HC Deb 10 May 1932 vol 265 cc1861-79

Considered in Committee.

[Sir DENNIS HERBERT in the Chair.]


Motion made, and Question proposed, 1) As from the eleventh day of May, nineteen hundred and thirty-two,—

  1. (a) in addition to the duties of customs chargeable under Section four of the Finance Act, 1925, as amended by the Finance Act, 1926, a customs duty equal to ten per cent. of the value of the articles shall he charged on yarns and tissues and other articles (not being articles of apparel) made wholly or partly of silk or artificial silk;
  2. (b) in the case of an article of apparel made wholly or partly of silk or artificial silk there shall, in lieu of the duty of customs chargeable under the enactments aforesaid, be charged whichever is the higher of the two following duties, that is to say—
    1. (i) a customs duty equal to the aggregate amount of the customs duty chargeable under the enactments aforesaid, and of a duty equal to ten per cent. of the value of the article;
    2. (ii) a customs duty calculated at the rates shown in the following Table on the whole weight of the article: —

In the case of articles containing silk alone or containing both silk and artificial silk. In the case of articles containing artificial silk alone.
the 1b. the 1b.
s. d. s. d.
Where the article is made wholly of silk or artificial silk, or where the value of the silk or artificial silk component exceeds twenty per cent. of the aggregate of the values of all the components of the article. 12 0 5 0

(2) Drawback of the duty paid under this Resolution in respect of any articles may be allowed—

  1. (a) if the articles (not being articles specified in paragraph 1 of Part II to the Schedule. to the Finance Act, 1925) are shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to be in such form and state that the rate of duty which would be payable in respect thereof, if they were being imported, would be the same as that at which they or their components have already been charged; or
  2. (b) if the articles are made up articles exported in the form and state in which they are imported.

And it is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1913."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

Yesterday I informed the House that I proposed to put down a Resolution dealing with the subject of the protection of the silk industry, and the Committee will understand that the proposals contained in the Resolution are not intended as any permanent solution of the problem. They constitute merely an interim arrangement to give some assistance to the industry pending the possibility of the framing of a complete scheme. Perhaps I should briefly indicate what are the circumstances which have given rise to this procedure. Under the Abnormal Importations Act, a Customs duty of 50 per cent., in addition to the existing duty, was imposed upon all garments and hosiery, except underwear, of whatever material, and also upon certain cotton manufactures containing a component of silk or artificial silk. But with the introduction of the additional duties, the extra duty imposed under the Abnormal Importations Act disappeared, and thereupon these articles returned to the original duties, except in the case of certain composite goods.

The silk trade have felt a grievance partly by the sudden removal of a considerable measure of protection which had been afforded to them by the Abnormal Importations Act and partly by the fact that they felt that they would have received the same measure of protection at the hands of the Advisory Committee as other textile industries if that Committee had not been precluded from considering them at all because they were already the subject of duties imposed for revenue purposes. I must say that I think that grievance is one which has considerable justification, because the exclusion of this particular industry from the treatment which has been afforded to other textile industries may be said to be a sort of accident, and certainly not imposed upon them by any design or special reasons to differentiate them from other similar industries. They have also pointed out that, especially under the continually falling prices, the existing duties, which are specific in the case of semi-finished materials, and ad valorem in the case of finished articles, actually imposed lower duties on the entirely finished article in some cases than on the material of which those articles are made.

11.30 p.m.

Accordingly, the association which represents the industry submitted to me some time ago proposals for a radical alteration of the whole system of duties. Their proposal contemplated the freeing of the raw material from duty altogether, but for reasons which I explained on an earlier occasion I could not accept that proposal, because it would have deprived me of revenue which I cannot afford to lose. Moreover, as I stated yesterday, it is an industry which is of very considerable intricacy and complexity, and contains numerous sections or branches, and the relation between the various sections of the industry had to be considered and taken into account in arranging the original scheme of revenue duties. You could not upset that arrangement and at the same time safeguard the revenue without a very much more careful and longer investigation than it was possible for me to undertake at short notice. Accordingly, I felt that the only satisfactory way of re-arranging these duties so as to give some sort of equivalent protection to that enjoyed by other textile industries and at the same time preserve that revenue which I cannot at present afford to dispense with, was to get a proper investigation made by the body best adapted for that purpose, namely, the Tariff Advisory Committee. The Committee have no statutory power to deal with this matter, but there is no reason why they should not, at my request, consider it, and make recommendations to me which, although they cannot be put into operation by Treasury Order, can be embodied in a later Finance Bill. That is the best way of dealing with what I may call the permanent Scheme for Duties upon Silk. But that would not have relieved the industry from the grievance which I have already indicated. Therefore I have tried to see what I can do to give them some sort of temporary assistance, although it is not possible to do that without introducing or, perhaps I should say, emphasising the anomalies which exist. I think, on the whole, it will be generally agreed that anomalies of that kind are inevitable when you are setting up a new system, but I think our proposals offer a fair interim arrangement.

