HC Deb 18 December 1933 vol 284 cc987-1044

Order for Second Reading read.

7 p.m.


I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

I must ask the indulgence of the House while I explain the matter in a little detail. The House will recollect that on previous occasions the importance of the dyestuffs industry has been made absolutely clear. There are several special reasons why a flourishing and successful dyestuffs industry is of particular importance to the United Kingdom. In the first place, it is a very valuable industry for purposes of organic chemistry. It is most important that organic chemistry should continue to be studied in its application to industry; and the dyestuffs industry is one of the branches where organic chemistry can best be studied in industrial practice. It is a very important industry for purposes of research, and research means not merely inquiring as to the possibility of new substances and the possibility of improving those substances which are already used, but it also means keeping constantly in touch with users' requirements. I shall show to the House in a few moments that the control of foreign dyestuffs by importation only under licence peculiarly facilitates the task of the research chemist in knowing exactly what users require. The dystuffs industry is also very important because of our great coal reserves and the immensity of the mining industry of this country. The close association of dyestuffs with the distillation of coal is, of course, well known. The very large number of dyestuffs which are coal-tar products is known to the House. Naturally, having such large supplies of raw material, of coal, it is of particular interest to this country that an industry which is allied to the user of those products should be flourishing. Then, of course, the dyestuffs industry provides the raw material for another great branch of our trade: the textile industry. Lastly, but not least, a dyestuffs industry is essential for the purpose of national defence.

The House will probably be interested to see the very remarkable extent to which the dyestuffs industry has advanced since pre-War days. I am not going to pretend that the whole of the improvement is due to the passage of the Dyestuffs Regulation Act, 1920, but I am going to show the facts and the figures, and leave the House to draw their own deduction as to whether the improvement flows from the policy, or whether it flows from the importance of the events concerned. In 1913, the output of synthetic dyestuffs in this country was a little over 9,000,000 lbs.; in 1922, it had risen to over 23,000,000 lbs.; in 1929, due perhaps to the protection afforded by the Act, it was about 58,000,000 lbs. That is a very remarkable expansion indeed, and it is not one isolated fact. Not only has that expansion of the weight of synthetie dyestuffs been so surprising, but in 1913 only 22 per cent. of our consumption of synthetics was made in this country; in 1922, the percentage had risen to 79, and from 1928 onwards the percentage had increased until it is now in the neighbourhood of 91 per cent. Ninety-one per cent. of the synthetic dyestuffs used in this country is made here.

Side by side with any great expansion of the home industry, we naturally look to see whether there has been any checking of foreign imports. We find, exactly as we should expect, that the imports of synthetic dyestuffs have fallen from 41,000,000 lbs. in 1913 to a little over 4,000,000 lbs. in 1932. A Very large number of special dyestuffs, however—something like 2,000—are still imported in small quantities, and I should like anybody who wishes to oppose this Measure to realise that, although the British industry is still able to supply the consumers requirements for a great number of dyes in bulk, there are something like 2,000 which are imported in small quantities in varieties which the British industry is insufficient to make for consumers here. Intermediate products, something between the coal tar products and the finished dyestuffs, have made an equally singularly successful progress. In 1913, practically no intermediaries were made in this country at all. In 1932, we imported only 1 per cent. of our total output of dyestuffs. Those are very remarkable figures.


Did the hon. Gentleman say that we imported 1 per cent. of our intermediaries?


No; let us have the words exactly. No intermediates were made in this country at all in 1913, but in 1932 our imported intermediates, which were just over 500,000 lbs. in weight, represented only 1 per cent. of our total output of dyestuffs.

I was emphasising just now that a successful dyestuffs industry played a very important part in the development of research. I should like to tell the House that a very notable research achieved in this country has been the discovery of a range of dyestuffs in the dyeing of artificial silk, a group of colours which originated in Great Britain and in the development of which the British industry has played a leading part throughout. The House will appreciate that side by side with a successful industry like the dyestuffs comes the development of specialised plant for the manufacture and use of those dyestuffs. We find, therefore, a very important development in the chemical engineering industry. The chemical plant for dyemaking, not previously obtainable in this country is now being made on a large scale, and British chemical plant manufacturers are able to supply the best and latest types of plant required, in the design of which the latest scientific principles are embodied and the workmanship of which is found, as we should expect, to be of the highest quality.

I can understand the House saying, "It is all very well for you to say that smaller quantities are coming in; you show that the British industry has expanded; you give some gratifying figures as to the development of that industry. Now tell us about the price. How far has any of this been done at the expense of the consumer? You yourself say that the textile industries have dyes as their raw materials. It would be harsh, when textiles are so hard-hit in their export trade, to do anything which might increase the cost of the dye; even if it were quite small, any incidence would be of importance." Very well; let us have a look at the prices. Before the War the average price of dyestuffs, taking into consideration the quantities sold, was something like 1s. a lb. Running a line through all the different classes of dyestuffs, the price averaged out at something like 1s. a 1b. In the year 1920, owing to War prices, to the astonishing demand that had been made for dyestuffs and to the general upheaval of British industry, the price had risen as high as 4s. 4d. a lb. By 1928, owing to the increased manufacture, that price of 4s. 4d., the post-War figure, had been brought down to 1s. 6½ d. a lb., or only about one and a-half times the pre-War price. The composition of the total sales in 1928 was very different from that prior to the War, because it included the vat dyestuffs which, apart from indigo, were not made in this country before the War. Since 1928 further reductions in dyestuffs have been made, but we can treat the level of prices as approximately 1s. 6½ d. a lb.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

Is the hon. Gentleman referring now to dyes used for the textile industry, or to dyes spread over the whole country?


I am trying to compare like with like. I am pointing out that the general range taken over all dyestuffs before the War was 1s. I am taking it that the general range now is 1s. 6½ d. I shall be quite happy to discuss with the hon. and gallant Member any specified dyestuffs if he will be good enough, a little later on, to give me both the English and the Latin names in order that I may check them. The range is 1s. to 1s. 6½ d. I should like, in case anybody thinks that one-and-a-half times the pre-War price is an excessive price, to tell the House that I have looked into comparative figures in other countries. I find that in Germany, for instance, the price in 1913 was a little over 10d. a lb.; in 1931, it was 1s. 9d.; in 1932, it was 2s. 0½ d., or roughly 2.3 times as much as it was in 1913. So that, whatever may be the comparison between our own pre-War and 1932 prices in England, 150 per cent. of pre-War compares very favourably with Germany, the great continental home of dyestuffs, which has over 200 per cent. increase in its export prices.

That, I think, will suffice as a general outline review of the dyestuffs industry and the way in which it has prepared for development. We now come to the provisions of the Measure which I have to recommend to the House. The object of the Bill is to place on a permanent basis the prohibition of importation into the United Kingdom of dyestuffs and intermediary products, a prohibition which has been enforced since 15th January, 1921. The idea of the Act in 1920 was that it should be for a limited period of time—10 years. There have been three successive Expiring Laws Continuance Acts, and in order to give time for the preparation of the present Bill it was further prolonged by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act of this year. The House will naturally require some justification for the policy of rendering permanent an Act which, when it was brought into force, was admittedly temporary in view.

I must quite frankly meet that position and explain it to the House. Hon. Members will be familiar with the arguments used by the Import Duties Advisory Committee in making their recommendations in September of this year. I hope I am not asking too much in saying that hon. and right hon. Members will be familiar, with the arguments in that White Paper, because the whole case is there set out very clearly. There are, however, two points which commend themselves to me very much. The first is that in 1920 anything in the nature of a limitation or prohibition or import restriction was an exception in a Free Trade world. Conditions have greatly changed since then, and there is no longer any reason for hesitating to put on a restriction where the argument for its imposition is proved. It is no longer an exception, and if a case can be made out on the merits of this particular industry, that industry ought not to be denied the advantages which other industries can acquire.

The greater argument, and one to which I hope some observations will be addressed in the course of this Debate, is: On the Continent of Europe, in the vast chemical establishments which have made dyestuffs a peculiar feature of their development, there is productive capacity more than sufficient for the requirements of the whole world. What is the argument as to dealing with the industries of your own country, when you are confronted with the possibility of there being unloaded into your land surplus productive capacity from units which are more than sufficient to supply the entire world? I have never heard the answer to that question, and I shall be very glad if some hon. Member will address his mind to it. We have in this country a number of small dyestuff makers who render invaluable service to the consumers. They make specialities, specialised dyestuffs and specialised colours which are not procurable elsewhere in this country. Those small units concentrate upon making some particular refinement which is wanted by some group of consumers. It is quite clear that if you lower your tariff walls, and expose your country to the importation of the surplus capacity from the continent of Europe, the first to go to the wall will be those small makers, who are incapable of resistance or of dealing with great trusts and the vast organisations.

The Import Duties Advisory Committee say that, in their judgment, the measure of Protection which can be afforded by import duties is quite different in the dyestuffs industry from that of other industries which have come under their control. They say that in their view there must be prohibition, and that there must be importation merely by licence. That licence will only be granted when it is shown that the home country cannot produce the article required. Be it noted that nobody suffers, because if it is shown that this country cannot make the article, and that it is necessary to apply for and obtain a licence, it follows automatically that no import duty is payable. The article comes in free, but under supervision and under some sort of control. The immediate effect of broadcasting the consumers' requirements of this particular dyestuff is to put every British organic chemist on his mettle to endeavour to produce something of that kind in the future. What objection can seriously be raised to a measure of that kind? I commend it to the good sense of the House. I think it well to call special attention to the necessity of continuing that import prohibition permanently, for dyestuffs which cannot be made here.

Under the Act of 1920 there were two Committees. There was the Advisory Committee. You cannot have an Act of Parliament giving a wide power of prohibition and exclusion without a trade organisation being set up to assist the Government in the working of the Act. the Advisory Licensing Committee has rendered great service in keeping the Government Departments in touch with the industry and its requirements. There has also been the Dyestuffs Industry Development Committee for the purpose of advising the Board of Trade. Hon. Members will have seen the reports which have been issued from time to time by these committees. Unfortunately, as in so many industries, there was no unanimity of opinion or of recommendation. In 1932, in regard to matters of considerable importance, the committees were divided in their recommendations. The majority required a continuation of the three years, while the minority thought that there was no necessity for any further extension.

In the face of that conflicting advice, when it fell to my lot to propose that the Expiring Laws Continuance Act of 1932 should include in its Schedule the Dyestuffs (Import Regulation) Act, 1920, I had to consult as to what was the right thing to do when conflicting advice had been tendered to the Government from within the industry itself. Recourse was had to a means which satisfied the House, and that was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should, in the name of the Treasury, invite the Import Duties Advisory Committee to report upon the whole matter. On 7th December last year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer invited that Advisory Committee to consider the position. The Committee worked with commendable speed, having regard to the immense importance and the variety of matters brought before them connected with the dyestuffs industry. It cannot be said that to receive instructions on 7th December and to report in July is an undue length of time. Hon. and right hon. Members will agree, I think, that this report is an exemplary piece of work, and it is now before the House. In accordance with the Recommendations of that report, a Bill has been prepared, the Second Reading of which we are now considering.

The changes introduced by the Bill are almost entirely consequent upon that report. I shall, as briefly as I can, go through the Clauses and tell the House which small portions of the Bill originate from the Board of Trade, and not from the Import Duties Advisory Committee. The House may know in advance that those portions are quite slight; they are merely administrative matters for the working of the Act, based on departmental experience. A very important provision of the Bill is that which deals with the possibility of complaints by consumers, and it contains reference to the Import Duties Advisory Committee expressly to investigate any case in which there may have been difficulty in procuring supplies.

