§ 8.32 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Dr. Burgin)
I beg to move,That the Additional Import Duties (No. 4) Order, 1933, dated the twenty-sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved.I rise to move the first of four Orders under the Import Duties Act, 1932, and with your permission, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and with the consent of the House, I suggest a general discussion of the four Orders, leaving the House free to take a separate decision, should they so wish, on any one of the Orders as they arise. It will probably be convenient if we follow the established practice, and I make a short explanatory statement of the four Orders taken together. These four Orders have, as a net result, the achievement of four different objects.? The duties are increased on peat products, rubber footwear, linseed oil, potatoes, pottery and clay products, fabric gloves and baskets. There is a specific duty on yeast, and a duty on buttons, and certain ships and vessels are exempted from additional duty. The question may be raised as to the propriety of these duties being imposed now having regard to the Tariff Truce announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday. The House is familiar with the position then announced, but it is convenient to say that Order No. 4 is dated 26th April; Order No. 5, 27th April; Order No. 6, 27th April; Order No. 8, 28th April. The Committee's recommendations to which these Orders relate are dated at Various times between January and April of this year.
I will deal with the Orders in chronological order. No. 4, which comes first, need not delay the House for more than a few seconds. Buttons came under a Safeguarding Duty under Section 9 of the Finance Act, 1928. As the House will remember, that Safeguarding Duty was for five years. It came to an end on the 27th April, 1933, when the Safeguarding Duty was 33⅓ per cent. Immediately the Safeguarding Duty came to an end the articles automatically came under the 284 Import Duties Act, 1932, for a 10 per cent, ad valorem duty, and the Committee now recommend the addition to that 10 per cent, of an ad valorem duty of 22⅓ per cent., leaving the duty precisely as it was before, namely 33⅓ per cent. I have figures relating to the importation of buttons which share the home market, and the figures of employment, but inasmuch as the duty is maintained at precisely the same level as before, I do not propose, unless questions are raised on it, to go into matters of detail further.
Order No. 5 deals with peat, rubber footwear and ships. First, with regard to peat. Peat was subject to a 10 per cent, duty, and the proposal now is that that duty shall be increased to 20 per cent. This will include additional duties on preparations of peat used in horticulture, agriculture, poultry and on sports' tracks. The market for peat is expanding. There are very large quantities of peat in the United Kingdom, and it is hoped that British producers will obtain a larger share of the market. It is difficult to obtain separate statistics with regard to employment in the trade, but the trade is not very extensive. That brings me to the duty on rubber footwear. I imagine that that is one of the duties to which the House will desire to give a little attention. The proposal is for a specific duty per pair on the different classes of rubber boots, rubber shoes and footwear generally, and it is imposed primarily because of the extraordinary importations that have come from Japan. It is probably well within the knowledge of the House that there has been a perfect flood of importations at extremely low prices and that the whole of the country has been literally flooded with these rubber footwear importations. The figures are very striking. Rubber footwear comes from Germany, Czechoslovakia, the United States, Canada and other countries. Under the heading of "other countries" 68 per cent, of the whole comes from Japan. The remainder consists of plimsolls from Poland, and small quantities from Spain and Belgium. The importations have grown at a tremendous rate. The multiplication table is quite unable to keep pace with the alteration in the figures.
285 The comment which the House will probably desire to make is not against the severity of the duties, which it will probably be very willing to affirm, but whether the imposition of these extremely high duties is not likely to cause some hardship to British dealers in these particular articles. I sympathise with the point of view that desires that matter clearly to be investigated, but the Import Duties Advisory Committee had already announced that, if this flood of importations continued, further and increased duties would be recommended. I submit that in case of a warning of that kind the trade in these articles coming from Japan, under conditions which make it impossible for Western countries to compete with them, must have been a trade in which everybody taking part had perfectly clear warning that they were from day to day living on the edge of a precipice, and that there might be some recommendation for a further increase in the duty. That is exactly what has happened. On the 27th June, 1932, a Press notice was issued by the Import Duties Advisory Committee that application had been made for increased duties in respect of this commodity, and when an increased duty was proposed the committee, in the final paragraph of their report, said:Should the present abnormal competitive conditions continue we shall be prepared to reconsider the matter.The Committee have had the position of the importations under close observation Since their recommendation, and on the 27th March last they recommended new duties, which came into operation on the 2nd May. I might add that under our English law, under the Finance Act, 1901, where a new Customs Duty is imposed after the date of a contract of sale, the new duty is for buyer's account. That is the effect of the Finance Act, 1901, Section 10 (1). The United Kingdom output of rubber footwear is very considerable, and the House will be glad to know that, according to the Ministry of Labour's statistics, the unemployment in the rubber industry has decreased quite considerably between September, 1931, and April, 1933. The total number of operatives in the rubber trade generally in September, 1931, was 67,470, and the percentage of unemployment was 20. In April, 1933, the comparative figures were: total number of 286 insured persons employed, 64,100; percentage of unemployment, 17.5, as distinct from 20 per cent, in 1931. The Committee's recommendation with regard to rubber footwear is one which can be commended very cordially to the House.
The next article dealt with in Order No. 5 is ships, and it is recommended that they cease to be chargeable with the additional duty. They are for the moment subject to a duty as being goods manufactured from metals and come under the general 20 per cent, description. The Import Duties Advisory Committee recommend that these various ships, boats, etc., which are imported into this country should be exempt from additional duty and should not come under the 20 per cent, category. Seagoing ships and vessels are not goods, and are therefore not affected. If the House approves the recommendation, craft of all kind, dredgers, barges, tugs, launches and vessels used in estuaries can come in without being liable to pay additional duty. The gross tonnage affected is relatively small and the total value in any year is slight. In the year 1932 the total value of boats imported was £26,000 and the gross tonnage a little under 3,000.
We pass now to Order No. 6, which deals with linseed oil. This Order has some special interest to the House. It is the first Order under the Ottawa Agreements Act. It is the first recommendation made by the Import Duties Advisory Committee in pursuance of the Ottawa Agreements Act, Section 1 (5). The Ottawa Agreements Act placed a duty of 10 per cent, on linseed, which had formerly been on the Free List, and increased the general ad valorem duty on linseed oil from 10 to 15 per cent. The Import Duties Advisory Committee have found that the new duty on linseed oil is insufficient as a set-off to the extra cost occasioned by the new duty on seed. The products of seed-crushing are oil and oil-cake, three tons of oil and seven tons of cake from every 10 tons of seed. Oilcake is in competition with other forms of cattle food and thus the price cannot rise; consequently, the whole of the increased cost has, in practice, to be put upon the oil. It is not sufficient merely to raise the cost of imported linseed oil, and the Advisory Committee for the 287 reasons set out in full in the White Paper, the Additional Import Duties No. 6 Order, suggest the fixing of the duty on a specific basis. The new duty is at such a rate as will, with the 15 per cent. ad valorem duty, amount to £3 10s. per ton. On the average value that £3 10s. per ton amounts to an ad valorem duty of approximately 25 per cent.
When the matter of linseed was before the House in connection with the Ottawa Agreements Act, I was pressed by Members interested in the trades which use linseed oil as a raw material to make some statement with regard to drawbacks, and I am glad to be able to tell the House that the drawback system for articles made from linseed oil will be published and put into operation within the next few days. It has taken a little time to think out because the number of articles of which linseed oil is a raw material is very considerable, and it has been necessary to work out a most detailed drawback scheme. That scheme is now ready and will be published within the next few days.
§ Mr. GRAHAM WHITE
Will the Parliamentary Secretary indicate the scope of this drawback, as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury yesterday in answer to a question referred to linoleum. Are we to understand that it refers to the general class of objects in which linseed oil enters, as far as exports are concerned?
§ Dr. BURGIN
It may be a sufficient answer at the moment to say that it has a wider scope than linoleum.
§ Dr. BURGIN
That is probably a fair inference. I admit that I was reading the exact words—a drawback scheme for articles made from linseed oil will be both published and put into operation in a few days. My statement was intended to prevent there being any alarm on the part of users of linseed oil against an increase of the duty from 15 per cent, to what is equivalent to a 25 per cent, duty, and amounting to £3 10s. per ton. If hon. Members have any further points to put I will deal with them later. For the moment that is, I think, a description 288 which the House desires of the way in which this increased duty on linseed oil is to be applied.
The next Order is No. 8. I have dealt with Orders No. 4, 5 and 6. For the information of the House I may say that Order No. 7 is an Order reducing duties in accordance with the Trade Agreement with Germany and, therefore, does not require an affirmative resolution by the House. Order No. 8 deals again with a large number of articles—yeast, pottery, baskets, fabric gloves, and potatoes, and I understand that there will be some discussion on at least one of these miscellaneous articles. Let me see how far an explanation will assist the House in any discussion which may naturally and properly arise. Yeast comes from several countries, largely from Holland. The suggestion is such a rate of duty as will, with the general ad valorem duty, amount to 4s. per cwt. Yeast is essential for the production of bread, and the importance of maintaining domestic supplies is obvious. The Import Duties Advisory Committee were impressed by the efficient methods of production and distribution of home manufacturers, and were satisfied that there was 100m for considerable expansion. Production in this country of recent years has: been affected by the importation of large quantities of inferior quality at low prices. It is believed that a moderate duty, while giving the home producers of yeast an increased share of the home market, will not increase the price of home-produced yeast and will not mean any increase in the price of bread. The duty should check the influx of inferior grades of yeast and afford a definite preference for the higher grade quality. The incidence of the duty will vary with origin. On Danish yeast, which is the best, it will amount to 10 per cent.;. on German yeast, the duty will be about 13 per cent. I have for the convenience of the House, if they are wanted, the whole of the particulars with regard to imports for the last few years.
The next item—I must, apologise for taking time by going through so many of these separate subjects—is pottery and clay products. There are recommendations for a duty on a large number of these different products of pottery and clay. They are mostly with regard to 289 tiles. The new Order leaves unaltered the duty on roofing tiles, quarry, and street-paving tiles, drain pipes, angles and other similar articles, but imposes increased duties on three classes of pottery, glazed wall and glazed hearth tiles, sanitary ware, and articles of a description commonly known as "used for domestic purposes." The increases of the duty are shown in the White Paper and vary from 5 to 20 per cent., according to the nature of the article. Particulars of importations are available in detail. These come mostly from Germany and Holland, but again I must point out that there has been a marked increase from Japan. Let me give the House two figures. From 1927 to 1931 Japanese imports of translucent pottery increased from 6,000 cwts. to 14,000 cwts. In the case of general earthenware the importations in 1927 from Japan were 4,700 cwts., and in 1931 9,500 cwts. The increase is one of the facts which has induced the Import Duties Advisory Committee to make this recommendation.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
Is it expected that this increase in duty will stop abnormal importation from Japan?