At present the duties on the raw material of the industries are specific duties and the ad valorem duties are only upon the made-up articles. What we propose to do is to leave the duties on raw silk, cocoons, silk and artificial silk waste where they are and not to impose any extra duty upon them but to put a surtax of 10 per cent. on imported yarns, tissues and other articles, except articles of apparel made wholly or partly from silk or artificial silk. That will deal with all articles except articles of apparel. There a difficulty arises because of the very low price at which these articles have been imported and on which the existing duties do not give adequate protection. Therefore we have proposed that in such cases the new duty imposed shall be either a 10 per cent. ad valorem or a specific rate which is set forth in the Schedule embodied in the Resolution, whichever is the higher of the two, but as those duties in the highest case are one and a-half times the highest specific duty imposed upon the tissues which form the raw material of the finished article, I think that will avoid the anomaly that in some cases the protection gives on the finished article has been less than that given to the materials of which they are made.

The only other thing I need mention is the question of drawbacks, which are dealt with in the second part of the Resolution. The drawbacks will apply only to the entrepot trade. The existing duties are accompanied by a somewhat complicated scheme of drawbacks and it would be impossible to include the new duties in the scheme without a complete revision of the Schedule of duties and of the drawbacks themselves. Therefore I am bound to leave the question of drawbacks for the complete scheme to the Tariff Advisory Committee to investigate and to make recommendations upon it. In the meantime it is possible to give the drawbacks upon the entrepot trade goods and that will be afforded by the Resolution.


May I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his return to the House and on the more hopeful tone of his speech than the one to which we listened last night. This Resolution is extraordinary, and the circumstances surrounding it are extraordinary. We had had the Budget, the Budget Resolutions, the Import Duties, the Finance Bill, and now at the eleventh hour the right hon. Gentleman appears with this Resolution; somewhat like Julia when she went to Don Juan— [Interruption.]—who after vowing not to consent, finally consented. This is a rich example of what we may expect under Protection. If Protection is to be imposed I do not see why silk should be excluded from its joys. We do not agree that Protection is going to be a joy to the nation or to industry, and for that reason we do not propose to debate these com- plicated duties. All I want to do on behalf of my hon. Friends is to draw the attention of the Committee to the amazing methods adopted. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) on the Budget Resolutions intimated to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the effect on the silk industry if something was not done. He was followed by the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook (Mr. Amery), and then the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Remer) joined in the chorus. The Order Paper was full of questions day after day demanding that something should be done for the industry. I see no reason why something should not be done; I see no reason why something should be done.