Having reviewed the position since the Dyestuffs Act, 1920, let me come to the terms of the Measure before the House. The Bill is one of six Clauses, one of which relates to the printing of it, and another to the short Title, so that we have only to deal with four Clauses, and I can compress my observations into a very small compass. The first Clause is the one which makes the policy a permanent one. As in all good drafting, the Clause is based upon an exactly similar precedent. The Summer Time Act was a temporary Act which was made permanent. The language used in that Act has been followed in this. The House may assume that the words in Clause 1 are apt to make an Act which is temporary in character permanent in duration. We then come to Clause 2 which is the definition Clause, and is vitally important.

What are the mam recommendations of the Import Duties Advisory Committee? How do we propose to carry them out? There are three recommendations: That dyestuffs properly so-called should only be imported under licence; that dyestuffs which are not primarily used in dyeing should be dealt with by the Import Duties Advisory Committee, and that intermediates should also only be allowed in under licence. Let us see whether the words that have been selected and which have all been worked out by experts, referred to the Import Duties Advisory Committee and considered are apt for the purpose for which they are used. The House will probably give the greatest consideration to the exceptions, that is to say, to the goods which are not included in the prohibition.

Broadly speaking, there is a whole series of colours, printing inks, and matters of that kind, which are not properly used in dyeing. I will deal with their definition in a moment. The definition Clause, as will be seen, is in three parts: Synthetic organic dyestuffs, which are built up artificially in laboratories and factories from simpler chemical conv pounds, as distinct from dyestuffs from natural sources. Some of those synthetics have almost entirely displaced the corresponding natural ones. Artificial indigo, for instance, has almost entirely replaced the natural indigo. Most of those synthetics have no natural corresponding products. Besides synthetic organic dyestuffs there are pigment dyestuffs, whether soluble or insoluble. Pigment dyestuffs are inserted to avoid any question as to whether they are dyestuffs or not. A pigment in the sense of a colour might be thought not to be a dyestuff, but these are dyestuffs because they are the product of a dyestuff manufacturer. That is in accordance with the view of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, who have agreed to this definition.

The textile and dyeing trades will know the necessity for the words "soluble or insoluble." There are many insoluble dyestuffs which are capable of being used as pigments, but are not widely used for that purpose. The most important are vat dyestuffs, like indigo, all being insoluble in water. These vat dyestuffs are largely used for dyeing goods in fast colours, but they are not used by themselves. They are transformed, in the first instance, by a very simple chemical reaction into leuco-com-pounds which are soluble in water. These are used for dyeing in water and the leuco-compounds, upon coming into contact with the air, turned into the original compounds, and so the fabric is dyed to the required colour. In consequence, a vat dyestuff is not actually used for dyeing but as a base from which the leuco-compound is derived. Therefore, it is necessary to put in these words, "whether soluble or insoluble."

The second paragraph deals with compounds, preparations and articles. The exception comes at the end. Those words are necessary, because it is not only as leuco-compounds but as various forms of paste and other substances, that dyestuffs are brought to the consumer for use. Look at the excepted classes: Except any such compounds, preparations and articles as are not suitable for use in dyeing. These are chiefly coloured lakes—loose compounds of dyestuffs with bases such as hydrate of alumina—used for making paints and printing inks; artists' colours; printing, drawing, hectograph, lithograph and similar inks, coloured chalks, typewriter ribbons, carbon papers, paints, enamels, copying ink pencils and articles of that kind. Although there is a dyestuff in their makeup, the object of the dyestuff is not for dyeing, and so these words are inserted in order to exclude from the prohibition and the licence these important articles, which are not in substance connected with dyeing at all—for instance, the range of colours used in enamels for motor car bodies, barium salts of synthetic dyestuffs, and articles of that kind.

A feature common to all the excluded compounds is that they are made from the finished dyestuff. The dyestuff is combined with, or mixed with, or applied to, some other material, making a compound, preparation or article essentially different from the original dyestuff, and not suitable for use in dyeing. The words "not suitable for use in dyeing" are a characteristic of all the goods excluded from the prohibition, and are essential in order to define them and to distinguish them from preparations of dyestuffs which are used in dyeing. Sub-section (3) deals with intermediate products used in the manufacture of dyestuffs, that is to say, all the range between coal tar, benzol, toluol and naphthalene and the finished dyestuff itself. All these coal-tar products are manufactured into something more complex—an intermediate product; and that intermediate product in turn is transformed into the finished dyestuff. The intermediate products are in some cases equally adaptable to the manufacture of explosives. Their manufacture is an integral part of any self-contained dyestuff industry.

So much for definition. I come now to Clause 3, the Clause setting up a committee. The old committee is continued, but its numbers are added to and its constitution is modified so that it will consist of members of the Licensing Committee with the addition of representatives of the textile and heavy chemical industries, of chemical science and of Departments of State, the representatives of chemical science being nominated by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Eesearch. Sub-section (7) of the Clause ensures that the chairman of the Licensing Committee does not vacate the chair when the committee is increased, thereby ensuring continuity, even though the committee is extended, by keeping the same chairman. Sub-section (9) provided for the possibility of changes in the personnel of the committee. Subsections (7) and (9) have nothing to do with the Import Duties Advisory Committee; they are insertions made on the initiative of the Board of Trade, to facilitate the working of the Act; and, in order that the House may not think we are legislating in a terra incognita, I may say that the latter of these provisions is based upon the procedure adopted in the Cinematograph Films Act, 1927, which has worked, through the Board of Trade, perfectly satisfactorily, and in which exactly this procedure has been adopted.

Clause 4, which is substantially the last Clause of the Bill for the purposes of any real discussion, is a Clause which has no counterpart in the Act of 1920. It is introduced to deal with consumers' complaints. The House will remember that under the Import Duties Act, 1932, Sec- tion 2, the committee may, when they like, call upon people to furnish returns and information. The Import Duties Advisory Committee have wide powers of investigation of the structure of an industry, and so it is thought that we could not do better, in order to provide a safeguard for the consumer, than incorporate the procedure of reference to the Import Duties Advisory Committee. We think that this is the best method of carrying out the recommendation in paragraph 20 of the report of the committee, and to avoid placing the industry under the necessity of making frequent appeals. The committee say that, in their opinion, some provision ought to be made for complaints by a responsible body of consumers, and that, if requested, they would be prepared to undertake this task. They go on to refer to the questions which may become the subject of appeal and so on. Accordingly, we make provision here for reference to the Import Duties Advisory Committee, and by Subsection (2) of the Clause we incorporate the powers contained in the other Act. Clause 5 merely enables the Bill to be reprinted in a particular way, and Clause 6 relates to the Title.

The only topic remaining on which I ought to say a word is the question of the International Cartel. "The International Cartel" sounds a frightening title, but, when one comes to look at the recommendations of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, one finds very little to be frightened of. Here is a great international organisation, a very sensible pooling of markets by the interests concerned, and, provided the consumer does not suffer, an admirable arrangement. The prices were increased some 22½ per cent. at the time when the Cartel came into operation. The actual Cartel agreement, which, hitherto, only parties to it could see, has been tabled before the Import Duties Advisory Committee, who had an opportunity of considering it; and the Committee give it as their considered opinion that there is nothing in the Cartel or in its working which gives an undue advantage to the manufacturer. There is, moreover, the additional fact that no one at present is expressing dissatisfaction with the prices charged under it. The evidence given before the Import Duties Advisory Committee was that colour users were not complaining. In paragraph 9 on page 5 of the report they state: As regards the present, it has been frankly stated that the users have no serious complaint as to the prices charged by the dyestuffs industry in comparison with the prices charged by continental makers. Therefore, at present, any apprehension is merely a fear, and it is suggested that the Import Duties. Advisory Committee is quite adequate for dealing with the matter should that apprehension become any more acute. The structure of the recommendations of the Import Duties Advisory Committee is, I think, made clear by what I have said. We are proposing, by giving legislative effect to those recommendations, to carry out the Import Duties Advisory Committee's ideas, and the main recommendations, apart from the Act being made permanent, are, as the House will see, that there should be imported under licence dyestuffs proper, that other colours should be dea't with entirely by the Import Duties Advisory Committee, and that intermediates should come in under licence, but not on the Free List, subject to the ad valorem duty. Obviously this Bill has been prepared and printed, and is brought before the House, before the House has been told of any further recommendations by the Import Duties Advisory Committee. I am now in a posi-to announce to the House the nature of the Import Duties Advisory Committee's further recommendations.

The Treasury will issue on Monday Orders bringing into effect the tariff changes recommended by the committee. Those changes will come into force on the 27th December, and will consist of the following:

The removal of dyestuffs to the Free List.

The imposition of additional duties, making the duty 20 per cent. in all, on pigments which are synthetic organic colours or colouring matters.

Most or all of the other materials from which the prohibition is now being removed are already subject to additional duties, under the Safeguarding of Industries Act and other Acts.

The Board of Trade are giving notice that they are issuing an open general licence, with effect from the 27th December, for the importation of compounds, preparations and articles not suitable for use in dyeing, manufactured from syn- thetic organic dyestuffs. These are the colours and colouring matters which the committee recommended should not be subject to prohibition. The joint committee of makers and users to consider questions relating to prices and supplies has not yet been set up, but that committee will be set up early in the New Year. It will be, of course, a committee set up by the trade, and not by the Board of Trade.

That is the end of the announcement. I have only to tell the House that the Colour Users' Association have passed a resolution in which, while not agreeing to the necessity of this Bill, they have promised to use every endeavour to assist in the smooth working of the Act. I am sorry to have detained the House for so long, but I thought that this review was probably necessary.

7.42 p.m.


I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and, at the end of the Question, to add the words "upon this day six months."

Obviously, the first thing I must do is to congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his very clear statement and the excellent outline he has given of this Bill. Having said that much, I think I will finish congratulating him. The next thing that emerges from what the hon. Gentleman has said is clear—that, whenever this Government wants to fasten Protection on the country, it always employs a Liberal Minister to do it. We have that spectacle here to-night. When the hon. Gentleman rose to move the Bill, there were on the bench four Liberal and two Conservative Ministers. The four Liberal Ministers have departed, and there is now just one Conservative Member left supporting the hon. Gentleman.

I should like to make one or two comments on the Measure. Naturally, I do not profess to know as much about this subject as the hon. Gentleman does, but I want to criticise some of the arguments he has put forward. He said, and I do not think there is any qu'arrel on this score, that a flourishing dyestuffs industry is essential to this country; but I thought that he dwelt unduly on the point that the industry was necessary for research purposes. He also dwelt at length upon the necessity of connecting this problem with coal.

While coal, naturally, comes into the picture in relation to dyestuffs, I thought the hon. Gentleman was going out of his way to capture the Members for mining divisions in this House to agree with the tariff policy of the Government. That is an old dodge, but I do not think it will work on this occasion, because I should imagine that only a few colliers would be able in 12 months to produce all the coal that is required for research purposes. He said, too, that it was essential that the Government should get into touch with the colour users in this connection, but I shall be surprised if we do not hear a protest this evening from a member connected with the Colour Users' Association. I thought too that he rather tried to escape touching the real problem in connection with the Bill, and that is the difficulties confronting the colour user of dyes. He was very gentle, also, when he talked about national defence. He knows quite well that there is a great deal of value in dyestuffs for explosive purposes; and, if he had told us exactly what is in the mind of the Government, he would have said that the dyestuffs industry is being protected very largely for the purposes of war and national defence. That is the sum and substance of the Government's policy.