§ Dr. BURGIN
If the hon. Member is asking me whether this increase in duty represents the Government's policy towards Japanese imports the answer is in the negative. This is a recommendation made by the Import Duties Advisory Committee upon the application of the pottery trade for a measure of interim protection which it lies within the power of the Committee to give. The general question of Japanese imports is of course an entirely different matter.
§ Sir B. PETO
In the remarkable figures which the hon. Gentleman gave just now did he make it clear that the 1927 figures were cwts. and not tons?
§ Dr. BURGIN
If I gave the figures wrongly, I apologise to the House. There are two different classes of pottery. One is translucent pottery in regard to which the 1927 figure is 6,000 cwts. and the 1931 figure 14,000 cwts. In the case of general earthenware the figure in 1927 was 4,700 cwts. and in 1931, as I thought I had made clear, 9,500 cwts. I next have to deal with baskets which can hardly be described as an "article" because there is such an infinite variety of them. There are three main groups, containers, trade 290 baskets and fancy baskets. Containers are being made in a very large degree by British makers. Trade baskets and fancy baskets are, to a large extent, made by blind and disabled people. There is a very substantial home production in spite of keen foreign competition. I have the Census of Production figures, from which it appears that quite a large percentage of the total home production came from small firms, employing less than 10 persons each. It is a trade particularly capable of being dealt with in a country which produces osiers and the other raw materials. As to the countries from which baskets chiefly come, vegetable containers come from Holland, trade baskets from Belgium and fancy baskets from Germany. The figures of imports are available and I do not think the House will delay in approving an increase of duty from 20 per cent. to 30 per cent.
That brings me to the two contentious subjects of fabric gloves and potatoes. Fabric gloves have provided the subject-matter of many discussions in this House and, as the House knows full well, we have to consider in this connection the yarn which is the product of Lancashire, the fabric which is very often made abroad, from which the gloves are constructed, and the glove making industry in this country which has been sorely hit by all kinds of competition. The suggestion of the Import Duties Advisory Committee is an increase of the duty upon fabric gloves from 20 per cent. to 30 per cent. The contest is not so much as to whether the fabric glove industry deserves assistance —which seems to be regarded either as accepted or as a matter of lesser account —but as to whether in granting assistance to this home industry we are doing any injury to Lancashire. That, of course, is a matter on which the two sides of the case were put before the Committee. Some complaint is raised by Lancashire that they were not allowed to repeat the very full presentation of their case made in the first instance to the Committee. The actual words of the recommendation must be referred to:It has not been found possible to devise an administratively practicable scheme for reducing the duty on glove fabric.This was the way in which the Committee desired to handle the case. In view of the great lack of orders experienced by what is a rural industry, to which we 291 are particularly desirous of giving help the Committee, seeing no reason to change their broad general outlook, have felt that this industry must be given some further assistance. The duty now proposed is not very heavy and it is not one which in the opinion of the Committee will adversely affect Lancashire. The Committee take the view that in making a recommendation of this kind they are harming no industry and helping one which they are desirous of assisting. The unemployment figures are not available separately for this trade but it is estimated that there are only some 500 or 600 operatives employed as compared with 1,200 a year ago.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
Can the hon. Gentleman explain why it has not been found possible to devise an administratively practicable scheme for reducing the duty on glove fabric?
§ Dr. BURGIN
That is the statement of the Committee whose particular task this was. If it is beyond the ability of the Committee, with their complete independence and detachment, and all the skilled assistance which they have, I do not think it likely that the House will be able to point to a method by which this could easily be achieved. That brings me to the final subject of the duty on potatoes. The recommendations with regard to potatoes are expressed in the form beloved of Parliamentary draftsmen which requires a great deal of reading. There seem to be no less than six different rates of duty on potatoes and the Order deals with every month of the year. I have taken the trouble to attempt to reduce all this super-classification to two simple statements which I think will make the position clear to the House. The recommendation with regard to potatoes tries to achieve two objects, one permanent and the other temporary. The permanent object is this. Under the duties at present in force potatoes have a duty on them of £4 13s. 4d. per ton until 30th June, but on 1st July the duty becomes £l per ton on all potatoes. It was felt that that was an extremely steep descent from £4 13s. 4d. on the night of 30th June to £l on the morning of 1st July. The Committee have recommended therefore as a permanent measure that in the months of July and August potatoes shall 292 carry a duty of £2 and only at the end of August will the duty fall to £l. So you have a duty of £4 13s. 4d. until 30th June, £2 in July and August, and thereafter £l. That is one part of the recommendations.
Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of potatoes, may I point out that the Committee recommends that the additions to the duties specified in the statement should be imposed "for this season." May I ask whether the duties specified here come to an end on the latest date mentioned, namely, 31st October?
§ Dr. BURGIN
The hon. Member interrupted me when I had finished the first half of a double-barrelled statement. I was trying to reduce this complex question of potatoes to simple proportions. The permanent duty is merely to stop the fall from £4 13s. 4d. per ton. That is permanent and is not limited to this season. There is a special recommendation for the other half of the programme dealing with old potatoes. For this season only old potatoes, until the 30th June, are to have an extra £1 a ton. The reason is that there are tremendous stocks of old potatoes still unsold, and in order to give growers the possibility of starting with a new season's crop without being completely glutted with the old, there is an increased import duty of £1 a ton upon old potatoes for this season only up to 30th June. That is a clear analysis of the potato recommendation, and, in spite of the six classifications and the elaborate series of duties, I am assured that that is the whole purport of this potato recommendation. I have had to take the House over these four Orders and a very wide series of articles, and I have attempted to give the House the information which it has shown by previous experience that it desires.
§ 9.8 p.m.
§ Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
The House will appreciate the very concise and complete way in which the Minister has defined the objects of these Orders. He said that there were four different objects to be attained by the four Orders, but I am not sure that I have found my feet in the controvercy and I hope that he will ovErieok any mistakes that I make. These Orders cover an extraordinary range of subjects. They are made for 293 the imposition of additional rates of duties on the general tariff which has been operative for a considerable time Since the 1932 Act came into force. For example, in Order No. 4, a 10 per cent, duty having been charged upon buttons, the recommendation of the committee is that an additional duty of 23⅓ per cent. should be added, making 33⅓ per cent, in all. We should like to know much more before the Debate closes as to the reason why these buttons are to be subject to an additional duty. We were given figures to show that this is a very small trade and that it will not affect employment in a very large way should the object of the additional duties be obtained, because the volume of business in buttons is not very large and the amount of employment cannot therefore be very important. I should like to know whether the description in the Order covers all buttons. The description is:Buttons, whether finished or unfinished, of a description commonly used for the fastening or decorating of wEarlng apparel or household linen, not being buttons forming part of any other article.Are these the ordinary buttons imported on small cards and sold in little lots of half a dozen or a dozen, or are they such as are sold in bulk? Are they consignments produced abroad and sold in bulk for ordinary use on clothing; are they simply the small buttons that may come in for repair work and making good the wear and tear of ordinary wEarlng apparel; or are they the main stock of buttons used in the manufacture of clothing? Whatever merits these Orders may have, and whatever effect they may have on employment we have to keep the consumer in mind, and while the "consumer of buttons" may not be an appropriate term there is a very large use for buttons, and they do play a very important part in the economy of nations. The next Order, No. 5, is apt to be confusing because we fail to understand why this conglomeration of duties should be introduced to the confusion of the House in the same Order. First we have a recommendation dealing with peat moss, peat moss litter, dust or mould, granulated peat and peat fuel or tailings. All these terms are unknown to me. I confess to great ignorance of gardening and horticulture, but probably all these terms are familiar to those people who have gardens. No information is given regarding the amount of peat moss and 294 the country from which it is imported. I understand that in Ireland, the country to which we paid a visit in the last Debate, there is an enormous supply of peat and peat moss. Do these duties cover importations from Ireland, or only from Continental countries where peat also is found?
We would like to know a little more as to the commercial and financial effect of this new duty. On the same Order we have the new additional duties on rubber shoes. Here a protest should be entered because this new duty has given rise to a very large measure of complaint. Correspondence has come to every Member of the House and it seems to manifest a general grievance against the incidence and the amount of this new duty. Here we are dealing with articles of daily use and of growing use among the poorer people. With great joy we find that country children, in particular those who have to traverse badly constructed roads and muddy lanes on the way to school each day, are making growing use of rubber footwear. It has been brought within reach of people with small incomes and it has become a great comfort and a safeguard to health, especially to the younger generation. This additional duty will give some satisfaction to the makers of rubber boots and shoes in this country, but it means an enormous addition to the cost of footwear for the poor children of the working classes, for whom there is no corresponding advantage in any of these Orders.
It is a prohibitive duty, and a large number of children will be deprived of their rubber shoes and compelled to put up with leaky footwear and badly-made leather shoes letting in the wet. They will be unable to go to school dry shod and to return in comfort. It is a most unjust imposition, and a great injustice in particular to the younger generation, whose health has been keeping up marvellously in these difficult days of great financial (stringency in the home. This is a direct attack upon the health of the children, which has been maintained, partly, by the provision of better footwear. I. find that the list of these rubber shoes includes shoes covering the ankle, those very neat, smart, shoes that we see these days, sometimes reaching almost to the knee. They are to become liable to 295 an additional duty of 2s. each, which is 4s. a pair. I do not know the rate of wear of these shoes, but supposing a child wears out only one pair in a season, that means 4s. extra to be paid. I find that even smaller shoes are to be charged a duty at the rate of 1s. 6d. a pair, and goloshes have to bear an increase of 10d. or 1s. a pair. I hope the House will refuse to endorse these recommendations, and that the Order already made will be rescinded in the interests of the children and the others of whom I have spoken.
Next we come to the Order excluding from duty materials used in the construction of ships. I am not quite certain, but I gathered from what the Parliamentary Secretary said that they are to come in absolutely free, or that there is to be only the 10 per cent. general tariff. One wonders why that is so. If there is any virtue in putting an additional duty on buttons in order to provide employment, why remove the duty in this case having regard to the enormous amount of unemployment in the shipbuilding industry? It is inconsistent to take that course in the case of an industry where unemployment is greatest and where whole communities are in a state of poverty and unprecedented distress. But shipbuilding materials are to come in free for some reason which was too abstruse for me to follow when the Minister explained the position to the House. In the case of Order No. 6 the Minister explained that linseed oil, which was taxed previously at a low rate, is now to carry an additional duty. It is not to be a percentage rate ad valorem duty, but such additional rate as will bring the duty up to £3 10s. a ton. The Minister said that linseed was used mainly in the manufacture of linoleum and paints and varnishes. I do not know whether he expects very much additional employment in those trades. He gave no estimate of the additional number of people whom he expected would find employment on account of this duty.