The right hon. Gentleman and his followers have talked so frequently about the scientific tariff which they were to impose, that to speak as the right hon. Gentleman did last evening—and he repeated the statement to-night—of a "rough-and-ready" method of giving the silk producers some sort of protection, is rather extraordinary in our opinion. The scientific tariff has now become a slipshod, happy-go-lucky tariff, because, the right hon. Gentleman states, there has not been ample time to consider seriously this highly complex problem of silk. To that extent, it may be perfectly justifiable in the circumstances to do something which is rather out of the ordinary, but no longer can hon. and right hon. Gentlemen claim that they are engaged in applying a scientific tariff. Appparently a "rough-and-ready" tariff is being imposed because of pressure from the back benches opposite. If that is not an example of log-rolling, I should like to know what log-rolling really means. While we are not going to argue as to why silk should be excluded, while other hosiery materials are protected, we lament the fact that the right hon. Gentleman should have seen fit, at this late hour, to surrender to what appears to be force from behind, instead of reason from before. He tells us that not having had ample time in which to examine this complex problem he is about to put it to the Advisory Committee. Does he think that he really can submit this question to the Advisory Committee? Last night the right hon. Gentleman said: As I have already said, the silk industry is outside the purview of the Advisory Committee but that does not, in any way, prevent me asking the Advisory Committee to undertake the necessary investigation into the circumstances of the industry and to make, in due course, recommendations to me, even if those recommendations cannot be implemented by a Treasury Order."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th May, 1932; col. 1666, Vol. 265.] On examination of the Import Duties Act, Section 2 (1), we find that the Advisory Committee is for the purpose of giving advice and assistance in connection with the discharge by the Treasury of their functions under this Act. Sub-section (3) states: The committee shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, take into consideration the provisions of this Act and shall from time to time take into consideration any representations which may be made to them with respect to matters on which, under the provisions of this Act, action may be taken on a recommendation by the committee. It seems to me that the functions of the committee are definitely related to and confined to that Act. Now that the right hon. Gentleman has imposed this duty and intimated his personal desire, we fail to see how he can ask that committee, which is confined to operating under the terms of the Import Duties Act, to examine this case. Again Section 2 (5) states that the expenses of the committee are to be such amount as may be approved by the Treasury for work performed under this Act. Has not the right hon. Gentleman overstepped the mark in inviting this Advisory Committee to be the hewers of wood and the drawers of water for him in carrying out the policy of the National Government in their policy of Protection? We rather suspect that that may be the case, and we want to ask whether, before deciding to refer this question to the committee, the right hon. Gentleman consulted the Law Officers of the Crown. If he did, did they advise that it is permissible to send the question to the committee? Having read the previous report of the Advisory Committee, I know that Sir George May and his colleagues will be very happy to do anything which the right hon. Gentleman suggests to them—


A most improper observation.


—either out of kindness to the right hon. Gentleman or because they conceive it to be their duty. But the Committee ought clearly to understand whether the Advisory Committee out of friendship or a desire to be reasonable to the Chancellor of the Exchequer are willing to overstep their statutory duties. I repeat that we have no desire to enter upon a long discussion. We enter our protest against the method employed in producing this Resolution. The Treasury ought to have been aware of the alleged injustices to the silk industry; they must have been because of the many representations that have been made to them. They ought to have known before the Budget was introduced, before the Budget Resolutions were passed, before the Import Duties Order was passed, and before the Finance Bill was introduced. We therefore enter our protest against the method employed by the right hon. Gentleman after pressure from behind in introducing this Resolution, which we saw for the first time on the Order Paper this morning. I will not declare that it is wholly unconstitutional. It is certainly most irregular. It is the sort of thing that the House of Commons ought to resent, for if Protection has to be general, broad, and comprehensive, so be it, and the sooner that happens the sooner the right hon. Gentleman and his Government will come to their fall, but we see no reason for discrimination because of that fact. Having entered our protest—


Say it all over again.


If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will be good enough to rise in his place or attempt to make a speech—which is well nigh impossible for him—his interjections will come with a better grace. Having entered our protest against the method employed, we ask the right hon. Gentleman to seek the advice of the Law Officers as to the legality of this step.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

I believe that the vast majority of members of the Committee desire to thank the right hon. Gentleman for bringing this Motion forward. A tariff has never been introduced in any country in the world where there have not been immense complications. It will be generally ad- mitted that when you change from one system to another you must expect certain complications at the start. The remarkable thing is that there should have been so few complications and difficulties. I can assure the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) that there has been very grave concern amongst trades unionists in all the silk areas. Representations have been made as to the position in which the industry found itself owing to the combination of circumstances when the silk duties were removed. I desire to congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer on having had the courage to grapple with the question immediately.


The right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir E. Home) said he hoped the Chancellor would find a silver lining. The right hon. Gentleman has not found a silver lining, but a silken thread which will be of considerable value to the silk industry. While this is not all we, who represent the silk industry, want, and while there are anomalies, and the scheme is crude and there are things which will have to be altered eventually, I have authority to say that this is welcomed by the Silk Association, supported, as they are, by members of the Labour party in Macclesfield who fought me in every election in which I have taken part there. I promised, however, that I would not make the fact that they have supported it a political issue, because I believe it should not be a political issue, but a business issue, in order to find out what is best for our people. For that reason, I do not wish to make further reference to that side of the matter.