The hon. Gentleman spoke of the dyestuffs cartel, and it rather amazed me to hear a Liberal Minister informing the House that a cartel is a very sensible arrangement unless the consumer suffers. I always thought the Liberal doctrine was that the consumer suffers anyhow under any cartel, but I suppose when a Liberal Minister joins a Tory Government he can argue almost anything about Free Trade and Protection. Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether there is any agreement between producers as to the price to be charged for exporting dyestuffs from the countries where the cartel operates? For illustration, the cartel includes, I understand, a firm called I.G. in Germany and also Imperial Chemical Industries.


Quite right.


Will the hon. Gentleman inform us whether Imperial Chemical Industries has any arrangement with the German part of the same firm to deter- mine the price of dyes exported from Germany to this country? It would be very interesting to know, too, the value of the export of dyes from this country. Then, is there any arrangement within the cartel to preclude the export of dyestuffs from this country to any other country in the world, particularly into some of the Scandinavian countries? The hon. Gentleman used the argument of the average price. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Salford West (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) is very conversant with this problem, and I was very pleased that he objected when he did. When the hon. Gentleman talks about the average annual price of dyestuffs, it is just like including rent and the cost of meat, vegetables and clothes and saying, "This is the average price of the whole lot," as if rent, food and clothing, and all these things were to be compared with each other for the purpose of the average price. Surely, that was a little too much for his own intellectual attainments.

I now come to what I think is the most important point of all in the opposition to this Measure. It is a. Bill to make permanent the provisions of the Act of 1920. I think it was a little slip on the Minister's part when he used for comparative purposes the Summer Time Act, as if the dyestuffs industry fell into the same category as the seasons of the year. Then he used another argument with regard to procedure, that it falls into the same category as the Cinematograph Act. I should like to see a cinematograph picture of the way in which the Liberals who joined this Government and more recently crossed the Floor of the House, but more particularly those who stand up at that Government Bench and advocate tariffs. The people mostly interested in this problem, especially from the opposition point of view, are the colour users, and I think it is worth while putting their case before the House. They are mainly in Lancashire, and as a Lancashire Member I am entitled to put their case as well as my vocabulary will allow. Their first objection is that this policy, when it was enunciated in 1920, was regarded as a temporary provision. When the hon. Gentleman talked about permanency, he meant as long as this Government is in power. Some of us are hoping, in fact we feel sure, that it is not going to he in power for many more years, and I should think this Bill can only be permanent up to the time they are defeated at the polls.

The colour users have, without doubt, been sacrificed for the purposes of national defence, and I think it can be proved that the mere establishment of a monopoly of the manufacturers of dyestuffs has put upon the colour users a burden that they should never have carried. I was very pleased to learn that the colour users have not even now agreed to the policy of the Government. That ought to be made quite clear. Their opposition remains unabated. They say. "We dislike this policy. We have been exploited by the manufacturers. We are compelled to bow to the inevitable because this type of Government is in power for the time being. When the time comes and a more sane Government rules over the land, we shall hope to get the policy altered." The colour users are still dependent upon foreign suppliers for certain of their needs, and the perpetuation of the present tariff policy is regarded as a serious handicap if the flow of novelties and special dyewares from abroad is obstructed in any way.

It is worth while quoting the views of the colour users, because they have passed very important resolutions against the policy of the Government, and one of their objections is a very powerful one. The textile industry of Lancashire has been in a very bad way for the last few years, and every farthing that is added to the cost of production makes it more difficult for that industry to compete in the markets of the world. I am assured that the increase in the price of dyes manufactured in this country in one year, from 1931 to 1932, meant an additional cost of £90,000 per annum to the firms associated with the Calico Printers Association alone, and, when the Government argue that the weight of the increased charges on dyes does not affect the cost of production very much, they must have been misguided in their calculations. On 12th November, 1931, the colour users passed the following resolution unanimously: That the Colour Users Association consider that any tariff on dyeware, one of their important raw materials, would be prejudicial to their industry and, whilst not receding from their declaration regarding the Dyestuffs Act, they agree that in present circumstances a continuation of that Act for a further 12 months would be preferable. They have never admitted for a moment that the policy of the Government is anything but detrimental to their industry.

May I point out another fact. I have never been able to get statistics on this point, but I should imagine that the number of people employed by the colour users of Lancashire must be very much larger than the number employed in producing dyes. If 20,000 textile operatives are employed in using the product of the dyestuffs manufacturers and only 1,000 are employed in producing the dyes the Government ought to be wary in what they are doing in helping to destroy the industry in which the colour users operate. I do not know whether those figures can be proved, but I should not be a bit surprised if they gave a correct picture of the situation. Then the hon. Gentleman dwelt upon prices. May I tell him what the colour users themselves say about prices? This is a statement from one of their leaders: In the British list of prices for dyestuffs, the increases range from 31 to 245 per cent. When the hon. Gentleman was interrupted by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for West Salford, he tried to get away with it by saying it was the average price that he was comparing for each year. But what is the use of comparing averages when you get within one list numbering hundreds of cases a difference as between 31 and 245 per cent.? It may be that one colour user may use only those dyes which have been increased in price by 245 per cent., and he may arrange his work for the use of that particular dye only. I cannot tell but it appears to be rather feasible to put it that way. Consequently, the average price is not a good formula for comparison. Then I think we are right in comparing the profits made by the firms who manufacture dyes with the terrible financial position of those who are using them. It is difficult to get up-to-date figures, but I am assured that in 1932 the Yorkshire Dye-wares Chemical Manufacturing Co. paid 15 per cent. on their ordinary shares, and during the last 10 years they have never paid less than 10 per cent. I am not sure that it can be said that Yorkshire people make dividends merely by good management. I think they make them very largely because they develop a monopoly consequent upon being safeguarded by tariffs.

The hon. Gentleman based most of his arguments on the report of the Import Advisory Committee. I hope he will suffer a word of criticism about that Committee. I cannot understand the argument in paragraph 7 of their Report. They say: The colour users have drawn our attention to the avowed intention in the Act that the expedient of import regulation should be applied only for a limited period of 10 years. In this connection, however, the time and the circumstances when the Dyestuffs Act was introduced should be borne in mind. The policy of import regulation constituted a notable exception to the general trade policy of the country. The situation has now undergone a radical change in that respect. The uninitiated would conclude that the Imports Advisory Committee had come to this conclusion. They say in effect, "Never mind the arguments on behalf of the colour users of this country. The Government are a Tory Government. There is an overwhelming majority in favour of protection, and we must now bring this Bill into operation in order to harmonise this business with the general protective policy of the Government." That is the way they argue. I should have thought that if the Import Duties Advisory Committee are without prejudice or bias in connection with the trade policy of the country they ought to have avoided that point of view entirely. It should not matter to them whether there is a Tory or a Liberal or a Socialist Government in power. They ought to consider the matter as to whether the colour users are getting fair play and whether the producers are getting too much profit or not, and come down with a magisterial declaration in favour of the correct policy for all concerned. Those are some of the criticisms against the Bill. They are forcible criticisms, not of course because I have made them, against the Government. I am absolutely satisfied that, in spite of any bias which we may have either in favour of tariffs or against them, one thing is certain, namely, that no Government should do anything to make the problems of the Lancashire textile trade more difficult than they are at present.

8.3 p.m.


When I spoke on this subject last year on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill I made it clear that I wanted to deal with this question, not as a political question, but as an industrial question, and I want, if possible, to keep on those lines in what I say this evening. At that time I gave the history of the Act since 1920, and it is not necessary for me to repeat what I said on that occasion. The Parliamentary Secretary has run over that very fully this evening, and everybody in the House is aware of the history of this Bill. Unquestionably, when the Bill was introduced at that time, and, as a matter of fact, in the wording of the Bill itself, almost in the last Clause, we had supposed the period of time to be ten years. The last few words in the Clause were, "ten years and no longer." I am very sorry indeed that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Hore) has left the House, because I think that he was President of the Board of Trade at the time, and he would have confirmed what is generally accepted, namely, that it was understood that the Bill should last for a period of ten years and then come to an end. Ever since the end of that period the dye users in this country have opposed the continuation of the Measure.

One reason why I object very seriously in the Bill is the fact that it makes the Act of 1920 a permanent Measure. I cannot understand why that provision has been put into the Bill. I remember that when we discussed this question in December of last year it was pointed out that there was a difference of view between different Members of the Development Committee. The majority of that Committee thought that the Act should be continued for five years, and the minority thought that it should be for three, but there was another minority. I do not want to misrepresent the Parliamentary Secretary, but I am not certain that he mentioned that the two members of the Colour Users Association who were represented on the Development Committee thought that the Act should come to an end and should not be continued at all. I do not see why the Government should have accepted the recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee and have rejected the recommendation of the Development Com- mittee. That Committee has been in existence ever since the year 1921. They started their business when the Bill came into force. They have almost had 13 years' experience, and now the whole question is handed over to the Import Duties Advisory Committee who have given to it a sort of casual glance. I admit that unquestionably they have put their best into the question, but it has only been for a period of three months. The advice from the Import Duties Advisory Committee is accepted, and the Committee who have had the question in hand for a period of 13 years have been rejected. The Import Duties Advisory Committee say that they think that the whole question should be left open and that no specific date should be put into the Act.

I have only been in this House two years but my experience has proved to me how difficult it is to get an Act off the Statute Book once it has been put on. It would have been far easier if some extension, even of a year or two—although I am opposed to any extension at all—had been made. Then the whole question could have been discussed, with all the relevant facts brought up-to-date, and the House would have been permitted to have taken a further decision. I know that the industry itself does not like being continually at the mercy of an Act from year to year. There is a great deal to be said from that point of view, but surely it would have been better to have put a time limit into the Bill than to have fastened on to the industry a permanent Act of this description. The colour users, time and time again, have drawn attention to the fact that the Act was only for a period of 10 years.

I come to the question mentioned bv the Parliamentary Secretary and also by the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. R. Davies) with regard to the statement-in paragraph 7 of the White Paper, where the Import Duties Advisory Committer point out that our fiscal system has undergone a radical change and that they see no reason why the dyestuffs industry should be excluded from the general policy. Is it part of our general policy to prohibit the importation of raw materials. There can be no justification for the statement in paragraph 7. I cannot think of any other industry which is subject to the same sort of thing in the way it is proposed to subject the textile industry in the present Measure. I do not know of any other industry in the country where raw materials are prohibited. Surely that is not in line with the general policy of the Government. I cannot accept the contention of the Import Duties Advisory Committee with regard to paragraph 7. I ask the hon. Gentleman, if he is to reply, whether it is part of the policy of the Government in certain cases to prohibit the raw materials of any industry?

It cannot be denied that the colour users have by their co-operation helped to build up the dye-making industry. I pointed out last year the tremendous sacrifices which they have unanimously made. They have paid a tremendous amount of money extra for their raw materials since the Act of 1920 came into force. I think the Parliamentary Secretary will agree that they have done everything possible to make for the smooth working of the Act, but they are now of the opinion that the makers do not need any prohibition Act. I believe that the British dye-making industry is so well established that it can do without prohibition, and that the users are right in this contention. The Parliamentary Secretary, in moving the Second Reading of the Bill, proved this contention. He showed how the dye-making industry had developed, and I think we should all be willing to admit that it has made remarkable progress. My point is that progress has reached such a point of efficiency that it does not need prohibition. His own words, I think, prove that contention. You cannot treat an industry which has been in existence eve since the War—and we must remember that during the War they were sowing the seeds for the development of this industry—as an infant industry.