We come now to Order No. 8. Here, again, there is cause for complaint, because an additional duty is to be put on yeast. Yeast is a commodity which we hardly ever meet with nowadays., It finds its way into bread, but, unfortunately, bread is now mainly produced in large bakehouses. People get their bread made for them, and yeast is almost unknown 296 to the ordinary housewife, who does not make her own bread to the extent as formerly, though bread making at home is still carried on in the country districts. The making of bread at home was almost a universal custom in my boyhood. On many occasions I have gone to buy a pennyworth of yeast—sometimes three-halfpenceworth, which was sufficient for a rather formidable baking. Every increase in the cost of yeast means an increase in the cost of making bread. One by one articles which enter into the cost of living are being enhanced in price by the imposition of these duties, and the cost of living is thus pushed up by subterranean methods which escape the notice of the ordinary man in the street. In the last year or two the. Government have been responsible for considerable additions to the cost of living.
§ Mr. GRENFELL
It would be equally true if I said there would have been a considerable reduction in the cost of living had the Government not imposed these duties, which are put on in such a way that they pass unnoticed by the housewife and others responsible for the family budget. Here there is an addition to the cost of bread making, which must be paid by the consumers of bread, and that means by everyone in the country. Then we come to the Order dealing with baskets. I have every sympathy with blind people, who are very largely engaged in this trade, still mainly carried on by hand, but we believe that this Protection cannot help even blind people, because they form part of the whole community which must be injured by this system of Protection. Whatever small advantages come direct to the blind people, they will lose in the general loss which the community suffers owing to Measures of this kind.
In the case of potteryware we are dealing with articles which enter very largely into the cost of house building. The articles described in Order 8 are mainly forms of pottery used in building—roofing tiles, street paving tiles, glazed wall and glazed hearth tiles, drain pipes, angle bends, elbows and traps and sanitary wear. The additional duty on these commodities runs to an average of about 20 per cent., and the general duty will now 297 stand at a level varying from 15 per cent. to 30 per cent.—a very high charge. As we have in this country the raw material for making all these kinds of pottery, why is it necessary to have this very high rate of duty against foreign competitors? With the raw materials existing in this country, as anywhere else, in such variety and quality, one wonders whether the Government are satisfied that this is not-cloaking inefficiency? We are at a disadvantage in referring to a committee which sits somewhere away from the world of man, where very few people can gain entry, and no one knows what evidence is submitted to them or what case is made out by interested parties. One asks oneself why it is necessary to protect tiles and drainpipes to the extent of 30 per cent, when one has been abroad and seen the conditions under which similar manufactures are carried on? I am afraid that this is a direct Incentive to inefficiency, and I hope the Minister will satisfy us on that point before we leave this Order.
Then we come to fabric gloves on which I shall not say much, because there are hon. Members of this House who are panting for an opportunity to express their views with expert knowledge. I have listened to many Debates on fabric gloves, and I never could understand the ramifications of that industry. I knew in a general way that there were two sets of people concerned, those concerned with the production of the raw materials in this country who complained of the duties and those who are manufacturing gloves from raw materials who wanted higher duties. We stand here to-night protesting against every single item in these Orders. We shall vote against every single recommendation made and every single Order issued. We believe that this method of giving assistance to industry will, in the end, be detrimental to the real interests of industry itself, and that, in the end, it will not add to the volume of employment or improve conditions in this country. We believe that the operation of these Orders will mean an enhanced price to many of these articles of daily consumption. The effect will be to add unduly to the cost of living of the working people whose wages are already too low, and that will result in reduced purchasing power and in that way nullify any good effects which might come from the direct influence of the Orders themselves.
§ 9.28 p.m.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
I should like, in the first place, to associate myself with two things which fell from the hon. Member who has just sat down, firstly, his expression of admiration for and gratitude to the hon. and learned Gentleman who introduced this subject for his very clear exposition of these complicated Orders, and, secondly, the hon. Member's general declaration of opposition to the whole policy which they embody. The House has heard me before on that general theme, and I do not propose now, when I know a great number of Members wish to speak, to range over the whole field, more particularly because there is one of these Orders which I have satisfied myself will do an exceptional measure of injustice to the traders concerned and real injury to an important section of the consumers of the country.
The Order I refer to is that relating to rubber footwear. I should like briefly to remind the House, in the first place, what is the history of the case. Rubber footwear came under the provisions of the Import Duties Act and a 10 per cent, duty was imposed when that Act was passed. Then there was a recommendation at the beginning of last summer by the Import Duties Advisory Committee that the duty should be raised to 20 per cent., and that Order was duly passed by this House. Then in September of last year application was made by the British manufacturers of rubber footwear for a higher duty, but counter representations were made by the importers concerned, and so successful were these representations and so strongly did they impress the Import Duties Advisory Committee that whereas the manufacturers had asked for a duty of 50 per cent, ad valorem, or 6d. per pair, whichever was the greater, to be added to the 20 per cent, ad valorem duty already imposed, the committee recommended a specific duty of only 2d. per pair in the case of shoes and 3d. per pair in the case of boots, to be added to the 20 per cent. Now, only seven months after, without warning to the importers and merchants concerned, this enormous addition to the duties which we are discussing to-night is made. I said it had been done without warning, although the House will remember that the Parliamentary Secre- 299 tary, in his opening speech, argued clearly that ample warning was given. He based that statement on what was said by the Import Duties Advisory Committee in making their recommendation in September of last year. They then said:Should the present abnormal competitive conditions continue we shall be prepared to consider the matter.But how is the trader who is making contracts and entering into binding obligations to judge what abnormal competitive conditions are, and whether in fact they are continuing? If you look back over a series of years it is true that importations from Japan have increased, but a further remarkable fact is that they have increased entirely at the expense of other foreign countries and not at the expense of the British manufacturer— mainly at the expense of Belgium and Czechoslovakia. The figures show that the increase in importations from Japan corresponds almost exactly to the decrease in importations from these other foreign countries. The Parliamentary Secretary referred to other cases in which imports from Japan had increased, and he presented to the House, perhaps unconsciously, a picture of Britain being overwhelmed by imports from Japan with a tremendous balance of adverse trade. As a matter of fact, that is very far from being a true picture. I see hon. Members representing Lancashire sitting opposite, and I know that those industries have suffered. But if you take the whole picture it is no longer true. If you take the figures for 1931—the statistical abstract for 1932 is not available—you will find that the exports to Japan amounted to £6,186,000 whereas the imports from Japan amounted to £6,952,000. If you remember that the export figures are f.o.b. and the import figures are c.i.f., you will see that there is almost an exact balance of trade between Japan and this country. Therefore, it is not the case that we are being completely flooded by Japanese goods.
In the particular case of rubber footwear, the increase in the imports from Japan is in almost exact ratio to the decrease in the imports from other countries. The absolute figures have shown a steady decrease year by year Since 1930. In 1930, there were 1,244 thousand dozen pairs imported from all countries. 300 In 1931 they fell to 1,173 thousand dozen pairs, and last year the figure fell to 991 thousand dozen pairs. So much for the trend of imports during the last three years. But the House may say, the Committee bases its recommendation upon what has happened Since it published its last recommendation in September of last year, and in fact, they say in the White Paper that we are now discussing that the rates imposed in September of last year have completely failed to check the flood of imports. I shall be able to show clearly to the House that the Import Duties Advisory Committee have made an enormous error in drawing that conclusion from figures which are available at the present time.
If you take the figures of imports for the first four months of this year and compare them with the figures for the first four months of last year, you will find, although there is an enormous decrease in the imports as compared with 1930 and 1931, that there is an almost imperceptible increase, that is from 382 thousand dozen pairs to 389 thousand dozen pairs, comparing the imports for the first four months of this year with those for the first four months of last year. If those figures prove anything— and this is my point—those goods that were imported in the first four months of this year, and certainly in the first three months, were ordered long before the new rates of duty became operative in November. The orders took effect in November of last year, and therefore the importations in the first four month:; of this year have been quite unaffected by the action of the Committee last autumn. The rates of duty which were enacted last autumn have had no effect upon the imports in the first four months of this year, because any goods that came in during those four months were ordered long before those rates came into operation. It would be the figures for June, July and August which would show the effect of the rates of duty which were enacted in. the autumn of last year.
My submission to the House is that the Advisory Committee, in making this recommendation, have acted without giving time for the effect of their recommendations of last year to be manifest. If you take the figures for the most recent period, that is to say for April, they entirely support the contention which I am now putting before the House. If you 301 take the figures for April, 1931, the amount is 169 thousand dozen pairs, for 1932 the figure was 141 thousand dozen pairs and for this April, only 106 thousand dozen pairs, showing clearly that the duties are now beginning to take their effect, just at the moment when the Advisory Committee rushes prematurely on to the scene, and puts up this recommendation.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I do not see what that has to do with it. The hon. Member heard what I was saying. I have already pointed out that, as regards January, February, and March, the Orders could not possibly have been affected by the rates of duty imposed in November, or by the warning issued by the Advisory Committee and that April would be the very first month which could be affected in any degree by the rates of duty imposed in November. What, therefore, does the warning, to which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade referred, amount to? What could the importer have done to avert the prospect of loss, by which he is faced in the recommendations which we are discussing now? What does the word "reconsider" mean? When the Advisory Committee said in September of last year that if these abnormal importations did not cease, they would reconsider them, "reconsider" must have meant consultation. Under the Import Duties Act, it is laid down that the Advisory Committee must consider the interests of the consuming trade. How can they consider those interests if they do not take the consuming trade into consultation? The argument which I have put before the House, showing how the importations could not possibly have been affected in the first four months of this year—in the first three months at any rate—by the rates of duty imposed in November of last year, shows clearly that the Advisory Committee have acted without any appreciation of the effect upon the trade which is carried on by those people.
I am not sure whether the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to tell us 302 whether Since November there has been a fresh application by the British manufacturers. Either there has been an application, or there has not. If there has been such an application, then the Advisory Committee should have given the importers an opportunity of stating their case. They have not. I want to make that clear. The importers have had no opportunity Since November last, of stating their case to the Advisory Committee. They were not consulted before the Advisory Committee recommended the increase which we are discussing this evening. Either the manufacturers have made a fresh application, in which case the importers ought to have the opportunity of discussing it with the Advisory Committee, or they have made no such application, from which it would not appear that there is any such crisis in the affairs of the trade as would justify the imposition of a new duty.