What the right hon. Gentleman has done this evening is going to open up a great avenue of employment. Many of us were concerned about the works which had been started on our advice under the shelter of the 50 per cent. ad valorem duty. Works had been started with machinery which came from foreign countries into Macclesfield, and over 200 had been employed. German works and machinery came there, and I had advised them that we had departed from Free Trade and had become a Protectionist country. I felt that in thus advising those German people I had possibly let them down. What the right hon. Gentleman has done to-night, however, has gone a long way to restore confidence, and will lead not only to the finding of employment, but also to securing that revenue from the Silk Duties which the Chancellor so much requires. I can assure him that if he wants any advice from the Silk Association or from myself as to how he can both maintain his revenue and at the same time give increased employment, we will do everything we can.


I am very sorry to butt in and spoil the pleasant harmony and the delight which apparently prevails among the majority of the Committee. It is one of my objections to this particular procedure that here, just before midnight, a new tax is imposed, which was devised by the right hon. Gentleman only yesterday and which is sprung on the House at this late hour when the majority of the House is sleepy and nobody wants to listen. [An HON. MEMBER: "Look at the time!"] I am quite conscious of it, but it makes the scandal the greater. [An HON. MEMBER: "Rubbish!"] It is not rubbish. On the contrary, the hon. Member who interrupts in that way, and who has only been in this House for about two months, does not realise how much it is against the procedure of Parliament to introduce a new tax just before midnight with inadequate discussion.

It is true that this is not a new problem; it is a very old problem. There was an inquiry in 1923, instituted by the then Prime Minister, the present Lord President of the Council, on the whole question of the desirability of safeguarding silk, and as a result of that inquiry, which lasted for a year, it was not considered desirable by the then Conservative Government to take any action. In 1925 these Silk Duties were imposed, for the first time, by the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. They were carefully thought out and worked out after a very prolonged inquiry by his experts at the Customs and the Treasury, and I maintain that, although they were mainly for revenue in incidence they had a distinct protectionist bias. I have heard hon. Members time after time maintaining that Protection has stimulated the production of artificial silk in this country. I did not agree. I have always maintained that the artificial silk industry grew to size and importance in this country long before those duties were introduced, but they had a certain amount of protective influence. [Interruption.] The Government have an immense majority and are able to stifle discussion, but none the less I maintain that the existing duties were protective in character and that the industry had no reasonable right and claim to rush a duty like this through without any of the ordinary procedure provided for by the Government.

12 m.

We have, first, the precedent of the Safeguarding Duties. There you had a prolonged inquiry, with a committee set up to examine impartially, to investigate the effect on kindred industries, and to give proper safeguards to the consumers and others who might be affected. In the procedure of the Import Duties Act other machinery was set up. It has been the great pride of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there was an independent committee of three set up to investigate, or at any rate to make some pretence of carrying on an investigation, into the needs and requirements of the trade and of the general interests of the community as a whole. He admits the advisability of that procedure in his speech to-night, but the proposals in this Resolution make no provision for the termination of these taxes. There is no guarantee that they will come to an end, and any experience of Chancellors of the Exchequer is that, once they get a source of revenue, they are very loth to drop it, and if the taxes are of a protectionist character, they create vested interests that are powerful enough to bring pressure on Parliament to prevent their being dropped. It is a most unfortunate and significant incident, because this duty has been put on as the result of pressure from outside, pressure such as the Lord President of the Council said he would resist, and was undesirable and such as this country would never submit to.


Will the hon. Member tell me where he really stands on this matter? Is he for the Government or is he not?


My position is quite simple and clear; I object to all these taxes—


You ought to be over here.


—but I recognise that, because we have a Protectionist Government we have to put up with the position. Still, we can at least urge upon them that they ought to be true to their pledges, and the pledge they gave us that they would not impose taxes as the result of pressure from outside or from Members of this House, but only after proper investigation by an impartial tribunal. I do not mind saying that I would rather have had the duty of 50 per cent. kept on for a few weeks longer and had proper provision for an impartial inquiry, than these proceedings at midnight, with all this business being rushed through with no proper discussion. I make my protest and I must be content to leave it at that.