Those of us who believe in the Free Trade policy have always said that once you give an industry protection you will always be told, "Give us time to develop." It is the same old story. I pointed out in the Debate last year that the same thing would happen with regard to Ottawa. It does not matter how long an industry has been in existence, once it has the advantages of protection it demands them for ever. I suggest that an industry that is allowed to build itself up without such measures usually proves itself more efficient in less time than does an industry which continually claims protection which is given to it by the State.

I want to make another point as to why the industry do not need this particular prohibition. I remember that last year the Parliamentary Secretary scored a very clever point in reply to the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. C. Brown) with regard to the prices in terms of gold of the manufacturers of Switzerland and Germany as compared with the controlling prices of our own manufacturers. Our own manufacturers of dyestuffs are reaping advantage because of the depreciation of the pound. If you want to import a dyestuff into this country the dyemakers in England have at least a 30 per cent advantage, and that in itself should be sufficient protection for the dye-makers of this country.

I want to say a few words about the international cartel between the principal dye-making concerns of this country and the powerful organisations on the Continent. The Parliamentary Secretary, in his speech, said that if there was no prohibition the dyemakers of this country would be subject to the fierce competition of the Continental dyemakers who could make dyes in such quantities that they could dump the surplus here. That might have been true if there had been no cartel agreement, but I have yet to learn that a cartel is entered into without agreement both as to markets and as to price. What is the purpose of a cartel if it does not parcel out the markets as between the different members signing the agreement? The very fact of there being a cartel would prevent the competition and dumping of which the Parliamentary Secretary-spoke. I should like to know where the Parliamentary Secretary has got his information from with regard to prices. The probability is that the hon. and gallant Member for West Salford (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) would agree with me that it is impossible for a dye user in this country to get a valid quotation at the present time. You cannot get a foreign manufacturer of dyestuffs to quote to-day for any dye made in this country. It is impossible to get a price. It is impossible for British users of dyes to ascertain whether the price of domestic production is competitive with that paid by their competitors abroad. We have no means of knowing or of comparing the figures, and it would be very interesting to know whether there is any official source from which we can get those figures. Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary can tell us his source of information on that point.

So far as I am able to judge, there is no danger of competition from members of the cartel, with the consequence that there is virtually a monopoly in this country enjoyed by one firm. Reference has been made in the document to small firms, but a very small proportion of the dyes used in this country are made by those small firms. Anyone who has any knowledge of the textile industry will confirm me in that statement. The Parliamentary Secretary made one point of which he was rather proud. He said that the Import Duties Advisory Committee realised that the cartel was not imposing extra burdens on the users of dyes. But they have been very careful to recommend that Clause 4 should be put into the Bill. What is the reason for Clause 4, except the fact that while the Import Duties Advisory Committee say that there is no complaint as to imposing prices, yet the users fear increased prices in the future, and they recognise the legitimate fears of the users by inserting Clause 4 in the Bill, and nominating themselves, on their own recommendation, as being the party best suited to deal with that particular danger.

I should like to draw attention to the statement in the White Paper, on page 5, referred to by the Parliamentary Secretary, where the Import Duties Advisory Committee say: As regards the present, it has been frankly stated that the users have no serious complaint as to the prices charged by the dyestuffs industry in comparison with the prices charged by the continental makers. Who was the person or persons who frankly stated that? It would be very interesting to anybody who is connected with the textile industry to know the name in that particular case. My information is entirely opposite. Everyone who uses dyes is aware that as soon as the international cartel agreement was entered into it was followed immediately by a substantial increase in the price of dyestuffs, and so far as I know that has not been altered. Reference is made to that point in the report of the Colour Users' Association, and I should like to quote the words of the chairman of that association. I will hand the document to the Parliamentary Secretary. Speaking on the 1st August, after the Import Duties Advisory Committee had issued their report—they issued their report in July—the chairman of the Colour Users' Association said: Last year, you will remember, I made a protest against the very considerable advance in prices made by the British makers at the moment when we were making great efforts to reduce our production costs. Dyestuffs are out of conformity with world wholesale prices. That was said at the; end of August of this year. The index figure for dyestuffs still remains at approximately 200,"— The Parliamentary Secretary quoted 175.




Here is the chairman of the Colour Users' Association putting it at 200. He proceeds: as against the Board of Trade wholesale commodity index figure of 101.7. That is to say, wholesale commodity prices on all other goods work out at 101.7, while dyestuff at the present time remain at 200. I shall be very interested tc know who made, with frankness, the statement in front of the Import Duties Advisory Committee that no one charges the makers with inflating prices of dyestuffs.

The Parliamentary Secretary almost made a reference to the use of the dyestuffs industry in providing a means of research in the field of organic chemistry. Everyone agrees that that is a splendid thing. It is one of the things in which we were lacking, in which we were behind before the War. It is a great step forward. I would not deny the utility, the absolute necessity of research in organic chemistry, but I say that the industries, particularly the textile industry, ought not to be called upon to pay for research in organic chemistry. Why a charge of that nature should be laid at the door of one particular industry, in the main, I fail to see. A reference was made by the hon. Member for West-houghton (Mr. Rhys Davies) to the question of national defence. There, again, I am willing to admit that the dyestuffs industry can be very useful. We were behindhand before the War in regard to it, and it was a really serious question for this country when the War broke out. I should be the last to deny the utility of work in that direction, but why should a particular group of industries bear the cost of it? Why should it not be a question of the cost being put at the door of the State rather than that we of the textile industry should be called upon to pay that cost?

I want to say a few words with regard to the difficulties that are being experienced in regard to the export trade. Fortunately, in the woollen and worsted textile trade we have had an improvement, even in exports.


Hear, hear!


I expected those cheers, but I do not want us to be too proud about it. A lot of loose statements are made about the increase in the export trade of the textile industry. I have examined the figures and I find that since the War we have lost 62 per cent. of our export trade, so that if we get back 3 per cent., do not forget that there is still 69 per cent. missing.


Is it not true that we lost that trade under Free Trade? We are improving now.


I have never heard it argued that you lose export trade by having a system of Free Trade. I think that can never be contended, but it is beside the point. There are many reasons why we have lost the trade, not all of them fiscal reasons. The cotton textile trade or the woollen or worsted textile trade can never be as we would wish to see them unless we recover some of our export trade. I think there will be no challenge of that statement. My point is that the competition is so severe that to-day there is any amount of business being done in the Bradford textile trade on pure cost and nothing else. The competition is so severe that an increase, by however small an amount of one essential raw material in the production costs, is against the true interests of the textile trade and the country generally.

I am convinced that there is no necessity for the Bill. The dye-making industry, from the figures quoted by the Parliamentary Secretary, is strong enough to stand on its own feet, and competition, so far as I can see, which would endanger the trade is practically nil in view of the cartel arrangement made with producers abroad. For a period of 12 or 13 years dye users have made tremendous sacrifices in order that there should be built up an efficient dye-making industry. It has cost them millions of pounds, and thousands of hours of inconvenience. It is therefore time that they had a reward for all the sacrifices that they have made; they are entitled to be treated with fairness. The best thing for the trade is not a cartel again, but an open market in which they can purchase their wares. That would give them the best protection. There is no need for these restrictions. The best thing for the textile industry is that it should now be free from restrictions, and I hope that the House will reject the Bill.

8.37 p.m.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

I do not intend to keep the House very long, because I am going to pin myself down to the practical issue and try to answer some of the arguments put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary. When I spoke in the House on 8th December, 1932, I said that I was one of the biggest protagonists of the Dyestuffs Act, and I reminded the House that if prohibition was granted for 10 years any industry ought to be able to organise itself and be in a position to hold its own. The late Lord Moulton expressed the opinion that if prohibition was granted for five years it should be sufficient for an industry to reorganise itself, and that after that prohibition ought to go. I should like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary on agreeing that prohibition on certain imports into this country is necessary, but with regard to the Dyestuffs Act I want to show the House that not only is it a burden on the cotton trade but there is no need now for its existence. Many figures have already been quoted. The Parliamentary Secretary quoted an average price of 1s. 1d.—


1s. 6d.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

I do not mind if it is 2s., and I cannot contradict the hon. Member, but the average price in my works is nearer 3s. 6d. than 1s. 6d. Let me repeat the figures which I gave when I spoke on the 8th December, 1932. I said: Imperial Chemical Industries put up the price of one colour from 4s. 4d. to 6s. 1½d; of another from 5s. to 7s. 6d.; another from 3s. 7d. to 6s. 11d.; another from 3s. 8d. to 5s. 7d.; from 4s. to 5s. 9½ d.; from 3s. 8d. to 5s. 2½ d.; from 6s. to 8s. 4d.; from 4s. 4d. to 5s. 11½ d., and from 2s. 5d. to 3s. l½ d."—[OFFIOIAL REPORT, 8th December, 1932; col. 1833, Vol. 272.] Those are the major colours one has to use in the cotton industry. I warned the House on that occasion that if the Bill was carried Imperial Chemical Industries in this country would enter into arrangements with the Interssen Gemeinschaft in Germany, and with other Swiss firms, and that a cartel would be formed by which they would have the users of dyestuffs in the hollow of their hands and charge whatever they liked for the colours which they were selling us. What I said then has come to pass. This cartel has been formed, but, apart from that, the price of colours which has risen 40 per cent. during the year has been further increased by Imperial Chemical Industries by another 12½ per cent., and to-day we are paying 52½ per cent. more for the colours used in the textile industry than we did 18 months ago. I hope this House is beginning to realise the terrible distress of the cotton trade in Lancashire. As I have told the House before, the majority of works in Lancashire to-day can show nothing but losses year after year, and yet on the top of that the Government, not meaningly, put forward legislation which is going to hamper them at every turn. Take Japanese competition. I want to know whether the Parliamentary-Secretary can tell me whether Imperial Chemical Industries in this country, through the cartel, are selling colours to Japan cheaper than they are selling to us in this country?


Would the hon. and gallant Member like the answer now?

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY



The answer is in the negative.

