62. Mr. A. RAMSAY
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what proportion of Empire labour content is demanded by the respective signatories in respect of preferences given under the Ottawa Agreements?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)
With the hon. Member's permission I will circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT giving the information for which he asks in regard to the Dominions which were signatories of the Ottawa Agreements, and Southern Rhodesia. I have arranged with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India to supply the hon. Member with similar information in regard to India.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the arbitrary figure of 50 per cent. Empire labour content accepted by the Government is doing considerable hardship to this country by permitting foreign goods to come through a Dominion corridor and defeat the intention of the Import Duties Act?
Perhaps my hon. Friend will first see the statement. I may say that the agreement and the decision were based on experience and were made after consultation with the industries concerned. If he has any specific point to raise and will put down a question, I will endeavour to answer it.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some industries in this country disagree entirely with the Board of Trade's decision in accepting 50 per cent.?
That is quite true, but, if you consult different interests, you must determine on balance, and the majority think the other way.
|Country.||Qualification for Preferential Tariff Treatment.||Note.|
|Canada||50 per cent, of value of goods to be represented by Empire labour and/or material (33⅛ per cent, in case of cotton yarns and fabrics).|
|Australia||Goods wholly produced or "wholly manufactured" in the United Kingdom.||"Wholly manufactured" implies no process done outside the United Kingdom which is commercially performed in the United Kingdom. The manufacturer is allowed the use of:|
|(a) basic raw materials of any origin.|
|(b) certain raw materials of any origin in a more advanced stage as specified on a list drawn up by the Australian Minister of Trade and Custome and amended as occasion requires.|
|Goods not commercially produced in Australia 25 per cent, of United Kingdom labour and/or material. Other goods, 75 per cent, of United Kingdom labour and/or material.||The Minister specifies these goods on a list amended from time to time.|
|New Zealand||Goods wholly produced or wholly manufactured in other Empire countries.||Unmanufactured raw materials of any origin may be used and also certain specified semi-manufactured materials.|
|Goods partially produced or partially manufactured in such countries, 50 per cent.|
|Union of South Africa.||25 per cent, of value of goods to be represented by Empire labour and/or material.|
|Southern Rhodesia||Generally, 25 per cent, of value of goods to be represented by Empire labour and/or material.|