I want—



I would only say to those who are interrupting that it is not we who are responsible for this discussion, but the Government. It may well be that this question is urgent and that it is necessary for us to dispose of this business without delay, but that is no reason why those of us who are not responsible for it should be cribbed or curtailed of our opportunities of discussing it. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) has had a long and honourable connection with this House and was entitled to express his views, even at this late hour. I do not cavil at the Chancellor having given way to pressure. Members are elected on account of their opinions and if they are elected to support the Silk Duties they are entitled, by every means at their disposal, to compel the Government to give way to them. Is there anything dishonourable in that? I cannot understand why Members of Parliament should not press on the Government the things in which they believe: my objection is that Members are pressing the Chancellor for the wrong things —for things that are not good, that do not, in my view, raise the standard of life of the working people. I cannot conceive that there is anything wrong in using the Parliamentary Order Paper, or in deputations. I prefer such methods to the secret method. It is much better that Members should put down questions to the Chancellor of the Exchequer candidly and openly, and force him by ordinary, honest methods, than by some method of secret diplomacy and secret pressure.

From that point of view I cannot see that anything very wrong has been done, but the Chancellor must meet the constitutional point which has been raised by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams). It is a point of substance. I intended to raise it myself, and I congratulate the hon. Member on having raised it. I could not understand the Chancellor last night. I understood that this Committee had no power to deal with the Silk Duties—that it was set up under a definite Financial Resolution covering its expenses, and that it could not be asked to do anything outside the terms of that Financial Resolution. If the Chancellor had said that he was asking the three individual members of the Committee in, as it were, their spare time after their day's work was done, to investigate this problem and give him the benefit of their reflections on it, I could have understood it; but to ask them, not as three individuals, but as a committee, to do a job which is outside the terms of the Financial Resolution, is, in my view, totally unconstitutional. I am sure that that will be appreciated by the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), who has such a great regard for the traditions of the House.

It may be that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has some way of circumventing this criticism, but I say that it is a fair criticism from the point of view of honest Parliamentary practice. One of the curses of politics is that in the House of Commons we say simple things that simple people understand, and then try to get round them with language to which simple folk are not accustomed. The simple thing is that this Committee is being asked to undertake work that was not meant to be covered by the Financial Resolution or by the Act. There are two ways in which the matter could be put right. One is to bring in a new Financial Resolution that will cover this further work, and the other is to ask them to do it as private citizens apart from the Committee altogether.

I have said that there is no reason for grumbling at putting pressure on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but I am rather sorry that he gives way to his die-hards—his extremists. There is nothing wrong in that. Everyone knows that the hon. Member for Macclesfield is at heart an extreme Protectionist. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given way to him. When I was occupied with the Labour Government they never gave way to me. They were always afraid of the Tories on the other side. As to this Resolution, I have had committee work and other Parliamentary work to do, and I have not had time to study the Resolution. Parliamentary decency should have been observed and the Chancellor should have given us more time to study so important a proposal. I agree with the hon. Member for Don Valley that once the Government engage themselves in Protection it is difficult to separate silk from other articles protected.

I believe that we are now to have Protection not for one year only but for many, many years. I say that neither regretfully nor with pleasure. Once you start raising money by Protection you create a vested interest in the Treasury. It will be almost impossible to shift the Treasury from this method of money-raising. There is also created the vested interest of the workers and the employers concerned. It is silk to-day. It will be motors and glass that will bring pressure to bear on the Chancellor next. Does anyone imagine that the Advisory Committee will not be subject to pressure? The Chancellor is as high-minded as the members of the Advisory Committee, but he has given way to pressure. Is it to be expected that the Advisory Committee will be able to resist any more than the Chancellor? Anyone who knows the Chancellor's family knows that they are men of character. No one can put the Advisory Committee above them. But the Chancellor has given way. All the members of that committee have got incomes and investments, and who would argue that any three men in Britain have not got prejudices and thoughts on matters other than those they are considering? This committee may be subject to pressure, they are none of them above it, and it is not impossible for the committee to. give way to it. This country has decided in favour of Protection, and it is an accomplished fact and likely to remain so for some years. We on these benches hold, however, that neither Free Trade nor Protection are any solution of the problem of this country. The Protectionists promise the people that the result of their policy will be more prosperous and happier times. Time is the only test of that promise. Time, we say, will prove it false. We say that this nation is suffering from nothing that tariffs can cure, but is suffering from a superabundance of wealth. This problem is not to be solved by restrictions of this kind, but by this nation and the nations of the world saying that the workers shall have good homes, good incomes, and the wellbeing that their Creator meant them to have.


