HC Deb 03 May 1932 vol 265 cc938-40
6. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether it is now possible to issue a preliminary list of the representatives and experts from each Dominion who are to participate in the Imperial Economic Conference at Ottawa?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the DOMINIONS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)

Information is not available for a list of the kind referred to by the hon. and gallant Member. The invitations to the conference were issued by His Majesty's Government in Canada, and it is to them, therefore, that each of the other Governments concerned will notify the composition of their delegations.


When will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give the House a list of the delegates representing this country?


The hon Member cannot have read the Order Paper to-day from which he will see that an answer will be given to another question. That is not the question I am answering now.


I am asking the right hon. Gentleman to give a list of delegates representing all countries.


I have already stated that each country chooses its own delegate. Each country will, in its own Parliament, announce its delegation, but it would be impertinent for me to say to the Dominions, "What is your representation?"


Would the right hon. Gentleman say what will be the representation of this country?


asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is now in a position to give the names of the advisers, other than officials, whom the Government propose to include in the United Kingdom delegation to the Ottawa Conference?


In addition to official advisers from the Departments of State, it is proposed to include in the United Kingdom delegation seven advisers as follows: For industrial and commercial questions: Sir Gilbert Vyle, Lord Weir, Sir Alan Anderson (these three having been nominated 'by the British Committee on Empire Trade and thus being representative of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of British Industries and the Chambers of Shipping of the United Kingdom); Mr. J. Bromley and Mr. Walter Citrine (nominated by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress). As adviser on Colonial trade matters: Sir Edward Davson. An adviser for agricultural questions will also be included whose name will be announced later.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider adding a representative of the National Union of Manufacturers, as well as an adviser on banking, as the question of currency is one which will be discussed at Ottawa and is very important?


The hon. Member can rest assured that the business men who are not unmindful of their obligations and business interests are being consulted, and their nominees are included here. The Trades Union Congress is an official body representing organised labour. Their nominees are here. I do not propose to add to the number or to modify, or myself to take the responsibility from other people of choosing those who know most about the matter.


What is the total number of the delegation, including secretaries and typists, and what will it cost?


Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the Government will be able to dupe and dope the Canadians as well as they did the electors during the General Election?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the selection of Sir Gilbert Vyle for the Ottawa Conference gives great satisfaction to the business men of Birmingham?


The hon. Member may rest assured that I accepted without hesitation the choice submitted to me.


asked he Chancellor of the Exchequer if any arrangements are to be made at the Ottawa Conference for the banking interests of this country to be represented and for a discussion with the banking interests of the Empire as to the advisability of the whole Empire being on or off the Gold Standard, and the establishment of an Empire monetary policy and of an Empire central bank, with the object of abolishing the existing fluctuations on exchange?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for East Islington (Miss Cazalet) on the 21st April.