Lieut.-Commander ASTBURY

I am pleased to hear it, but what an anomaly it is that we should be prohibited from buying colours from abroad for the manufacture of our goods, which have to be exported to our overseas possessions in competition with Japanese goods, and that the Japanese should not be prohibited from sending their goods into this country or into our Dominions or Colonies. How can this trade carry on under those conditions? I see that the same Development Committee is to be continued in existence. Let me read again the names of this committee and see how far dye users have any influence on it. On 8th December, 1932, I said: Mr. Woolcock, the chairman is a member of Imperial Chemical Industries. Mr. Blundell is a dye maker. Mr. Cronshaw is a member of Imperial Chemical Industries. Mr. Forrest Hewit is a dye user, and a director of the Calico Printers' Association. Major Holliday is a dye maker. Then we have professor D. T. Morgan, and next Mr. James Morton, who is a dye maker. Mr. Palmer represents the Board of Trade. Then we have Mr. Davidson Pratt; and Mr. J. Rogers is a member of Imperial Chemical Industries. Sir Henry Sutcliffe Smith represents the Bradford Dyers; another dye user. Mr. Thomas Taylor is a member of Imperial Chemical Industries; and then we have Professor J. F. Thorpe. Mr. G. S. Whitham represents the War Office, and Mr. T. M. Wilcox is a member of Imperial Chemical Industries."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th December, 1932; col. 1831, Vol. 272.] There are, therefore, on the Development Committee only two dye users, and a preponderance of dye makers and those associated with Imperial Chemical Industries. I ask: is that a fair committee to go into the question as to whether we are being charged extortionate prices or not? In the Bill it is proposed that we should go before the Import Duties Advisory Committee, but how are we to prove that the prices we are charged are preventing us from getting into foreign markets and putting our goods on the home market? The whole thing would be perfectly impossible, in my opinion, and would be no solution at all. It has been asked by an hon. Member opposite why, if this cartel is formed—it has been formed—should dyestuffs be prohibited? I have no objection to a tariff. What I object to is that you should prohibit any competition whatever with a big vested interest in this country. We know what the "I.C.I." is. We know that it is a huge vested interest. The Colour Users' Association which practically represents all those in Lancashire, is definitely opposed to a continuance of prohibition. Here I quote: The Association has declared itself opposed to the continuance of the Dyestuffs Import Regulation Act and also to the extension to the dyestuffs industry of any degree of protection whatsoever. I do not suppose that the Government will withdraw the Bill, but I think they will make a great mistake by harnessing us for ever to an industry which, during the 30 years it has had the benefit of the Act, has failed to produce, with very few exceptions, any of the great essential colours that we have to use in our industry. An hon. Member has said that there are 2,000 colours. There are far more. The "I.C.I." has only produced two out of 18 chrome colours, and we have to pay a high price for these colours owing to the agreement with Switzerland, which has taken advantage of the fall in the pound. If the industry in this country had been able to produce practically all the colours that we wanted, I should have had very little to say. In 13 years they have certainly increased the basic colours and the direct colours, which we were producing before the War. They have increased them enormously at our expense and at the expense of the cotton industry. That has been easy, but in producing what I call the essential colours, that we have to use in competition with Japan, they have failed and failed egregiously. I have no hope of the Government withdrawing the Bill, and if in the interest in the Lancashire cotton trade alone I shall be bound to vote against the Bill.

8.39 p.m.


I wish to express not only a word of appreciation of the clarity with which the Bill has been introduced, but of the skill with which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade avoided any reference to the polysyllabic nomenclature of modern dyestuffs which makes the discussion of these dyes a wearisome burden to the memory. I want to deal with a quite special point. We have heard references made to the complaints of users of dyes, but to the ultimate users, the workmen and the consumers, no one has so far paid the least attention. The word under which I would make my plea is on page 2 of the Bill, in line 4. There there is that attractive word "efficient." I take it that "efficient manufacture" must include safe manufacture. In his opening remarks the Parliamentary Secretary said that by millions of pounds we had lessened our import of dyes. But between the dates to which he made reference, 1913 and 1932, there has been a phenomenal rise in the incidence, in workers and wearers, of dye dermatitis. That is to say that gratifyingly great as is our home trade, we have not yet reached that approach to perfectly safe manufacture that the foreigner seems to have reached.

It is well know that both dyes and explosives have both internally and externally very grave risks. Internal risks are shown in sometimes fatal toxic jaundice, which is notifiable to the Home Office. External risk consists of irritable, painful disfiguring and disabling dermatitis. It is met with to-day among the workmen with too much frequency, and among those who wear the products of the dye industries. Our towns would be dull and drab without the female sex, who make life beautiful by the galaxy of colours they wear, which make all the difference between post-War and pre-War femininity.

As far north as Wigan, Dr. Prosser White has made an international reputation by his writings on industrial dermatitis. In the Midlands Dr. Ingram, at Leeds University, is drawing attention to this problem. In London Dr. Parsons, of the Ministry of Health, has issued an official memorandum on the subject of fur-dye dermatitis. Last July I had to preside in Dublin over the skin section of the British Medical Association, which was devoted largely to the consideration of dye dermatitis, because the heavy incidence of this disease is a source of trouble to the doctors and of most expensive litigation to those who are engaged in the manufacture and trade.

Therefore I ask for consideration by the Government of Clause 3 of the Bill and Sub-section (6) of the principal Act which is referred to, where we find these words: (d) Any Government Department which appears to the Board to be specially concerned with such development may be asked to nominate a representative. I hope that in Committee "Government Department" may be made into "Government Departments," so that the experience of the Ministry of Health and even more so the special experience of the Medical Department of the Home Office in maintaining health in industry, may be drawn upon, so that a certificate of safety in home use before the pro- hibition of any imported dye will ensure a reasonable degree of security for worker and user.

8.43 p.m.


We are all obliged to the hon. Member who has just spoken for dealing with this matter from the point of view of scientific research. From his speech I could not be sure whether he was enthusiastically for or against the Bill. I rather gathered that he was distressed because of certain omissions. In a crowded House we have not been able to discover any strong support of the Bill, except from the Parliamentary Secretary. This is an important Bill. Although the cotton industry and the whole country are so vitally concerned, the Government cannot find six Members to come here and give support to the Bill. There are 56 Members representing Lancashire. They are vitally concerned with this Measure. The hon. and gallant Member for West Salford (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) showed courage and independence in speaking his mind. He never hesitates to speak in the interests of Lancashire. Except for one or two, hardly a Lancashire Member has thought fit even to be present.


There are only three Liberal Members present in spite of the fact that a cardinal principle of that party, namely, Free Trade, is involved in this discussion.


We have here our only Member from Lancashire, and our leader who is a host in himselfand wortha whole battalion of the supporters of the Government. He has never hesitated to put the case against this Bill in the interests of the cotton trade. My hon. Friend the Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holds-worth) has also been here to present the case for Bradford. We are doing more than our share in criticism of this Bill. If the rest of the House showed the same percentage of enthusiasm as this party the fate of this Bill would not be in doubt, and indeed a Measure of this kind would no longer be on the Statute Book. It is to be recollected that the bad time through which the chemical industry went before the War was not due to any conspiracy on the part of foreigners or any desire to ruin an important industry in this country. It was due to our neglect of scientific education in our universities. For years, the late Lord Haldane, then Mr. Haldane, preached the necessity of scientific research if we were to hold our own in the chemical industry.

It is interesting to recall that the inception of the chemical industry in this country, especially in the dyes section, was due to two foreigners—Brunner and Mond—who came over here and showed great enterprise in establishing that industry. I recommend to hon. Members the interesting life of the late Lord Melchet which has just been published and in which they will learn of the remarkable work done for chemistry in this country by Ludwig Mond, a German chemist, assisted by John Brunner, afterwards Sir John Brunner, a Swiss chemist. The success of the industry in its dyes section has not been entirely due, even to the powerful protection given by a system of prohibition. It has been due, to a great extent, to the progress of science in our Universities during the last eight or nine years. In Cambridge, for example, a great change has taken place in this respect. It was a place where Greek and Latin once almost dominated the studies, but now at every corner one finds laboratories and buildings devoted to the study of chemistry and to scientific research.

It was generally agreed 13 years ago—though some of my hon. Friends then opposed the Measure—that apart from the question of Free Trade and Protection, special circumstances connected with the dyeing industry justified special treatment for that industry not only in order to have in existence here an industry which was essential in its relation to the cotton trade, but also owing to the needs of national defence which had been emphasised by our experiences in the War. It cannot be too often repeated, however, that the original measure produced in 1920 was to foe "for 10 years and no more." The Parliamentary Secretary very skilfully avoided reference to those words "and no more." It was to be a temporary Measure. The chemical users and the chemical industry agreed that 10 years of this protection would be adequate to establish the industry here in a position to hold its own against reasonable foreign competition.

In 1930, the Bill was to disappear automatically from the Statute Book. But then all kinds of interests appeared on the scene. The Secretary for Mines will remember the great fight which then took place. I do not know what was his attitude on the question, but he will remember how this issue divided all political parties. Tremendous pressure was brought to bear in favour of continuing the Measure, but in spite of that pressure, by a majority of about 30 it was agreed that the Bill should expire and that the original contract should be kept. Then another place exercised its powers; the Bill came back here, and we had an eloquent plea for just one year more to enable the industry to investigate and make provision for the future. After 12 months, it was said, we could reconsider the position. The House of Lords on that occasion won, and by, I think, 89 votes it was decided that the Bill was to continue for 12 months. Historic events, however, upset our calculations as to future reconsideration. There was a change in the composition of the House of Commons. By the machinery of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, this Measure was prolonged for a further two years and about the middle of this year it was continued for yet another year.

That was just before the end of the last Session, and when I ventured to protest the Parliamentary Secretary with his usual suavity told me that I need not worry and that there was to be a new Measure which, he was sure, would satisfy all my reasonable requirements. I do not wish to use harsh terms, but nothing could be further from the reality, because now we find that instead of the Measure, originally limited to 10 years, being prolonged for another six or seven years it is to be made permanent. It is to become one of the Statutes of the country not to be altered except by special legislation. That is a distinct breach of the pledge given to the colour-users 13 years ago and again three years ago. It is a betrayal of a most important industry, and I am surprised that the great battalions of Lancashire are not here to defend the interests of their constituents which are being so jeopardised.

I would remind hon. Members to whom this problem may be new that this involves prohibition. The hon. and gallant Member for West Salford rightly differentiated between this form of protection and a tariff. This is not a question of a 20 per cent. or 30 per cent. duty. It does not matter how much you argue or plead, if it can be shown that an English manufacturer can produce this or that dye at what is alleged to be a reasonable price, then, by no hook or crook can you smuggle that dye into this country. Nothing has happened since 1930 to alter the position except to strengthen the case for allowing the original Measure to lapse. The report of the Dyestuffs Industry Development Committee, which I will not say was emphatic, but which put the case fairly for the colour users, showed how strong was their opposition.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, in his very fair statement of the scientific side of the case and of the facts and figures, pointed out that there were now upwards of 2,000 different brands of colours being imported from abroad by licence. The Development Committee put the figure at 1,600, and obviously, as the hon. and gallant Member for West Salford pointed out, that is not an over-statement, but is, if anything, an under-statement. The original 1,600 different brands of colours that were imported represented over 1,000 distinct types, and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for West Salford pointed out that two only of the 18 chrome colours are being produced in this country, after 13 years of monopoly, experiment, and industrial research. Several of the large users have reported that imports comprise as many varieties as, or more than, those obtained in this country. As my hon. Friend the Member for South Bradford pointed out, the English makers, naturally, having a monopoly, concentrate on those materials for which there is a large demand and which they are able to produce in bulk.

What the report pointed out still holds good, namely, that special stress must be laid on the fact that industries depend to a great extent on the novelty of the effects procurable. One of the most remarkable things about the Lancashire cotton industry is that they have largely adapted themselves to new conditions. The great progress made in the last 20 years, during this time of severe competition, is in design, so that in many things they can compete—in the beauty of fabrics, in quality, and in variety—with Continental manufacturers, but they have had to put up with this unfortunate handicap, and they have not had a fair deal. In a very important document that was issued a few years ago they pointed out that they had had to send many cloths abroad to be dyed or printed because of the difficulty of getting the necessary dyes owing to this cumbersome machinery of licensing. Let any business man in any trade appreciate what it must be to have to obtain essential raw materials through a committee by a system of licences. I think we are entitled, therefore, to put the case of the colour users, who have put up for 13 years, practically without protest, with the inconvenience of licensing. Three years ago they demanded the raising of this embargo, and if their case was strong three years ago, it is three times stronger now, in 1933. No case has been made out, no new argument has been adduced, not a single new fact, new figure, or detail, to strengthen the case of the dye users for their privilege.