If my efforts have been helpful in bringing to the notice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the anomalies which exist and which he has done his best to rectify, I shall have justified not only my Parliamentary existence but the confidence the electors placed in me last October. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he did not think that we would be satisfied. May I say, speaking for the Silk Association, that they regard this as a first step and that it is appreciated by them. I realise that the Chancellor had to safeguard his revenue and had to put this experiment to the acid test of practical experience. I feel that it will be successful and will lead to a comprehensive and scientific system of Protection being brought into being. The right hon. Gentleman has killed four birds with one stone because (1) he will collect more revenue, (2) he has given a small protection to the industry, (3) he will have created more employment in the industry, and (4) he will give the industry confidence, which is of such vital importance. I believe that we shall now get reorganisation, extension of premises, more machinery, and a general feeling of getting busy. Capital, which was held up owing to the lack of confidence which existed, will now flow into the industry. I conclude by tendering my thanks on behalf of the silk and artificial silk industry to the right hon. Gentleman for the excellent beginning that he has made.


I appreciate that the Committee does not wish to be detained any longer than is necessary, but it would be only courteous to those who have contributed to the discussion that I should say a few words. I really have not to meet any reasoned criticism against the terms of the Resolution itself. Such disagreement as has been manifested has rather been directed to other points. I would say to the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), who chided an hon. Friend of mine because of his ignorance of the ways of the House when he scoffed at the hon. Gentleman's suggestions that there was something indecent in the hurry with which these Measures were passed through the House, that he himself has been long enough in the House to know that Budget Resolutions are always passed in a very short time. There is no point in suggesting that any indecent haste has been displayed.

A considerable amount of play was made by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) when he said I had surrendered to pressure. If no one is ever to change his mind or make any modification in any proposal that he brings before the House, he must set up to be more infallible than I should ever pretend to be or than Members of the party opposite pretended to be when they were in office. After all, you cannot expect the most experienced of us to know everything about all the subjects on which we introduce legislation before we have had our attention drawn to aspects with which others are familiar who have been engaged in these matters all their lives. I consider that there is neither humiliation to myself nor any question of surrender to political pressure in admitting that such a case as has been put repeatedly and, I think, very forcibly by my hon. Friend the Member for the Elland Division (Mr. Levy) and others who have intimate personal acquaintance with the silk industry, deserves attention and calls for a modification of the proposals. Therefore, I do not feel that any apology is necessary on that point.

Then I come to the only other question that has been put before us, and that is as to the legality or otherwise of the reference to the Advisory Committee of matters that do not come under its purview in relation to the Import Duties Act. I am surprised that Members who have talked so much about log-rolling and political pressure should seek to put difficulties in the way of referring this matter to the impartial and independent investigation of the Advisory Committee. There is nothing in the Act that renders it illegal for the Committee to undertake any investigation at the request of a Minister and, if the technical point is to be taken that the salaries of the Commissioners do not cover the undertaking of work that is not defined in the Act, I shall admit that that is a matter that must be looked into-it is obviously easy to get round it-but it has nothing what-

ever to do with this Resolution. It says nothing at all about submitting anything to the Tariff Advisory Committee. We can pass this without prejudicing the question but if any Member feeling his constitutional sense of propriety aggrieved by the course I propose to take, chooses to raise it hereafter, we will give it the attention it deserves and see that the constitutional proprieties are considered and observed.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 275; Noes, 36.