The Parliamentary Secretary stated, in reply to a question, that the importer would not be affected, because under Section 10 of the Finance Act, 1901, he can add the amount of the duty to the contract price, if he is selling off. A good many of those importers are not bound by contract to the merchants. They take the goods at their own risk, and are selling them after they get here. But in those cases in which importers have got contracts with merchants to take the goods off their hands and to which therefore the Parliamentary Secretary's statement applies, it merely means that the merchant is faced with—I was going to say the risk, but I would rather say the certainty, of disastrous loss on the price which he pays for the importation of those goods. I would, therefore, press the Parliamentary Secretary very strongly on this point. Is he not prepared to withdraw this Order until the position of people who have goods in transit can be safeguarded? They are the people who will suffer most, and they will suffer particularly in the case of importations from Japan, because there has been no possibility of getting into this country goods ordered before the Order was published. The Russian Embargo legislation does afford a remedy, in that it gives the importer the right to import the goods if he has ordered them before the embargo—
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
If he has paid for them before the embargo came into operation, or if he was under contract to buy them before the Act was passed. The importer of these goods is exactly in that position if he is under contract to buy them, but he is faced with enormous losses, which I will state for the benefit of the hon. Member opposite who shakes his head.
§ Mr. SLATER
In this particular industry the stocks accumulate during the winter. It is a summer trade largely, but they take their supplies through the winter, and the people for whom the right hon. Gentleman is pleading are making huge profits on what they have in stock over here.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
It is true that, as the hon. Member says, these goods were coming in during the winter, before the new duties, which were imposed in November, came into operation, but now they have to face those duties, and, on the top of them, this colossal increase. That is going to land these perfectly honest traders, who are carrying on a perfectly legitimate trade, with enormous losses, of which I will give some indication in a moment. The Parliamentary Secretary yesterday said quite correctly that he has no power under the Import Duties Act to give exemption in the case of goods at sea. Therefore, it is not to the Treasury, it is not to the Board of Trade, it is not to the Advisory Committee, that these traders can look for salvation from this injustice which would otherwise be done to them. They can only look to this House, and, therefore, I would ask the House at any rate to insist that, in respect of these goods in transit, some alleviation shall be given.
I would like to re-echo what has just been said by the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) about the point of view of the consumers. Sir George May, the chairman of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, when he heard this case in September of last year, said that, in granting any increase of the duty—that is to say, the November increase—care must be taken that the public should not pay more for the same class of goods. But Sir George Beharrell, the managing director of Dunlops, in an interview a week or two ago in which 304 he expressed gratification at the action of the Government issued this warning:Naturally, prices for the cheapest lines of shoes have become very depressed, and some adjustment in these lines will be necessary, but the duty should not lead to any general increase in prices.There will be these unfortunate adjustments in the prices of the cheapest line of goods, which are exactly those to which the hon. Member for Gower was referring —lines of goods which in fact have never been supplied by the British industry. The supply of these cheap rubber boots and shoes is a new industry based upon importation from abroad, for which there will be no compensation if it is wiped out.
§ Sir JOHN HASLAM
I do not wish to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but I should like him to develop his argument a little further. He has been trying to tell the House that the importer will lose money on the importation of these goods, and then he goes on to tell the House that the consumer will have to pay a higher price. How does he reconcile the two?
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I do not think there will be the slightest difficulty in doing that. The importer will have to pay duties, as I was just going to show, varying from 120 to 300 per cent., so that there is room there for ruin for the importer as well as a serious rise in price to the consumer in this country, and the consumer will, of course, pay on the later consignments. Actually the price of Wellington boots—what we call"gum-boots"—has already gone up, Since the duty was imposed, from 7s. to 8s. a pair. A line that was offered at 7s. has now gone up to 8s. a pair. These consumers, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for Gower, are among the poorest people in the land. They are the school children whom I have seen in recent years, even in the far north of Scotland, travelling through mud and snow dry-shod, and arriving at school warm and dry. If they are deprived of the opportunity of getting this cheap waterproof footgear, it will not only deprive them of comfort, but will lower their power of resistance to iliness, will make them uncomfortable at school, and will make our educational system much less efficient. An hon. Member asks, why do they not buy English stuff? It is because the English stuff is so much more expensive than 305 they are able to afford, and, when these duties are put on, the imported stuff is bound to go up correspondingly in price. The trade in this very cheap rubber footgear will be killed, and none of it will be available for poor people and for the children who so greatly depend upon it.
Some hon. Members have challenged me to give particulars of this increase in the duty, and what it meant, and I am very glad indeed that they have done so, because I am able to give them exactly the information that they require. In some cases, as I have said, the increase in duty is from 120 to 300 per cent. In the case, for example, of Plimsoll shoes —those that I used to call "gym shoes" when I was at school, that is to say, little brown speckled shoes with black rubber soles—in that case the shoes are sold for 7d., while the new duty on an imported pair of shoes, under this new Order, will be l0d. It will actually be 3d. more than the price at which the shoe is now sold. The duties are actually higher in some cases than the price at which British manufacturers are selling the goods in England. There is, further, this very remarkable fact, that the Scottish firm of Stewart, who are the largest manufacturers of these Plimsoll shoes in this country, declined to associate themselves with the other manufacturers in this case when it was before the Advisory Committee last year, apparently because they were convInced that the 20 per cent. duty which was then in force was ample to safeguard the position of their trade.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Not at all. Only eight months ago Japanese competition was the principal argument of the applicants for this increased duty, and in fact it was proved that the increase in the Japanese trade was at the cost, not of the British manufacturer, but of the other importing countries. This duty means ruin for a number of men engaged in this perfectly legitimate trade, which brings such good and wholesome benefits to the health and comforts and efficiency of our children and of great masses of our poorer population. I have been told of one particular contract—I am willing to give the name to the Parliamentary Secretary if he wishes it—under which a man has bought 50,000 pairs of 306 children's Wellington boots, and on that contract alone he stands to lose £3,000. Honest traders will be forced into default if this action is suddenly taken without consultation with the trade concerned, without looking into the special circumstances of the trade, irrespective of the fact that the duty imposed last autumn has not yet had time to take effect, although the figures of imports for April show that it is beginning to take effect.
If the House takes this action it will do grave injustice to these honest traders, and will strike a blow at the supply of boots to the consumers to whom I have referred. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to consider these facts. If these arguments are right it will be no good passing the Order merrily to-day. It will come home to us all. It will come home to the consumers. It will lead to default, and in some cases, I am solemnly informed, to the ruin of certain importers and merchants. It will come home to us all when people who have had the benefit of this footwear challenge us upon what we have done. I therefore ask the Government to withdraw the Order and to give an opportunity for further consideration of it. The Order is based on a misapprehension of the facts of the trade, and I am sure the House would do well if it gave time for further consideration of the special difficulties of the trade.
§ 9.68 p.m.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
The Government's policy in respect of tariffs has been very frequently explained. It is a matter of expediency, a question whether a particular proposal will be of national advantage on the whole. In order to help them to come to conclusions the Government set up the Import Duties Advisory Committee. That committee sits in an atmosphere free from political prejudice. The policy is straightforward, plain and logical, and is understood by the country, and it is a policy which I persoNaily support. Therefore, I approach this question of the Orders prejudiced in favour of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. But there is one particular Order, No. 8, referring to fabric gloves, to which I must refer, in view of the evidence and the facts which are made plain by the Advisory Committee. It seems to me that the recommenda- 307 tion is so contradictory that the House will be well advised to reject that portion of Order No. 8 which deals with fabric gloves.
The special nature of the fabric glove industry requires to be understood. Fabric gloves are essentially a substitute product. They are sold freely, provided they are sold as a substitute for skin gloves. They are only sold freely provided they are cheap in price, attractive in appearance, and provided there is a real margin between the price of the skin glove and that of the fabric glove. If the consumer has to pay for fabric gloves a price that is comparable with the price for a chamois leather glove, he does not buy the fabric glove. An illustration of the truth of that statement is to be found in the report of the Advisory Committee itself. For five years the fabric glove industry of this country was safeguarded with an import duty of 33⅓ per cent., and although that duty was only sufficient to increase the British production of fabric gloves by 100,000 dozen pairs, yet that very same duty was sufficient to destroy the consumption of fabric gloves in this country by over 1,000,000 dozen pairs. So the position was this: The duty had been in existence for the five years, 1925–30. In the course of those years we had the experience of knowing what effect this protection would have, firstly, on the production of fabric gloves in this country, and secondly on the consumption of these goods. The duty only helped the home production by 100,000 dozen pairs, but it destroyed the home consumption by 10 times as much, by over 1,000,000 dozen pairs. A second factor is the comparative size of the industry in this country and in Germany—
§ Sir B. PETO
Has my hon. Friend by any chance in his possession figures of the importation of foreign fabric gloves during the years of which he has been talking? Is he aware that there were over one-and-a-quarter million dozen gloves imported from Germany on the average in those very years?
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
I do not follow the figures of the hon. Baronet. I do not think he is referring to the figures that I have quoted. I am referring to what happened when the Safeguarding duties were enforced. I say that the duties had that effect. The figures that 308 I have quoted do not show that the production of fabric gloves in this country, except during the period of the War, ever exceeded about 250,000 dozen pairs. If I am wrong in my statement the hon. Member can correct me. The total production of fabric gloves in this country has never exceeded 250,000 dozen pairs.
§ Sir B. PETO
My hon. Friend is quite wrong, as he will see if he consults the figures of production. Of course during the period of which he has spoken the duty was anticipated by an enormous import of foreign goods, which vitiated the duty for at least two years. Then the duty was taken off again. In spite of that, in the middle of that period of five years the production of fabric gloves in this country exceeded 350,000 dozen pairs.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
There is a sheer conflict of evidence between us. I will give the figures of production for each successive year. In 1913 the production of English-made fabric gloves was 254,000 dozen; in 1926 it was 146,000 dozen; in 1927, 174,000 dozen; in 1928, 242,000 dozen; and in 1930. 167,000 dozen. Those figures, which were given in evidence by the Glovemakers' Federation, are figures which I am entitled to quote. If there is some mistake in the numbers, I shall be only too glad to look into the matter further, but I think my hon. Friend opposite is quoting the total figures for gloves, whereas I am quoting the figures for fabric gloves. But whether in fact the figure which I have given, which is 250,000 dozen, is an under-estimate, and the figure should be 350,000 dozen, as the hon. Member states, does not materially alter the argument. The facts are that the consumption of fabric gloves in this country is over 2,000,000 dozen in the year, and that the British production is comparatively trivial. Moreover, it should be realised that Germany, which exports most of these fabric gloves to this country, is in fact producing over four times the total quantity of fabric gloves that are sent to the British market.