It is true that the Import Duties Advisory Committee has been considering the matter at some length. These three gentlemen have been sitting in judgment on the cotton industry and the conflicting claims of chemists and textile manufacturers. They admit that colour users contributed materially to the smooth working of the Act, but they point out, in paragraph 8, that the colour users are apprehensive as to what may happen in the future, particularly in view of the formation of an international cartel. My hon. Friend kept the international cartel, quite rightly, to his peroration, and he dismissed it as something quite unimportant and hardly worth the consideration of this House of Commons. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for West Salford was not so much comforted. He may have been more suspicious as to the possible working of the arrangement. He has had some experience, as a practical manufacturer, and he knows the effects. He was able to show that in 18 months, in his own personal experience, some of the products of Imperial Chemicals have gone up in price no less than 52 per cent. In fact, during the last few months, they have gone up 12 per cent.

I would remind the House that the case for the continuance of this Act was largely built up on low prices. It was argued that in spite of this protection, in spite of prohibition, in spite of this practical monopoly, Imperial Chemicals and the various dye industries had not taken advantage of their privileges, but had gradually lowered prices. They were able to point out that at the very time, in 1930, when the Bill was going through this House, there had been an actual drop in prices. Some of us thought that perhaps that was a sop, that those low prices were not likely to be permanent. We were told that we were very suspicious people, and we were assured that this great organisation could be trusted to keep prices low. but, unfortunately, we were true prophets. During the last three years prices have gone up, as my hon. Friend opposite has pointed out, and as the colour users submitted to the tariff committee. The right hon. Gentleman the former President of the Board of Trade, now the Secretary of State for the Colonies, was the great defender of this Act of Parliament. I have looked up his speeches, and they were very eloquent, persuasive, and patriotic. One thing he emphasised was that the manufacturers had brought down their prices because they were steadily becoming more efficient. Is it suggested that prices have gone up during the last 18 months because they have become steadily more efficient? Prices have gone up because, under the aegis of this prohibition, the manufacturers have gone into an international cartel.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary described—I hope I am quoting his words correctly—this international financial arrangement as a very sensible pooling of markets by the interests concerned. What does the pooling of markets mean? It means exploiting the various countries by agreement. We are not told the history of these agreements. I do not know if they are in the bosom of the Parliamentary Secretary; I do not know whether he has seen the terms of these agreements. Probably he has, but I have not, the House has not, and the Members for Lancashire have not. He is in a privileged position, therefore, but I assume that the agreements are something of this kind: The German manufacturers says to the English manufacturers, "You can have India and exploit India; we will have Australia. You can have China, and we will have Japan," and so on. The world is divided up between the various powerful interests.

When we were discussing this problem in a previous Parliament the former President of the Board of Trade appealed to our patriotism and said that this was an essential industry for national defence. Have the Services been consulted? We are defending this great industry not for industrial or commercial reasons, he said, but in order to secure our national defence, so that we may properly supply the necessary chemicals for essential munitions. These patriotic people, who were to be engaged to produce chemicals to defend our nation against invasion, have now made a convenient domestic arrangement with—my German will not permit me to pronounce the word—with the "I.G." We are assured that if this German combine were allowed ingress to our country it would set out by dumping to ruin the whole of our trade, yet Imperial Chemical Industries come to an international agreement with them to exploit the world industrially. Is not that a very serious fact? Is it a thing to be dismissed lightly by the Parliamentary Secretary as something of no importance? "Oh," he says, "there is the Tariff Advisory Committee"—the three gentlemen who run the industries of our country. They say, in paragraph 20 of their report, that the majority group of the Dyestuffs Advisory Licensing Committee recommended that the contents of any international agreement now in existence, or hereafter to be made, should be disclosed to us. With characteristic modesty they accept the responsibility. This is not a matter of Free Trade or Protection, but something far more important, and I suggest that before we part with this Bill we should know the contents of this agreement, if not now, at any rate on the Committee stage. We have a right to know. The Bill is giving privileges to a great and powerful industry. I am not satisfied to hand over the contents of this agreement to three gentlemen. They imply in their remarks that the agreement is harmless. If it be harmless, why should we not know? Why all this mystery? Why should it not be put on the Table of the House, or, if it is too long to be printed, placed in the Library?

We have a right to ask because we are setting up this gigantic monopoly at the expense of the most important and vital of our exporting industries.

I have referred at some length to the cotton industry, but the hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth) showed that it is equally vital to the textiles of Yorkshire. If there has been some manipulation between these two organisations, we should know what they are. We have no right to break trust with the textile industry. They have been patient and long-suffering in the interest of the nation, inspired by most patriotic. motives. They have submitted to this inconvenience for 13 long years. It was argued on another occasion that we should give consideration to the people employed in the dye industry. After being 13 years in this privileged position, they are strong enough to hold their own with any of the great continental combines. The fact that a German combine is willing to come to an agreement with them is clear evidence of that.

The figures given in the House two or three years ago showed that there were over 7,000 people employed in the industry. I do not know what the figures for the textile trade are, but I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that 500,000 people in Lancashire and thereabouts are dependent for their living on the well-being of the cotton trade. The number of insured workers in the cotton, bleaching, dyeing and printing trade is 116,000. Two or three years ago 13.7 of them were wholly unemployed, and 23.5 temporarily stopped. That meant that 43,000 people in that industry were out of work because of the severe depression of the export trades, against the 7,000 persons engaged in the whole of the dye industry. In the report circulated by the colour users in the cotton trade it was pointed out that one colour-using firm alone in the last 10 years had dismissed more workers than the whole of the number employed in the dye industry. The Government have not made a case out for this breach of trust with the colour users. They are sacrificing the interests of a great and important trade at the behest of a powerful, wire-pulling, strong monopoly. I shall vote against the Bill, and I shall do my best to oppose it at every stage. I hope that Lancashire will know what the Government are doing backed up by the big battalions who do not trouble to come to the House, and I shall make every effort to get it repealed at the earliest possible moment.

9.13 p.m.


I wish to oppose this Bill on entirely different grounds from those put forward by the hon. Member for South West Bethnal Green (Sir DP. Harris). When we look back over the last 14 years we must admit that measures which were taken to protect the dyestuffs trades have resulted in tremendous progress, not only in the scientific production of dyes, but in the establishment of a very prosperous industry in this country. The industry was established by means of tariffs introduced by one who was a Liberal, and the results which have been obtained have passed even the expectations of those who designed the original Act.


There was no tariff at all.


Whatever it was, it was Protection. I speak as a Protectionist. I believe in Protection. I believe that we ought to have protection against unfair competition. If competition is immoral and unfair, if there is a challenge to the bread and butter, to the wages and the livelihood, of the British worker, I, as a Nationalist, believing in my own country and the progress of our own working people, feel that we should, by means of a tariff, protect their industry against that competition. If we have goods coming into this country from a nation which produces them as does Japan, where there is a rice standard of living, and those goods are challenging the standards of life here which were built up by the efforts of countless generations of social reformers, then where such a case has been made out—as it has been with Japan—if a tariff is not effective we should have prohibition.

I welcome the fact that in this Bill there is a glimmer of prohibition, and if it were applied against Japan I would support it every time, but, as far as I can see, these dyes are not made under immoral conditions. There is no stealing of our patents, there is no filching of our business, there is the European standard of life where the foreign dyes are made. It is not because of the unfairness of the conditions under which foreign dyes are made that I am opposing this Bill. I am opposing it because we do not apply tariffs, but apply prohibition. If there are tariffs they can be regulated so that equity is done between the manufacturer and the producer. As a believer in tariffs at the present time, as one who realises that had it not been for a tariff policy we should never have had a bargaining weapon with which to re-establish our position in the world as the first exporting nation, and one who feels that a tariff policy properly applied can effect great things for any industry, I am opposed to a Bill which leads to an abuse of all that for which we have fought and in which we believe.

The Bill makes it possible for a large monopoly to utilise the favoured position in which it is put by the Government to the detriment of an industry which at the moment is suffering from the fiercest kind of unfair competition in every market in the world. If we had a tariff we could watch that tariff. If we give any industry a monopoly, so that it can override even the opinion of this House, so that we cannot challenge it or criticise it, I believe that we are going beyond the mandate on which we were elected. We ought not to give monopolist powers to a combine like this. I oppose the Bill not because I am a Free Trader, because I am not, nor on the grounds which have been put forward by my hon. Friends opposite, who, I feel, are in a different position, but because I think that the success of our tariff policy impels every one of us who believes in tariffs to see that the system is not abused. I must, to my regret, vote against the Bill.

9.21 p.m.


Short as the Debate has been it has given rise to several interesting speeches, not the least interesting of which have been those from supporters of the Government. At one stage of the Debate I thought we should not have the usual spectacle of supporters of the Government criticising its policy, but apparently we cannot get through any Debate without that spectacle. At least two supporters of the Government have criticised the Bill because it continues the system of prohibitions rather than establishes for the dyestuffs industry a tariff system without prohibition. The speeches of both the hon. and gallant Member for Accrington (Major Procter) and the hon. and gallant Member for West Salford (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) were of that character. The hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holdsworth), in an admirable speech, reinforced the powerful arguments he brought forward a year ago against the continuation of this Measure. The hon. Member for Mile End (Dr. O'Donovan) raised a very interesting point. I have always regarded him as an enthusiastic supporter of the Government, but he ought to be, and from his speech to-day he obviously is, well aware of the fact that if we adopt a system of Protection or, as in this case a system of prohibition, shutting out of the country certain commodities in a desire to foster their production here, it does mean that we have to depend, at any rate for a time, on inferior products rather than have the superior products which came from outside. He made it clear to us that these inferior products have, in the instances he gave us, at any rate, been injurious to those who have had to use them.

The Parliamentary Secretary, in an interesting and informative speech, showed very great adaptibility to the new circumstances in which he finds himself. Indeed, he spoke almost with vehemence in support of a policy which, as T happen to know, he as vehemently opposed at an earlier stage. Obviously, he has adapted himself very well to the changed circumstances in which he finds himself. The main facts of the case as he put them are not in dispute. All of us are prepared to acknowledge that the Act of 1920 has resulted in a phenomenal growth of the dyestuffs industry in this country. The Act played a very important part in that process. On the face of it, it did seem anomalous that we should have in this country one of the largest textile industries in the world and yet have to depend almost entirely upon outside sources for the dyestuffs needed to finish those textiles. Obviously, such a position had to be remedied. I do not think that any of us who sit on these benches would dispute that fact at all. Steps have been taken to remedy the position which existed, but we are concerned at the moment with the present consequences of the continuance of that policy.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade told us a few weeks ago, on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, that it was a little difficult to deal with an industry divided against itself, and he again made reference to that matter in the speech which he delivered a little while ago. Because that was the case, the matter was sent to the Import Duties Advisory Committee, and this Bill is the result of the investigations and recommendations of that committee. As far as I can gather from a perusal of the Bill, in these days the words of the Import Duties Advisory Committee go; whatever they say seems to be implemented as speedily as possible by His Majesty's Government. Their word is law, and whatever we on these benches may think of the method the Government have of setting up extra-Parliamentary bodies to deal with difficult subjects, the committee will form a screen behind which the Government can shelter if, as a result of some of their proposals to the House, things do not turn out quite as they should.

Here we have a situation in which dyestuffs producers and dyestuffs users are by no means in agreement—as I could show, but I do not want to use a lot of quotations, as many have been used by other hon. Members. It is, however, not difficult to collect quotations from the various memoranda which have been issued by the dyestuffs industry to show that they are very antagonistic to the continuance of this Act. It appears, however, that for the moment they are going to bow to the inevitable and not on this occasion, as one would have expected, put up a more vocal protest in the House than they have done.