Division No. 172.] AYES. [12.25 a.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Craven-Ellis, William Jennings, Roland
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Jesson, Major Thomas E.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)
Alexander, Sir William Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Crossley, A. C. Kerr, Hamilton W.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Kimball, Lawrence
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Dalkeith, Earl of Kirkpatrick, William M.
Apsley, Lord Denville, Alfred Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Dickie, John P. Knebworth, Viscount
Atholl, Duchess of Drewe, Cedric Latham, Sir Herbert Paul
Bailey, Eric Alfred George Duckworth, George A. V. Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Duggan, Hubert John Leckie, J. A.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Leech, Dr. J. W.
Balniel, Lord Dunglass, Lord Lees-Jones, John
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Eastwood, John Francis Leighton, Major B, E. P.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Edge, Sir William Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E. Levy, Thomas
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Ellis, Robert Geoffrey Liddall, Walter S.
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Elmiey, Viscount Lindsay, Noel Ker
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Llewellin, Major John J.
Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman Emrys-Evans, P. V. Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick
Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton) Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Lloyd, Geoffrey
Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.) Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)
Blaker, Sir Reginald Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley)
Boothby, Robert John Graham Flint, Abraham John Loder, Captain J. de Vere
Borodale, Viscount Fraser, Captain Ian Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Boulton, W. W. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lymington, Viscount
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Fuller, Captain A. G. Lyons, Abraham Montagu
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Mabane, William
Boyce, H. Leslie Gledhill, Gilbert MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Glossop, C. W. H. MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Gluckstein, Louis Halle McConnell, Sir Joseph
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Glyn, Major Ralph G. C. McCorquodale, M. S.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Goldie, Noel B. McKie, John Hamilton
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Goodman, Colonel Albert W. McLean, Major Alan
Brown, Brig,-Gen. H. C.(Berks., Newb'y) Graves, Marjorie McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Browne, Captain A. C. Greene, William P. C. Macmillan, Maurice Harold
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Grimston, R. V. Macquisten, Frederick Alexander
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.
Burnett, John George Gunston, Captain D. W. Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley) Guy, J. C. Morrison Marsden, Commander Arthur
Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley) Hanley, Dennis A. Martin, Thomas B.
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Castle Stewart, Earl Hartington, Marquess of Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Hartland, George A. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Chalmers, John Rutherford Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Milne, Charles
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston) Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)
Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Mitcheton, G. G.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric Heneage, Lieut -Colonel Arthur P. Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)
Clarke, Frank Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston) Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hore-Belisha, Leslie Morrison, William Shephard
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hornby, Frank Muirhead, Major A. J.
Colfox, Major William Philip Horobin, Ian M. Munro, Patrick
Colman, N. C. D. Horsbrugh, Florence Nail, Sir Joseph
Colville, John Howard, Tom Forrest Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Conant, R. J. E. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) North, Captain Edward T.
Cook, Thomas A. Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Nunn, William
Cooper, A. Duff Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford) O'Donovan, Dr. William James
Copeland, Ida Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Jamieson, Douglas Patrick, Colin M.
Pearson, William G. Rutherford, Sir John Hugo Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.(P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Peat, Charles U. Salmon, Major Isidore Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Penny, Sir George Salt, Edward W. Thompson, Luke
Peters, Dr. Sidney John Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Petherick, M. Scone, Lord Thorp, Linton Theodore
Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Shakespeare, Geoffrey H. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Pike, Cecil F. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Power, Sir John Cecil Shepperson, Sir Ernest W. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Procter, Major Henry Adam Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Unv., Belfast) Train, John
Pybus, Percy John Skelton, Archibald Noel Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Ralkes, Henry V. A. M. Slater, John Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Smith, Sir Jonah W. (Barrow-in-F.) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Rankin, Robert Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Ratcliffe, Arthur Smith-Carington, Neville W. Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Smithers, Waldron Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-
Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham. Somervell, Donald Bradley Wells, Sydney Richard
Reid, David D. (County Down) Soper, Richard Weymouth, Viscount
Reid, William Allan (Derby) Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E. Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Remer, John R. Spencer, Captain Richard A. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Renwick, Major Gustav A. Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Wills, Wilfrid D.
Reynolds, Col. Sir James Philip Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland) Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Robinson, John Roland Stevenson, James Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Rosbotham, S. T. Stones, James Wise, Alfred R.
Ross, Ronald D. Storey, Samuel Womersley, Walter James
Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Stourton, Hon. John J. Worthington, Dr. John V.
Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A. Strauss, Edward A. Wragg, Herbert
Runge, Norah Cecil Strickland, Captain W. F.
Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside) Summersby, Charles H. Commander Southby and Major
Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury) Sutcliffe, Harold George Davies.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mallaliau, Edward Lancelot
Bernays, Robert Harris, Sir Percy Maxton, James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hicks, Ernest George Nathan, Major H. L.
Buchanan, George. Hirst, George Henry Price, Gabriel
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Janner, Barnett Rathbone, Eleanor
Cripps, Sir Stafford Jenkins, Sir William Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
Daggar, George Kirkwood, David Tinker, John Joseph
Edwards, Charles Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Leonard, William Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Logan, David Gilbert Williams, Thomas (York., Don Valley)
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Lunn, William
Grundy, Thomas W. McEntee, Valentine L. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) McGovern, John Mr. Duncan Graham and Mr. Gordon Macdonald.

Resolution to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.