I was referring, when I was interrupted, to the comparative size of the fabric glove industry in Britain and in Germany. The German fabric glove industry is between 30 and 40 times the size of the British fabric glove industry. There are three distinct stages in the manufacture of fabric gloves. There is, first, the spinning of the fine yarn, then there, is the weaving 309 of the special glove fabric, and fiNaily there is the cutting-out and the stitching-up of the glove. In respect of the spinning, that is a speciality of Lancashire; in respect of the weaving, that is a speciality of Germany; and in respect of the cutting-out and the stitching-up, that can be performed anywhere, but by reason of the fact that the Majority of the fabric is made in Germany, Germany naturally has a very large fabric glove manufacturing industry.
This Order does nothing at all to help the first section, the spinning section. In fact, as I shall show, it does a great deal to harm it. It does nothing at all to help the second section, the weaving of the special fabric from which the gloves are made, but it does give some assistance to the making-up and stitching the fabric together in the form of gloves, though that assistance is very limited. How limited it is, I can show from the report of the Import Duties Advisory Committee. In Command Paper 4156 the Committee says:The experience of the five year period of the safeguarding duties and our own inquiries have satisfied us that—as the association of manufacturers themselves aver— little progress towards supplying the needs of the home market could be expected without a very heavy duty. This would be likely to lead to a considerable increase in price and a serious contraction of consumption.Therefore, it is apparent that whatever good this Order will do, it is admittedly only of a very limited character, but if the good which it can do is limited, the harm is under no such restriction. Something like 90 per cent, of the cotton yarn used in the manufacture of fabric gloves comes from Lancashire. The export of Lancashire fine yarn to Germany is something like 40 per cent, of the total export. Last year, a year of extreme depression, the value of that export trade was over £6,000,000, and only one-quarter of the purchases of Germany for fabric gloves come back to this country in the form of made-up gloves. That is to say, they take from Lancashire four times the total consumption of this country of fabric gloves—four times the amount of raw material. This duty will seriously jeopardise an extremely important industry, the value of which runs into millions of pounds, and it will do that in order to afford an admittedly limited benefit to an industry which is comparatively small in value.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
I cannot keep repeating the same argument, but I have said already that the maximum production of gloves in this country is 250,000 dozen, I have pointed out that the total consumption of fabric gloves is over 2,000,000 dozen, and I have further said that, in respect of that 2,000,000 dozen, 90 per cent, of the yarn comes from Lancashire, and that only represents a quarter of the total take-off of Lancashire.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
I am aware of precisely the opposite. I know that between 90 and 95 per cent, of the cotton yarn which is used in these fabric gloves is in fact obtained from Lancashire.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
I accept the evidence of my own industry, to the effect that we in Lancashire are in daily contact with people in Chemnitz. We are on the telephone to them all the time, and we hold stocks of the yarn in Chemnitz, and the business which is done in supplying the fine yarn to Saxony is absolutely a Lancashire business, which is in danger of being extinguished, or at all events jeopardised, by any action which will prevent fabric gloves being sold at a reasonable price, because unless they are sold at a reasonable price, they will not be sold at all. A comparison of the good which will be done and the harm which may be inflicted means merely that you are going to put into employment one person in the South of England in order to take out of employment perhaps 10 people in the North of England, if you weigh up the balance of advantages and disadvantages, you will find the advantages small and the disadvantages great.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
Do not forget that there is nothing in this proposal which will in any way stimulate or help the manufacture of glove fabric in this country. If we were prepared to do something to help to manufacture the fabric 311 in this country, something could be said for it. I should be greatly in favour of any steps which would enable the total manufacturing process to proceed from the yarn to the finished article in this country, but no such proposal is made. The glove manufacturers themselves admit that it is necessary for them to buy their fabric from Germany, because there is not available in this country the English woven fabric of the class and quality that are necessary for these fabric gloves.
There is one final illogicality in this report. Command Paper No. 4304 says:We have now considered further representations from the fabric glove makers in the light of the experience of the last six months. The market is in a depressed condition, and we are informed that the industry is experiencing a great lack of orders.It is because of this great lack of orders in this comparatively small industry that the Advisory Committee have reversed their previous decision and decided to increase the duty on fabric gloves. They have done that without calling for any further evidence. They have not asked whether they have any great depression in the Lancashire cotton trade. They have taken the mere fact that there is a depressed condition and a lack of orders, and they admit in the same report that they do not think that, even if they did give this increased duty, there would be a possibility of large-scale development in the direction of supplying the needs of the market. The argument is that, because there is depression in this small industry of making up imported fabric into fabric gloves, you should institute a new tariff which may inflict great harm on the Lancashire spinning trade. The weight of evidence would go to show that this House, which should take an impartial view in these matters, should reject this proposal. It is against the balance of national interest, it is inflicting a Wow on a hardly pressed industry, and the Order should not be agreed to.
§ 10.18 p.m.
§ Sir B. PETO
The hon. Member has put before the House the views and the arguments of the Lancashire fine cotton spinners with regard to their yarn industry. I am sorry that on the three main contentions that he has put before the House I shall have to show that his 312 position is not so sound. He commenced by telling us that the yarn export industry of Lancashire for the production of glove fabrics in Saxony would be, if not extinguished, jeopardised if we had an increase in the duty on imported foreign fabric gloves. He also made the, to me, extraordinary statement that over 90 per cent, of the whole of the yarn used in the production of this glove fabric from Saxony came now from Lancashire. The information that I have received is that for many years Lancashire has been spinning a less and less percentage of the fine cotton used in Saxony for the manufacture of glove fabric, and that is because the Saxon manufacturers have found that they can buy their yarn very advantageously from the production of their own and other countries. Lancashire cotton spinners appear to me in this controversy to have lost sight of the nationalistic growth of manufacture in Germany and to imagine that, by doing nothing and trying to propitiate them in the matter of our own tariffs, put on in the interests of our own industry and our own unemployed, we can put back that tendency for the production of everything that they require themselves in their own country which will find employment, for their own people. In my view, the true interest of the Lancashire cotton spinners would be to foster the manufacture of fabric gloves, because, obviously, they cannot prevent the progress of the foreign yarn industry by trying to pursue a policy designed to destroy the manufacture of fabric gloves and glove fabric in this country.
§ Mr. HAMMERSLEY
My hon. Friend makes the proposal that it is desirable that we should stimulate the production of the fabric itself in this country. I think that that contention is a very reasonable one, and one which we all ought to put forward. Will he tell me the name of a single glove maker who buys English cloth fabric?
§ Sir B. PETO
I shall be delighted to deal with that point. I fully intended to do so, and I will give My hon. Friend the name, not only of one, but of several. The next point with which I want to deal is that the hon. Member says that it is necessary for British manufacturers of fabric gloves to buy in Germany, because it is not possible to buy a fabric of suit- 313 able quality in. this country. That is the point upon which the hon. Member has just questioned me. The purchase of Saxony cloth fabric arose in this country for the British fabric glove makers from the fact that lower wages in Saxony enable their manufacturers to produce cheaper than can be done here, and that is the reason why we put on a tariff the other day. But there is, as a matter of fact, a very large amount of machinery lying idle in this country which used to make cotton glove fabric, and which could be brought into use again at once if there was any demand for it in this country. That is, if the fabric glove industry was encouraged. There is more efficient machinery in this country than is required for the total consumption of fabric gloves in this country.
§ Sir B. PETO
I would point out that it is up to date. Let me tell hon. Members this fact. There may not be sufficient machines at this time for the manufacture of Simplex fabric itself, but Since the imposition of the Abnormal Duties Act several manufacturers in this country have installed further machinery, and one firm actually bought four Simplex machines, two of which have not been erected because of the reduction of the duty The present quality of cloth fabric produced in this country is fully equal to the German. I will read a letter from the National Association of Fabric Glove Manufacturers in Great Britain which reached me by express this evening Since the Debate commenced. I will read the operative paragraphs of the letter, with apologies to the House for reading so much, for, although it is not really very long, it is absolutely upon the point upon which we have differences. The letter says:I understand that the Order in connection with fabric glove importations is coming up for consideration to-night. I also understand that the Lancashire cotton people are opposing it on the grounds that it is not possible to make and finish the material used in the manufacture of fabric gloves in this country.On behalf of the Fabric Glove Manufacturers' Association I am writing you to give you the following information:I would like to say that, as a firm"—William Pinkham and Company, Limited, of Witham, is the firm— 314we only buy silk and cotton fabric which is made in this country. There are quite a number of reputable material makers in the Nottingham district, such as C. and F. Sudbury, of Nottingham; S. Fletcher and Sons, of Ilkeston; T. Haimes and Company, Melbourne, Derbyshire; Hunt and Company, of Ilkeston, and many others. The Secretary of the Material Makers' Association is Mr. Harold E. Beardsley, Primrose Hill, Ilkeston, telephone, Ilkeston 94.I have also received a telegram from the same gentleman, representing that association:glove fabric can certainly be made in this country"—The letter proceeds:Messrs. Courtaulds also have machines for manufacturing simplex in both cotton and silk, and we have had some of this finished which will stand the most critical examination from the finest experts, and is equal in every respect to the highest grade of German imported simplex glove fabricThe finishers who finish a large proportion of glove fabric in this country are Messrs. G. and W. N. Hicking, of Nottingham, the head of which firm is Sir William Hicking. They have a very up-to-date plant.The one thing lacking with both material makers and finishers, as well as fabric glove manufacturers is a reasonable certainty of a continuity of work, which would enable them to turn out the highest grade articles.Messrs. C. and F. Sudbury, in addition to manufacturing glove fabric, are one of the largest fabric glove manufacturing firms in this country and as a consequence of the reduction of duty to 20 per cent., they were compelled to dismiss nearly the whole of the glove makers residing in your constituency as well as a large proportion of the workers making the material.This letter is signed by Mr. William Pinkham, the chairman of the National Association of Fabric Glove Manufacturers. I have also been furnished with samples of glove fabric to which I would call the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. Here is an English simplex glove, with the German glove. They could not get a sample of the fabric from Germany, and they have produced a fabric quite recently to match the German glove, and the experts say that it is better than the German article. Here is an English simplex and a German simplex side by side. I will hand them down. The English simplex cloth is superior to the German. [An HON. MEMBER: "Circulate them in the OFFICIAL REPORT!"] No. I am going to give the House one or two more 315 more samples. Here is an English duplex and a German duplex and the English duplex is superior.