I have seen it argued, somewhere in the innumerable memoranda which have appeared on the subject, that in the pre-War years, when the textile industry was doing a trade to the value of over £200,000,000 annually and were using £2,000,000 worth of dyestuffs a year, it was a very stupid and short-sighted policy on their part not to have encouraged the establishment in this country of & dye industry instead of contenting themselves with importation from the Continent. I fail to see the force of that argument. According to the essential nature of all productive enterprises in society as it is economically constructed to-day, the textile manufacturer was solely concerned with his own profits in his own industry. That, of course, is the sole motive—I do not think that will be denied, and I am not saying at the moment that it is either good or bad—of all capitalist enterprise, because that is its nature. Therein lies the danger of continuing to give special protection to the dyestuffs industry in this country. The dyestuffs manufacturers will be primarily concerned—they must be, in the very nature of the case—with making profits in their own industry. Advantages to the colour users will be quite secondary. If advantages accrue to the colour users as a secondary factor, well and good, but the dyestuffs makers will be primarily concerned with making profits in their own industry.

Can it be said that what the Dyestuffs Act was passed to bring about has been accomplished? The Parliamentary Secretary has inferred that it has not yet been completely accomplished; there is something more to be done. As far as anyone contemplated the future in 1920, what was intended has very largely been accomplished. More than that—and in what I am about to say lies our main objection to the continuance of this Act—we first get, as a result of the special protection that has been given, a virtual dyestuffs monopoly in this country. That is the first stage in the process. What is the purpose of forming a monopolistic dyestuffs combine in this country? Various arguments are put forward in support of the proposal: first, that it is done in the name of efficiency. I believe that the late Lord Melchett used that kind of argument, that the main purpose of bringing the industry into a big combine was efficiency. It was hoped that through that efficiency benefits would accrue to the using industries on a considerable scale. Another argument is that the combine is being formed to bring some degree of order out of chaos, and a third argument states that it is done to keep prices on a remunerative level—to use a word that is a favourite on the lips of the hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Home). In a word, the whole thing is done to stabilise profits at as high a level as eircumstances will permit.

What is it that alone threatens the monopolistic power of any such body in any country? A similar monopoly elsewhere, in some other country. When two such monopolies face each other, one of two things is going to happen: they are either going to fight one another or, alternatively, they will merge their interests. That is what has happened in this case. Here, the British Government have given protection by means of prohibition over the last 13 years. The first consequence is the development in this country of a monopolistic combine in the realm of dyestuffs production. When it is faced with monopolies elsewhere, it does not fight them; it merges with them. They pool their interests. Herein lies the danger of continuing this Dyestuffs Act as we are being asked to do to-day. The colour users have every reason to be very seriously concerned about the present position. Here we have a dying textile industry, and it must in such circumstances have to pay toll to a monopolistic dyestuffs industry, whatever arrangements or machinery the Government may devise as a check on the situation which has been created and which is to be perpetuated by this Act.

I have just one closing word to say. The House parted a little while ago with a Measure which was rightly stated to embody proposals for safeguarding the interests of Newfoundland bondholders. We are now asked, on the same day, to give a Second Reading to a Bill to afford special protection to a great international capitalistic combine. Two such Measures following one another reveal very clearly the real nature of the Government which at the moment governs this country. It acts mainly in the interests of the great financiers. When it is not doing that, it is acting in the interests of those who run great industrial combines. We on these benches shall have no hesitation whatever in going into the Lobby against this Measure.

9.34 p.m.


There is one point on which I think the whole House is agreed, and that is the value of the industry which has been built up in this country since 1920. A great new industry has been established with a large export trade, of value to science and research and of strategic value to the country. The Act of 1920 has been justified by its results. That Act was passed with the support, I may mention, of Mr. Asquith, speaking for the Liberal party. Circumstances were then most exceptional. There was no attempt to establish this industry by means of tariffs; tariffs would have been perfectly futile for the purpose, and would merely have raised prices indiscriminately and have protected inefficiency. On the one hand, the industry itself was being most carefully organised and built up, and on the other hand a system of licensing was established in order to afford it a measure of shelter during that process. The policy was generally supported at that time and achieved the results for which it was intended. Lord Moulton, who was the real originator of the movement, considered that a period of five years would be adequate for the upbuilding of this industry; however, in order to make assurance doubly sure and to give plenty of time, the Act of 1920 gave a period of 10 years.

When that 10 years came to an end in 1930, as always happens in every such case, the industry which had been specially favoured declared itself most reluctant to give up its privileges. The colour users declared themselves to have been penalised for 10 years by much higher prices than they would otherwise have had to pay, and complained that they had also suffered from long delays and many inconveniences in obtaining the dyes they needed. They said: "We have made these sacrifices for 10 years; we agreed to do so; now we call upon the other party to the agreement to fulfil their undertaking and to bring this period to an end as originally agreed." There is, however, no infant industry which will ever agree that it is grown up; they are all Peter Pans; they never grow up. Once an industry, whatever it may be, in this country or in any other, is given special protection in order to establish and organise itself, whenever the special period comes to an end it claims more protection and complains that it will be ruined without it. Here you have this infant industry which is 13 years old and it is still claiming to be spoon-fed.

We have had a remarkable Debate to-day. The House has been discussing the Bill for 2½ hours, and after the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, who moved the Second Reading, not one speech has been made from any quarter of the House in support of the Measure—not one speech from any party, not that that makes any difference to the Government, or to the result. There was a Patronage Secretary to the Treasury in the last century who, after a Debate in which the whole of the argument was against the Government, and when no reply of any kind was attempted, said: "After all, a majority is the best repartee." So it will no doubt be in this instance. Hon. Members who have come in lately will not have heard two very significant speeches from the hon. and gallant Member for West Salford (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) and the hon. and gallant Member for Accrington (Major Procter), both of them opposing the Bill, both from Conservatives and both speeches from Protectionists and loyal supporters of the Government. Even they, on this occasion, have turned and have declared that this Bill was impossible for them to support, and that they would even go so far as to vote against it.

The hon. and gallant Member for West Salford, who knows this matter in and out, being himself a textile producer on a large scale, told the House that since the renewal of this Bill and since the combination between the German producers and the British producers, the prices that he himself has been paying have increased in the last 18 months by over 50 per cent. Here is an hon. and gallant Member, speaking from his own experience of what is actually happening as the result of Measures such as this. He is a textile manufacturer who has to pay more than 50 per cent. additional prices because of the monopoly which has been created by the State and which cuts against the interest of the consumer.

In this matter there are two parties concerned, as always in matters of trade: the producers and the consumers. The producers want to get as much as they can, and the consumers want to secure the commodities that they require at the most reasonable prices. Here, the consumers are organised into a great body, the Colour Users' Association representing the textile trade and other trades, and the Colour Users' Association have definitely declared against the Bill. The hon. Member who moved the Second Reading of the Bill did not mention that as a matter of any importance, but he said that they had declared against the Bill but that, very loyally, they would of course assist in making the scheme, if adopted, operate as successfully and as smoothly as might be. The essential fact is that, of these two great interests, the producers demand the Bill and the consumers oppose it, but the Government come down heavily, as usual, on the side of the producers, regardless of the interests of the textile manufacturers. They declare in favour of the Measure, because it is supported by the Import Duties Advisory Committee. The Government declare in favour of the dyemakers.

This House has again and again, in recent months, heard of the plight of Lancashire. We Lancashire Members have repeatedly brought the state of the industry before the House, and the House of Commons and the country know that Lancashire, or many parts of Lancashire, are on the very edge of ruin; that Japanese competition is most formidable, and that our exports have fallen off from 7,000,000,000 yards to 2,000,000,000 yards. There has never been known, in any country, so great a collapse of so vast an industry in so short a time. One of the many things that are necessary to save Lancashire is that, at all events, any avoidable increase in the cost of production of their articles should be eliminated, that unnecessary expense should not be required from Lancashire, and that, so far as possible, without reducing the standard of life of our people, we should reduce our costs. Yet we have the Government deliberately helping to raise the price of one of the essential raw materials for the manufactures of Lancashire.

Could there be a more foolish action on the part of any Government which wishes to assist the producers but which, at the same time, raises the cost of their raw materials above what they might otherwise be? The hon. and gallant Member for West Salford has told the House about those increases of 50 per cent. in the prices in 18 months. But the Government are doing that very thing. The Government come to the House of Commons, and the President of the Board of Trade makes a speech very sympathetic to Lancashire. The Government fully realise the gravity of the position, "are exploring every avenue," "are taking all relevant considerations into account," "are lending a ready ear to every proposal that can be made," but nothing happens, except that they support this Measure that will have the effect of putting up the prices of one of Lancashire's raw materials of manufacture above what it might he. Lancashire says to the Government: "At all events, if you cannot help us, do abstain from hurting us."

9.44 p.m.


It is only with the permission of the House that I can reply to the points raised. We have just heard again the suggestion that the Government are on the side of the producers. I had occasion to remark about this before, that you do not ultimately help the consumer by making your producer bankrupt. It is about time that the interests of the producers were seriously considered as a definite matter of Government policy. A good deal of attention has been directed to the cartel, and I was asked some questions by the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) in his opening speech. I was asked whether there were countries to which Great Britain exported dyestuffs. There are, and I have a long list of them, with particulars of what were exported, the value and the average price per hundredweight. The cartpl is not, in inself, in the least a harmful organisation. The British export trade owes a great deal of its advance to cartels, in the sense of international agreements whereby, instead of cutthroat competition, the different interests concerned have agreed that they would not oppose each other in certain markets. It is a very wise and sensible proposal provided that it is not administered improperly or contrary to the interests of the consumer. I can tell the House, from experience at the Board of Trade, of numbers of cartels which are proving of the greatest possible advantage to British export trade. Do not, therefore, let it be imagined that the fact that this international cartel, made in 1932, has come into existence, is a disadvantage either to consumer or producer.


What are its terms?


Its terms have been disclosed to the Import Duties Advisory Committee, which has been called upon to advise in this matter, and they have found specifically that its terms are not such as to result in any undue advantage to the manufacturer. They have found that the increase in price of 22½ per cent. was merely a return to the level to which prices had voluntarily been reduced in the hope that more business would be obtained. When it was found that the policy of reducing prices had not increased the consumption, the price was very properly put back to a level that was remunerative.


Have not the Committee also found that the users are apprehensive as to what may happen in the future, particularly in view of the formation of an international cartel?


Yes, they have found that there was apprehension, and, in order to deal with that apprehension, Clause 4 has been inserted in the Bill. I was asked about employment. The number of people employed in the industry of making dyes is 7,500. Those employed in the consuming industries are, of course, more than that number.


How many?


I have no knowledge of where the industries that consume dyes begin or end.


They run into very many thousands.


It is quite impossible at a moment's notice to find a figure which has neither a beginning nor an ending. I have said perfectly frankly, and I have taken the House into confidence throughout the Debate, that the numbers employed in the consuming industries are greater than in the producing industries.


Ten times more.


I am not in the least surprised that the hon. Baronet should suggest an arbitrary figure—


I can give the figures.


I would not like to say how many there are, but the figure is certainly very much higher. The hon. Member for Westhoughton referred to the Yorkshire Dyeware Chemical Company and he quoted from a report. I understand, however, that that body are not mainly makers of synthetic dyes. They are chiefly known for their sales of natural dyes. Consequently, the observations which they have made have very little bearing on the subject matter which we are discussing here to-day, which is, very largely, synthetic organic dyestuffs. No evidence whatever has been brought before us to-day that the price of dyestuffs would have been lower if the British dyestuffs industry had not been developed. There has been a sort of vague assumption that the policy of the Dyestuffs (Import Regulation) Act of 1920, which has been continued in subsequent years, has resulted in some increase in price, but there is not a word of evidence in support of that, and I entirely deny it. The cartel came into existence because there was a system of regulation. Hon. Members seem to imagine that that must be a disadvantage, but let it be remembered that, if our British dyestuffs industry had not been developed, we should have been entirely in the hands of the Continental manufacturers, who would then have regulated their prices and methods of delivery, and, indeed, would have decided whether or not we should obtain any dyestuffs at all.

