesty's Government to consider any proposal on its merits, having due regard to their own domestic position.
§ Mr. THORNE
May I ask whether it is the intention of the Government to put down a proposal to reduce tariffs instead of increasing them?
The reason why I support the tariff proposals, is because I believe that as a bargaining power they are the only means of reducing tariffs.