§ Sir B. PETO
I have given the hon. Member what he asked me to give him. I have given him the name of one firm who manufacture glove fabric in this country. He can circulate his sample. It will not warrant him in making another speech. The hon. Member said that the imposition of this increased duty will employ one person in the south of England and put out of work 10 people in the north. I have some figures, which I venture to think are quite reliable, as to the amount of employment in the different processes of manufacture from the yarn to the making of the glove. I want particularly to call the attention of the House to the fact that if, as alleged, it is impossible for our manufacturers to make any large proportion of the fabric gloves consumed in this country, how was it that we were manufacturing close upon 2,000,000 dozen pairs of gloves 13years ago, that is, in 1920. It was because during the War we had to make the whole of the gloves we required ourselves. I have never been able to understand why it is necessary when large numbers of English women and girls want to wear fabric gloves that their wants must be supplied from Germany and that English women and girls should be unemployed. The hon. Member gave us some figures showing that the imposition of the 33⅓ Safeguarding Duty had reduced the total consumption of gloves in this country. I cannot see how that can be the case. He said that our consumption had been reduced by 1,000,000 dozen pairs. In the years between 1925 and 1931 we imported over 1,250,000 dozen pairs from Germany alone, and, therefore, if you take his figure of 250,000 dozen pairs, which I believe is wrong, the average consumption of this country would amount to 1,500,000 dozen pairs. That does not show any large reduction in consumption, because we have never used more than 2,000,000 dozen pairs—the figure is slightly less than that.
What is the real measure of employment and unemployment involved? The million and a quarter dozen pairs which we imported from Germany, if they had 316 been made here, would have found employment for between 6,000 and 7,000 hands, but in spinning the yarn for the total glove fabric required for these gloves only 400 operatives would be required. To spin the yarn required for the whole of the Saxony production would only require about 1,800 hands. We should therefore be giving employment in this country to many more hands than would be employed to manufacture the yarn required for the entire Saxony production. Let me give the relative number of people who are employed per thousand dozen pairs of gloves—31 are required to spin the yarn, 60 to manufacture the fabric, and 32 to dye and finish the fabric. You employ 92 in manufacturing and dyeing the fabric as against 31 employed in spinning the yarn. If you carry the process further and make the gloves you employ 500 hands to produce the same number of gloves. The attitude of Lancashire spinners on this matter lose3 sight altogether of what will happen to Lancashire in the event of Germany supplying the whole of the yarn. The Lancashire policy of opposing the protection of an old English industry will result in her finding that she has no market for her yarns, but if she backs home industries she has some security for a market. Where the gloves are made there the fabrics will be made, and where the fabrics are made there the yarn will be spun. That is the ordered system of national production.
The Parliamentary Secretary has said that it is impossible to give any accurate figures as to the exact number of people employed in this industry at any one time or another. The figures given by the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Hammersley) differ from mine, and it shows the difficulty in regard to this matter. I beg of the hon. Gentleman to consider this aspect. We are playing about with these duties. Some we are pitting up, some when we make agreements with foreign countries, we are reducing. Surely it is vital to know exactly what we are doing? The state of employment in this country is the most urgent question before the House and if we alter a duty, whether to put it up or down, it is vital that the Board of Trade should be able to tell us exactly what the result will be on employment or what was the result of previous action. It is only in the light of experience that we can be guided along the 317 path of wisdom in what we do in the future.
When I asked a question last Thursday, with regard to the duties in the White Paper dealing with the German Agreement, the Minister of Labour said there were no figures except with regard to the coal industry and to one of the other industries affected, namely, the manufacture of musical instruments. No figures were obtainable in regard to the manufacture of toys, jewellery and the like, which could give us any guide as to what the result of that agreement would he. This controversy about fabric gloves has now raged for 18 years. The duty on fabric gloves has been put up and reduced and taken off altogether. Even recently it was 33⅓ per cent. Then it was nothing; then it was 20 per cent.; then it was 50 per cent.; then again it stood at 20 per cent, and now it is being raised to 30 per cent. Yet the Parliamentary Secretary has to tell us that neither he nor any human being can give us any reliable statistics as to the effect on employment of these various changes. I beg those responsible to see to it that when we are dealing with these duties we should know the statistics of employment in these various industries.
§ 10.33 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The House very obviously agreed with the hon. Baronet the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) when he said that it was necessary that we should know what we were doing. The controversy which is taking place between him and certain Lancashire Members— both sides being supporters of tariffs— is very puzzling to those of us who are outside the industries concerned and do not understand the technique of trade. At one stage it was difficult to know whether this was a Debate or an auction. I had that impression when the representative of the Board of Trade opened this Debate. He did so with great skill, having regard to the fact that he had to deal with four Orders involving nine or 10 different classes of articles. As he stepped gingerly among these articles, I admired his skill in avoiding giving the necessary information. We have always been told that increases of tariffs would increase employment, but one thing which the hon. Gentleman did not do, in dealing with these Orders, was to give any indication of the extent to which he 318 thought they would improve employment in the industries concerned. Indeed, in one or two industries he did not seem to know how many people were employed. He stepped away by saying that there were no figures to be got for those particular industries.
In reference to peat moss, he could not even give us the slightest idea of the number of people employed in that indistry. Peat moss and peat moss litter are used not only in horticulture and agriculture, but in poultry breeding, and I was thinking when the hon. Gentleman was speaking that it would be interesting to know whether the Advisory Committee had been interviewed by the various trades connected with the use of that material. It really is time to come down to brass tacks about this matter, so that we may know exactly how many workpeople are to be affected by these new Orders. We know ourselves what will happen to the great mass of people, the people whom we represent, who are outside these small trades. I have heard Conservative Members from the north of England say that this was a south of England Government which did not care twopence for the great industries of the north. That has been illustrated to-night by the hon. Member for Barnstaple in his argument with the Lancashire Members. The whole of Lancashire seems to be up in arms about fabric gloves, while a few people in the south of England seem to be satisfied.
The real truth is that in this question, and in the whole policy of this Government, this House represents the South of England, and is ignorant of the remote areas in the North. I understand from the Parliamentary Secretary that there is an average of £4 8s. per ton duty on potatoes, and that at the end of June this has fallen to £l per ton. Now that is being increased to £2 in June and July and to £l in August. That means another £l a ton added to potatoes and to the cost of living of the people in the great industrial areas. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] It would be interesting, then, to know who pays for it.
§ Mr. LAWSON
All I know is that the farmers of the south are going to get the benefit. At any rate, the masses of workers will have to pay the extra £l a ton, as they are paying the increased price during this time of the year. An important point was put by the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell), and it ought to have the serious attention of the House. That is the increase on rubber shoes to the extent of 2s. and 4s. per pair. This will affect the working classes, who have got into the habit of using these rubber shoes in the winter. They have to be fairly comfortably off before they can buy these shoes, and the increase in the duty will mean prohibiting the working classes from getting them.
As the hon. Member wants some time in which to reply I will not say more than that we shall go into the Lobby against these Orders. One satisfaction we have had to-night, and that we shall have in the future, is the entertainment of seeing hon. Gentlemen who believe in tariffs revolting when they are applied to their own particular industries, and in the position taken up by the Minister of Agriculture this week when he said that tariffs were finished. He demolished them in his debating speech, and said they were an ancient weapon. The most devastating reply that has been given in this House was given by a representative from the front bench opposite, but even that is not anything like so devastating as the attitude of the gentlemen who favour tariffs but object to them when applied to their own industries.
§ 10.46 p.m.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
I must apologise for keeping the House for a few moments on the subject of fabric gloves, on which we have had two long speeches, but I represent a Lancashire constituency, Bolton, which is the main centre for the spinning of fine yarn, and spinners there are, in their opinion, vitally affected by any increase in the duty on fabric gloves which will affect the yarn exports to Germany. A great many figures have been bandied about, and, as is always the case in these Debates, there is a conflict of evidence on points which one would have thought there ought to be no dispute about. The figures of imports of fabric gloves are undoubted, be- 320 cause we get them from the official Board of Trade returns, but there is always dispute about the figures of the home production of British glove manufacturers. I have had a good deal of experience of safeguarding inquiries, and there is always great difficulty in obtaining these figures of home production. The hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) said the production of fabric gloves by home manufacturers in 1920 was nearly 2,000,000 dozens. In 1913 it was only 254,000 dozens, and in 1930, after five years of Protection, of a 33⅓ per cent. duty imposed under the Safeguarding Act, the production of fabric gloves was 167,000 dozen pairs. That was after five years. There could be no excuse in that case that imports had been rushed in in anticipation of the duty going on.
§ Sir B. PETO
The explanation was that the trade had very good reason to think that, as had happened before, the duty would be allowed to lapse, and the manufacturers of this country got no orders at all because merchants were waiting to order cheap German gloves as soon as they could come in.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
That condition may have prevailed at the very end. They may have had some doubts because a Labour Government had come in, and Philip Snowden, as he then was, may have given some intimation of what he was going to do. But look at the figures of the production of fabric gloves.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
That is the precise point with which I was dealing. One cannot say that that was merely due to an intimation that the duty would come off. Look at the figures for the whole five years during which the Safeguarding Duty was in operation. The figures of production in 1926 were 145,000 dozen; in 1927, 174,000 dozen in 1928, 242,000 dozen; in 1929, 232,000 dozen; and in 1930, 167,000 dozen. The hon. Member for Barnstaple could not make out upon what the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Hammersley) founded his statement that there was a reduction of 1,000,000 dozen pairs in the consumption 321 of this country. There is not the slightest difficulty in arriving at the facts. In 1925, before there was any duty imposed, there were 2,151,000 dozen pairs imported.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
According to a document on which the hon. Member's name appears, he will see on page 8 that the total in 1925 was 1,223,000 dozen pairs.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
I wish the hon. Member, who is so familiar with Government publications, would give us the official statistics. I would much rather have the Board of Trade figures. I have been provided with this figure on good authority by the Federation of Master Cotton Spinners. That is the figure of imports. It may be that I should have got it from the Board of Trade figures, but if the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) queries it, I wish he would give me the figure from the Board of Trade annual returns. Has he got them?
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
We have this conflict of evidence about the figures. I did not know that this particular figure was being challenged. There has been a considerable reduction in the imports, but the increase under the duty is in doubt. I cannot give the precise figure of the Board of Trade as between 1925 and 1926, but if there has been a reduction in imports, and a very substantial one, as I am quite sure the figures will show, and there has been no appreciable increase in home production, then obviously there must have been a reduction in consumption in this country. The hon. Member for Barnstaple asked why not have this duty which would allow the production of 1920 once more to be achieved, giving work to all these workpeople, 5,000 or 6,000 I think he represented as the possible increase of employment under the duty?
Sir B. PET0
If the hon. Member will excuse me, I made no suggestion that this duty would provide that result. I only gave the figure for the information of the 322 House as to what number of people would be employed if we produced the number of gloves which we did produce in this country in 1920.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
Really, the hon. Member for South Croydon managed to get a score, but I must refer him to a document which is headed "National Association of Fabric Glove Manufacturers of Great Britain." In their memorandum the quantity of dozen pairs imported in 1925 is 2,150,000 and I understand that is the source of the information of the Master Cotton Spinners' Federation. If the figures are wrong, I can only say that they have been supplied by the hon. Gentleman's Friends. I am sorry that he tried to take advantage of a figure of that kind. When the 33⅓ per cent, duty was asked for by the fabric glove manufacturers, the figure of the large production in 1920 was made a lot of, and it was then said that, assisted by this duty, the English manufacturers would make the fabric tissue. All those samples were produced then, just as readily as they are now. I want to ask the hon. Member, how i8 it that, during those five years, the fabric tissue has not been made in any substantial quantity, and how is it that there has been no substantial increase in the fabric gloves? The explanation that I can give him is simple, and it is that the fabric glove is not like any other article. It is one which sells in substitution, as an imitation wash-leather glove, and unless it is very cheap the public will not buy it. It is one of those cases where the demand will vary in direct proportion to the price.
What we in Lancashire say—we are just as good Protectionists as anyone else— [Interruption.] I have certainly voted for every Protectionist Measure that has been introduced by this Government. We were told the other day that, in entering into treaties with foreign countries, we have to weigh on balance, if we make a concession, whether it is worth while, because we get a greater advantage to our industries in other directions. I ask that we should treat this case on exactly the same basis. Here is the small industry of fabric glove manufacturers who, after five years of the Protection for which they asked, a stiff Protection, 33⅓ per cent., were unable to expand, and could show none of the benefits which they held out to the committee which they per- 323 suaded to give them that Protection; whereas, on the other hand, we have a very important industry, the cotton industry, one of the basic industries of this country and one that is extremely depressed. There are many causes of that. We know that the Lancashire cotton industry is dependent upon its exports and that it has, for various reasons, suffered very heavily in the markets of the East. As regards the markets with Germany, fortunately the Lancashire cotton trade has been able to maintain its pre-War position. It exported about £50,000,000 worth of yarn in 1913, and it has more or less maintained that position through all its depression.
Hon. Members may ask what effect would this duty upon fabric gloves have upon the Lancashire cotton trade. Why are they so fearful of it? The reason is, first of all, with regard to the actual yarn in the gloves which are imported, that that is a substantial matter for the Lancashire cotton trade. If there has been reduction, as I submit there has, of as much as 1,000,000 dozen pairs of gloves under the Safeguarding Duty, and if we can see that the difference between the imports in 1931 and 1932—one being a year without duty—is from 1,659,000 dozens to 598,000 dozens, I ask whether my hon. Friend will query those figures. Perhaps those are wrong also. So far as my information goes, there is a drop of 1,000,000 there. There is a loss of trade in the yarn of those gloves. I ask the hon. Member to note that that is not all that Lancashire is afraid of. The yarn content of a fabric glove is only 20 per cent, of its value, and therefore if a German manufacturer is able to sell a quantity of gloves in this country, he is able, with the money that he gets for his gloves, to buy five times the amount of yarn that those gloves contain.
The Lancashire cotton trade, as has been already said, supplies 90 per cent, of the total yarn that is purchased in Chemnitz, where these gloves are manufactured. The hon. Member for Barnstaple says he does not believe that figure, and another hon. Member here says that it is not true. All I can say is that the people who ought to know about that matter are the cotton spinners themselves, who have done this trade and have access to all the books; and, 324 moreover, the Import Duties Advisory Committee accepted that evidence, and it appears in their first report, that the large bulk of the total purchases of Germany is supplied from Lancashire sources. If, as I have said, every glove that is not sold in this country from Chemnitz means five times the amount of the yarn in that glove, Lancashire is faced with a reduction in sterling credits and in the power to purchase that yarn.
It may be said that that applies in a good many cases, but there are very few industries which have applied for a duty where it could be said that the article on which the duty is asked for would affect a British industry supplying the raw material for that article. When the Safeguarding of Industries Act was brought into operation, one of the matters that had to be considered before a duty could be recommended was the adverse effect that the duty might have on an industry which used the article on which the duty was imposed, but surely it is also important to look at the effect on the industry that makes the raw material for the article on which the duty is required. That is a most important consideration. We all want to help such districts as are represented by the hon. Member who made such an admirable and witty speech on behalf of the fabric glove manufacturers, but Lancashire is a depressed area. The present production of Lancashire is not 50 per cent, of its pre-war output, and, if it can be shown from past experience that the duty has not helped the British glove manufacture to any material extent, and that the direct effect of this duty is reducing the number of gloves coming into this country would mean, not only so much less yarn sold by Lancashire as is represented by the gloves which formerly came in, but five times that amount, it is easy to understand the apprehension of the fine spinners in Bolton and other districts of Lancashire.
The hon. Member for Barnstaple made a great show, and produced his samples with glee, to prove that the British manufacturers did make this fabric, that they were fully capable of making it, that there was plenty of idle machinery, that one firm had ordered Simplex machines and was waiting to put them in, and that Courtaulds could make it. If this fabric can be made so readily and is available here, how is it, then, that the only reason 325 given by the Import Duties Advisory Committee for changing their minds as compared with last August is that they are unable to reduce the duty on foreign fabric coming into this country? It is because the British glove maker has to import his fabric from abroad, and he cannot get a reduced duty on it, that they are recommending an increased duty on the gloves. There is no doubt about it. Let me read the recommendation of the Imports Advisory Committee on which this Order is based:We have visualised, however, the possibility of giving the industry some further assistance by way of a reduction in the duty on glove fabric, and we anticipated that it would then be possible for the industry to maintain itself to a moderate extent, and one, in our opinion, sufficient to bring it within the requirements of Section 3 of the Act*. We have now considered further representations from the glove makers, in the light of the experience of the last six months.And here is the point:It has moreover not been found possible to devise an administratively practicable scheme for reducing the duty on glove fabric. In these circumstances, while we see no reason to change the view that we expressed last summer as to the possibilities of large-scale development, we think it would be reasonable to afford the industry some further assistance.So the only reason they give for changing their minds between January and the August previously, on an ex parte application of the glove makers, without letting the Federation be heard again, is that they cannot reduce the duty on the fabric.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
But the reason why they give an increased duty to the British manufacturer is that he has to- buy his fabric from abroad, and as he cannot get a reduced duty on it they are going to give him a further duty on the finished article. But that does not tally at all with what the hon. Member has said, that the British manufacturer can make this glove fabric. If that is so, why give as the excuse for this increased duty that the duty on foreign fabric cannot be reduced?
§ Sir B. PETO
The hon. Member said that he was a very good protectionist, although a Lancashire Member. Is he not aware, or has he never heard of a 326 duty being necessary in order to establish an industry in a country, and is it not quite conceivable that the Import Duties Advisory Committee came to the conclusion that if the manufacture of glove fabric in this country was to be firmly established a 20 per cent, duty was a reasonable duty, which is the duty now in force, and therefore it was not a reasonable thing to reduce that, in fact to rob Peter in order to pay Paul? Therefore, they recommended an increase in the glove duty of 20 per cent, rather than a reduction of the other duty.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
The hon. Member has made a long interruption and stated what was in the minds of the Advisory Committee, but it is completely contrary to what they say themselves. He said that the Committee wanted to keep on the 20 per cent, duty on fabric in order to stimulate the production of fabric in this country. Nothing of the sort. What the Committee said in their report was that they wanted to reduce the 20 per cent, to 10 per cent., to help the British glove manufacturer, but that they were not able to do it because it was administratively impracticable. That is the reason why it is not done.
§ Mr. CAPORN
Is the hon. Member aware that the Advisory Committee decided not to reduce the duty of 20 per cent, on the fabric months before this new Order came out?
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
Of course. I am saying what the Advisory Committee themselves give as the reasons for recommending this increase of duty. Here is another point for the hon. Member for Barnstaple. The industry have a 33⅓ per cent, duty under the Safeguarding Act. Before this increased duty was put on they had a 20 per cent. duty. But the whole of the competition of this industry, the whole of the gloves which the British glove manufacturer complains of, are coming to this country from Chemnitz in Germany. There is no other source that is of any importance. Germany is on the Gold Standard, on a pre-War parity basis, and we are off the Gold Standard. 327 The effect of that depreciation of currency to-day is the exact equivalent of a 40 per cent. tariff.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
I am prepared to prove that statement. In fact, if it is worked out, it is a 33⅓ per cent, depreciation from our pre-War parity in sterling, but when it comes to the competitive advantage as between the German and the English manufacturer, it will be seen that it is the equivalent of a 40 per cent, tariff. That does not apply to all the cotton considered by the Tariff Advisory Committee, because there is a large number of countries in the sterling area, but with regard to this particular industry, the whole of the production comes from Germany, and therefore there is this 40 per cent, advantage through the depreciation, which, on top of the 20 per cent., is at the moment, for all practical purposes, a 60 per cent, duty against the German manufacturer. Surely that is enough to give them a chance, when, on the other side of the scale, are to be reckoned the interests of a great basic industry of Lancashire, which you ought to consider very carefully before you do anything to damage it.
These are the broad, important, basic facts. If one really thought that this duty would largely increase the production of gloves in this country and give this large employment, and would not do any material damage to the Lancashire cotton trade, I should be supporting it whole-heartedly. In the imposition of tariffs there must constantly be a conflict of interests. We are not conceding anything to the hidebound Free Traders in making that concession. The late Mr. Joseph Chamberlain always regarded as most important what were the articles on which you put duties. In this case, you are running the danger of doing injury to a far more important industry than is the industry which is claiming protection, and if, on top of that, it is very doubtful whether you will give any material advantage to the glove manufacturers, based on past experience, and there is this undoubted damage which will result to Lancashire, I ask the House to give the benefit of the doubt to Lancashire.
It is not as if the British glove manufacturer is without any protection. He 328 has the 20 per cent, duty, without this proposed addition. He has too the protection of the depreciated exchange; and in these circumstances I think no adequate reasons were given by the Import Duties Advisory Committee for this change. They never heard the representations of the other side, and when you look at the reasons that they give for changing their mind in the short period of three months, they are the feeblest reasons that they have ever advocated in recommending any duty. In these circumstances, having regard to the very strong opposition throughout Lancashire to these duties, and in particular the fine cotton spinning industry, which is one of the basic industries which we want to preserve in this country, I say that, good Protectionist as I am— and I claim to be as good a Protectionist as anyone—on balance in this case the dangers far outweigh any possible advantages, and I ask the Government therefore carefully to reconsider this proposal and to see if they cannot revoke the Order until at any rate the matter has had fuller and further consideration.
§ 11.14 p.m.
§ Mr. HASLAM
I hope I may be allowed to divert the attention of the House from the interesting and exciting controversy on fabric gloves to an entirely rural subject, namely, that of the humble potato. The order comprises a certain increase in the duties on potatoes. The potato is a very common article of consumption. It is very interesting from this point of view, that it is an article which, given average seasons, can be wholly produced in this country. The producers of potatoes have suffered very severely in past years under free importations from the fact that when there is a glut foreign producers have dumped large quantities into the British market, to the very great detriment, and often to the almost ruin, of small producers in this country. Therefore they require this comparatively moderate protection which is here proposed. It is also a point for the House to consider that potato culture requires a considerable amount of labour. There are no Board of Trade or Labour statistics on the point, but every agricultural Member will agree that that is so. Although the Advisory Committee have not given the full duty that was asked for by the industry, they have given what I consider is not an unfair duty. 329 They have given half of what was asked, and I feel sure that a great number of producers will agree that it is not to their interest to do anything to exploit the consumer. The Parliamentary Secretary pointed out that duties on new potatoes, which run up to 30th June, are no less than £4 13s. 4d. per ton. Then there is a big fall. Last year the duty fell to £l per ton on the 1st July and now it is proposed that the £l should be increased to £2. But that is a very big drop also. While this duty of £4 13s. 4d. is of benefit to the South, particularly to Cornwall, it is of no benefit at all to the North, because their potatoes do not come on as a rule till July. Last year this big fall in the duty operated to the very great disadvantage of producers in the North, because the continental producers, in view of the larger duty, held back stocks that were ready about the end of June until July and threw them into this country, to the great detriment of our own producers. That danger is not entirely overcome because there is still this very big drop, and there is still the temptation to the foreign producer to hold back his supplies till the end of June until the duty of £4 13s. 4d. becomes only a duty of £2. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will be good enough to watch this situation. I heartily support the new Order.
§ 11.19 p.m.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I feel sure that the House will agree that my exposition of the Order with regard to potatoes was clarity itself compared with the position revealed by some of the contestants over the fabric glove duty. I was asked a question with regard to buttons. I endeavoured to make it clear that there is no change in the ad valorem incidence. The 33⅓ per cent, still applies to all kinds of buttons except those actually sewn on the article when it is imported. I was asked where peat came from. It comes chiefly from Germany and Holland, while we also supply it from Somerset, Yorkshire, and Scotland. The right hon. and gallant Member for Carthness (Sir A. Sinclair) asked in regard to rubber footwear whether at any particular stage in the proceedings there had or had not been an application to the Import Duties Advisory Committee. He is far too good a constitutionalist and too 330 well informed to expect me to know anything about what happens in that Committee. It is entirely independent and away from all contact with Government Departments and I am not privy to their proceedings and have no information.
With regard to fabric gloves whatever may be the merits of the dispute we heard argued, I confess that it was rather a new role for me to play to keep the ring during a large number of three-minutes rounds. Whatever the merits of the dispute that we have heard, there is not one hon. Member who believes that an increase of duty of 10 per cent, is going to bring ruin to anyone. If the House is prepared to accept the recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, it will give some assistance, modest it may be, to the whole industry of this country, and no evidence adequate in character has been produced that it will do any harm to anyone.
§ Mr. ENTWISTLE
I was challenged on a figure I gave to the House, and of which I said that the accuracy could be determined from the Board of Trade official figures. I gave a figure of 2,151,000 dozen pairs of gloves which were imported in 1925, and the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams), to the amusement of hon. Members, corrected me by saying that I was a million wrong. I have the official figures here, and I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman could inform the House that I was correct in the figure I gave. The figure which the hon. Member for South Croydon looked at was that relating to leather gloves, and not to fabric gloves.
§ Dr. BURGIN
It is not always that one expresses gratitude for an interruption, but on this occasion I should like to do so, because the hon. and learned Member has called attention to Board of Trade figures. That was the note upon which I desired to close. The one fact which has emerged from the discussion to-night has been the desire of everybody in the House to have accurate statistics with regard to all these trades. The Import Duties Act, 1932, has only had one birthday so far, and there has not been, time to collect a great deal of information, but the discussion to-night shows the wisdom of the insertion of Section 9 of the Act, which gives the Board of Trade power to acquire informa- 331 tion for the express purpose of compiling the statistics. That power is being exercised, and, as time passes, we shall be in a position to come down to the House with full and accurate information and give the information which the House wants. I trust that with that explanation the House will give me the Orders.
§ Mr. GODFREY NICHOLSON
The hon. Member has not dealt with the Order which exempts ships, boats, and other vessels coming to this country for the purpose of being broken up. The hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) seems to be under a misapprehension. I wonder whether the Parliamentary Secretary can say a word about it.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I thought that I had dealt with that matter. Certain boats are subject to a 10 per cent, duty, and not to any additional duty, and certain boats
§ are not. If the House wants a complete analysis of it, it can have it. I am sure that the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) does not.
§ "That the Additional Import Duties (No. 4) Order, 1933, dated the twenty-sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932. a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved."
§ Motion made, and Question put:
§ "That the Additional Import Duties (No. 5) Order, 1933, dated the twenty-seventh day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-seventh day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved."—[Dr. Burgin]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 231; Noes, 52.333
|Division No. 176.]||AYES.||[11.28 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Croft, Brigadler-General Sir H.||Harbord, Arthur|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M.||Crooke, J. Smedley||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)|
|Albery, Irving James||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Cross, R. H.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Apsley, Lord||Crossley, A. C.||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hornby, Frank|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Howard, Tom Forrest|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Duggan, Hubert John||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)|
|Bateman, A. L.||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington. N.)||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Eastwood, John Francis||Jennings, Roland|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Elmley, Viscount||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)|
|Borodale, Viscount||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Kimball, Lawrence|
|Boulton, W. W.||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Leckie, J. A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Liddall, Walter S.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Llewellin, Major John J.|
|Burghley, Lord||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Lesile||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Mabane, William|
|Burnett, John George||Glossop, C. W. H.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Gluckstein, Louis Halls||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||Macdonald, sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Graves, Marjorie||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Greene, William P. C.||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Castle Stewart, Earl||Grimston, R. V.||McLean, Major Sir Alan|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Macmillan, Maurice Harold|
|Christie, James Archibald||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Magnay, Thomas|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Makins, Brigadler-General Ernest|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hales, Harold K.||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Cooper, A. Dun||Hammersley, Samuel S.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Copeland, Ida||Hanbury, Cecil||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Mltchell, Harold P.(Br'ti'd & Chisw'k)||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Stevenson, James|
|Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Storey, Samuel|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Robinson, John Roland||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Morrison, William Shephard||Ropner, Colonel L.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Muirhead, Major A. J.||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Munro, Patrick||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Nail, Sir Joseph||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Runge, Norah Cecil||Templeton, William P.|
|Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Thompson, Luke|
|Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Salt, Edward W.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|O'Connor, Terence James||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Wallace, John (DunferMilne)|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Scone, Lord||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Patrick, Colin M.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Peake, Captain Osbert||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Pearson, William G.||Shute, Colonel J. J.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Peat, Charles U.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Petherick, M.||Slater, John||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Pike, Cecil F.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Smith, R. W.(Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Soper, Richard||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Womersley, Walter James|
|Ramebotham, Herwald||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Rankin, Robert||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Bold, William Allan (Derby)||Spens, William Patrick||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Remer, John R.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)||Sir George Penny and Mr. Blindell.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Milner, Major James|
|Buchanan, George||Harris, Sir Percy||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, George Henry||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Janner, Barnett||Price, Gabriel|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Rothschild, James A. de|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Edwards, Charles||Lawson, John James||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Logan, David Gilbert||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||White, Henry Graham|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||McEntel, Valentine L.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, David Reee (Glamorgan)||McKeag, William||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. D. Graham.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ "That the Additional Import Duties (No. 6) Order, 1933, dated the twenty-seventh day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-seventh day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved."—[Dr. Burgin,."]334
§ Motion made, and Question put:
§ "That the Additional Import Duties (No. 8) Order, 1933, dated the twenty-eighth day or April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-eighth day of April, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved."—[Dr.Burgin.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 211; Noes, 60.335
|Division No. 177.]||AYES.||[11.37 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Bateman, A. L.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks., Newb'y)|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M.||Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.|
|Albery, Irving James||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Burghley, Lord|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (L'pool, W.)||Bird, Sir Robert B. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Borodale, Viscount||Burnett, John George|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Boulton, W. W.||Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Campbell, vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Broadbent, Colonel John||Carver, Major William H.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Cattle Stewart, Earl||Howard, Tom Forrest||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)|
|Christie, James Archibald||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Robinson, John Roland|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Jennings, Roland||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Cook, Thomat A.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Cooper, A. Dull||Kimball, Lawrence||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Copeland, Ida||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Salt, Edward W.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Leckie, J. A.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Liddall, Waiter S.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Scone, Lord|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Llewellin, Major John J.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||McCorquodale, M. S.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Despencer-Roberteon, Major J. A. F.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Slater, John|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||McKie, John Hamilton||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Eastwood, John Francis||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Macmilian, Maurice Harold||Soper, Richard|
|Elmley, Viscount||Magnay, Thomas||Sotheron- Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Spens, William Patrick|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Martin, Thomas B.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||May hew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Stevenson, James|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Storey, Samuel|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Mitchell, Harold p.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Morrison, William Shephard||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Gault, Lieut.-col. A. Hamilton||Munro, Patrick||Templeton, William P.|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Thompson, Luke|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.)||O'Connor, Terence James||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Graves, Marjorie||O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Wallace, John (DunferMilne)|
|Greene, William P. C.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Palmer, Francis Noel||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Patrick, Colin M.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Peake, Captain Osbert||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Pearson, William G.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Peat, Charles U.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||perkins. Waiter R. D.||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Hales, Harold K.||Petherick, M.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)||Williams, Herbert. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Pike, Cecil P.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Harbord, Arthur||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Rankin, Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hornby, Frank||Reld, William Allan (Derby)||Sir George Penny and Mr. Blindell.|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Ramer, John R.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hammersley, Samuel S.||Maxton, James|
|Banfield, John William||Harris, Sir Percy||Milner, Major James|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)|
|Buchanan, George||Hirst, George Henry||Nail, Sir Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Horobin, Ian M.||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Janner, Barnett||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jenkins, Sir William||Price, Gabriel|
|Daggar, George||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||John, William||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Edwards, Charles||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shuts, Colonel J. J.|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Kirkwood, David||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lawson, John James||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Logan, David Gilbert||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Lunn, William||White, Henry Graham|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Mabane, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||McKeag, William|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. D.|
Resolution agreed to.