In my opening remarks I said that there were between 1,000 and 2,000 dyes which we did not make in this country at all. The hon. and gallant Member for West Salford (Lieut.-Commander Astbury) said that he wished the number were so small, and that according to his information it was nearer 5,000. I am content to take that as the figure. What is the use, when we are still dependent on the Continent for something between 2,000 and 5,000 dyes, of talking as though we were wholly independent and could do exactly as we like? Although I mentioned that some observations might be directed to the question of the surplus productivity of the great Continental dyestuffs works, at Ludwigshafen and other places, not a word has been said about that. I do not know how hon. Members below the Gangway who support the Free Trade argument would propose to deal with the possible dumping of that great surplus productive capacity on this market—[HON. MEMBERS: "By a tariff!"] The Import Duties Advisory Committee have expressly found that a tariff is not applicable. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] Perhaps the hon. Member will do me the honour of reading the White Paper which we are discussing. The whole of the argument is set out in paragraph 13. The point is that there are works abroad capable of supplying the demands of the whole world. How are we to expose ourselves to that attack unless we have some system of prohibition, of import under licence, of import on the free list immediately we discover that the article is something which we want? It is not suggested that the licence system has not been perfected; indeed, the hon. Member for South Bradford (Mr. Holds-worth) was good enough to say that in recent years it had been brought very much up to date. Where is the handicap in saying: "We cannot get this dyestuff in this country, and we accordingly ask for a licence. If we secure a licence it comes in free"? Surely, that is a sensible arrangement.


As I am one of those whom the hon. Gentleman has challenged, may I ask him what the cartel is for if it is not for the purpose of regulating the market?


The cartel is in existence lest there should be a prohibition, and that is the whole point that I have been endeavouring to make. The hon. Member for South Bradford asked who was the hardy person who frankly admitted that there had been no complaint as to prices? I will tell him. It was a deputation from the colour users, and it had never been challenged until it was challenged to-day by him in this House. The deputation said that there was no serious complaint at all to-day, but there was an apprehension, and that apprehension is going to be dealt with in the way I have described.


Did not the hon. Gentleman quote the words—that there had been no complaint of British prices as compared with Continental prices? That is a very different thing.


We are both dealing with the same point. The hon. Member asked me a question on the quotation which I read. The quotation is on page 5 of the White Paper, where the report deals with cartels. It says: As regards the present, it has been frankly stated that the consumers have no serious complaint as to the prices charged by the dyestuffs industry in comparison with the prices charged by continental makers.


The cartel has put prices up all round.


It goes on to say that they are apprehensive as to what may happen in the future, particularly in view of the international cartel, but there is no complaint whatever at present.


No; they did not say that at all.


The House will be able to judge. I was very glad that the hon. and gallant Member for West Salford mentioned Japan. I thought it not unlikely that some hon. Members would do so, and I have taken a good deal of trouble to ascertain the position of the dyeing industry in Japan, and to see whether the Japanese textile industry can compete with us on that ground as well as on others. I am glad to be able to inform the hon. and gallant Member and the House that the prices of dyestuffs sold to Japan show quite clearly that there is no selling of dyestuffs to Japan on terms which are likely to enable Japan to compete with us. That is quite definite information. The hon. Member for Mile End (Dr. O'Donovan), who is known to be a skin specialist, was very interesting on the subject of dermatitis, but I wonder whether he really meant that, on a patient suffering from dermatitis being brought into a hospital, he could tell at sight whether the dermatitis was caused by a foreign or by a home-made dye?


On the information which the Parliamentary Secretary gave us two hours ago, I am almost certain that it could be produced by a homemade dye.


The whole subject of dermatitis, of course, is of great interest, but, as a matter of fact, it is impossible to tell whether it arises from a homemade or a foreign dye. A dye containing injurious ingredients, wherever made, may produce dermatitis, and as often as not it is due to something in the skin and not to something in the dye. The real point of this Bill is to make the system of importation under licence permanent. The reasons have been given, and I will conclude with a quotation from a speech by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) three years ago. I have been twitted, quite properly, by hon. Members opposite for having a Free Trade past, but actually in the matter of dyestuffs I was always on the side of the angels. Be that as it may, the right hon. Gentleman crystallised the position that we have reached very well in his speech on that occasion. Mr. William Graham, then President of the Board of Trade, had introduced the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill and had referred to dumping. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen said: The right hon. Gentleman addressed a powerful argument with regard to dumping. He said that, unless this Act were continued, the German dye interests might flood our Markets with such large quantities of dyes as might destroy the industry. That is not a question for the continuance of the Act for one year or for five years. The flooding might take place at any time. That argument is one for maintaining the Dyestuffs Act in perpetuity. I can quite understand hon. Members wishing the Act to be continued in perpetuity, but that is not their proposition to-day."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th December, 1930; col. 1311, Vol. 246.] It is the proposition of His Majesty's Government to-night, and I ask the House to give it a Second 'Reading.

9.58 p.m.


I am, not for the first time on this question, voting against the Government, because I do not believe in this method of dealing with the problem with which we are faced. I have said on many occasions that the proper way of dealing with the matter is by the policy of a tariff and not by prohibition and licence. I propose to put before the House a few cogent reasons why the view which has been expressed by the Parliamentary Secretary is wrong. There

is used in my constituency probably the greatest weight of dyestuffs used in any constituency in the country. What happens when these people have to come before the Licensing Committee to get their licence to import dyestuffs? They have to explain why a particular dye has to be used and disclose all the secrets of their business to people many of whom are their trade competitors. It is all wrong that they should be placed in that degrading position.

I was delighted to hear what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Darwen (Sir H. Samuel) said about Japanese competition, and I hope he will support us in advocating effective remedies to deal with that great menace. If you have a tariff, subject to the payment of duty, a person who wants to import can import what he likes. The Parliamentary Secretary said that he had had no complaints from colour users. I can bring him hundreds of complaints which are justified. They may not go before the Import Duties Advisory Committee to state their case but to my knowledge there are hundreds of cases that are brought forward. Until the Government face this issue in the right way, they will never be able to achieve success for this dyestuff industry without complaint from colour users.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 345; Noes, 72.

Division No. 58.] AYES. [10.3 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Burghley, Lord Duggan, Hubert John
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)
Albery, Irving James Burnett, John George Dunglass, Lord
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Cadogan, Hon. Edward Edmondson, Major A. J.
Aske, Sir Robert William Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter
Atholl, Duchess of Caporn, Arthur Cecil Elmiey, Viscount
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Carver, Major William H. Emmott, Charles E. G. C.
Balniel, Lord Castlereagh, Viscount Emrys Evans, P. V.
Barclay Harvay, C. M. Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Entwistle, Cyril Fullard
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th.C.) Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Essenhigh, Reginald Clare
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Evane, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)
Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Flelden, Edward Brockiehurst
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry, B. Clayton, Sir Christopher Fleming, Edward Lascelies
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn) Cobb, Sir Cyril Flint, Abraham John
Blindell, James Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Fraser, Captain Ian
Borodale, Viscount Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Fulier, Captain A. G.
Boulton, W. W. Conant, R. J. E. Ganzoni, Sir John
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Courtauld, Major John Sewell Gillett, Sir George Masterman
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Bracken, Brendan Craven-Ellis, William Gluckstein, Louis Halle
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Goff, Sir Park
Broadbent, Colonel John Crookshank, Col. C.de Windt (Bootle) Goldie, Noel B.
Brockiebank, C. E. R. Cross, R. H. Goodman, Colonel Albert W.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Crossley, A. C. Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Denman, Hon. R. D. Graves, Marjorle
Brown, Brig. Gen.H. C. (Berks.,Newb'y) Dickie, John P. Grimston, R. V.
Buchan, John Donner, P. W. Gunston, Captain D. W.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Drews, Cedric Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.
Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Salt, Edward W.
Hanbury, Cecil Martin, Thomas B. Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Hanley, Dennis A. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Meller, Sir Richard James Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Scone, Lord
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Milne, Charles Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k) Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmslord) Mitcheson, G. G. Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Shuts, Colonel J. J.
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Moreing, Adrian C. Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge) Morgan, Robert H. Skeiton, Archibald Noel
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.) Smithers, Waldron
Hornby, Frank Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Somervell, Sir Donald
Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Morrison, William Shepherd Somerville, Annesiey A (Windsor)
Horsbrugh, Florence Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Soper, Richard
Howard, Tom Forrest Munro, Patrick Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Nall, Sir Joseph Spens, William Patrick
Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Hume, Sir George Hopwood Newton, Sir Douglas George C. Stones, James
Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Stourton, Hon. John J.
Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Nunn, William Strauss, Edward A.
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) O'Connor, Terence James Strickland, Captain W. F.
Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe) O'Donovan, Dr. William James Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Ormsby Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A. Summersby, Charles H.
Ker, J. Campbell Palmer, Francis Noel Sutcllffe, Harold
Kerr, Hamilton W. Patrick, Colin M. Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Knight, Holford Pearson, William G. Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Knox, Sir Alfred Penny, Sir George Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Perkins, Walter R. D. Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-[...].)
Law, Sir Alfred Petherick, M. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Leech, Dr. J. W. Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Leighton, Major B. E. P. Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Turton, Robert Hugh
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Potter, John Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Lewis, Oswald Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Liddall, Walter S. Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Lindsay, Kenneth Martin (Kilm'rnock) Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Llewellin, Major John J. Ramsbotham, Herwaid Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Lloyd, Geoffrey Ramsden, Sir Eugena Wells, Sydney Richard
Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn.G.(Wd.Gr'n) Rankin, Robert Weymouth, Viscount
Lockwood, Capt. J. H. (Shipley) Ray, Sir William Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Loder, Captain J. de Vere Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Reid, David D. (County Down) Williams, Herbert G. (Crovdon, S.)
Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Reid, William Allan (Derby) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Mabane, William Rentoul, Sir Gervals, S. Wills, Wilfrid, D.
McCorquodale, M. S. Ropner, Colonel L. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Seaham) Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
MacDonald, Malcoim (Bassetlaw) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Ruggles-Briss, Colonel E. A. Wiss, Alfred R.
McKie, John Hamilton Runge, Norah Cecil Womersley, Walter James
McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Macmillan, Maurice Harold Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) Captain Sir George Bowyer and Lord Erskine.
Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro',W.) Owen, Major Goronwy
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Parkinson, John Allen
Attlee, Clement Richard Grundy, Thomas W. Price, Gabriel
Bailey, Eric Alfred George Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Procter, Major Henry Adam
Banfield, John William Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd) Rea, Walter Russell
Batey, Joseph Harris, Sir Percy Remer, John R.
Bernays, Robert Hicks, Ernest George Rickards, George William
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Holdsworth, Herbert Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Jenkins, Sir William Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Cape, Thomas Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn.Sir A. (C'thness)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cove, William G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Thorne, William James
Cripps, Sir Stafford Kirkwood, David Thorp, Linton Theodore
Daggar, George Lawson, John James Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Logan, David Gilbert Wallhead, Richard C.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William White, Henry Graham
Dobbie, William McEntee, Valentine L. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Edwards, Charles McGovern, John Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Mainwaring, William Henry Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Mallaileu, Edward Lanceiot Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Mander, Geoffrey le M. Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)
George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Maxton, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Mllner, Major James Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. D. Graham.
Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee.