§ Dr. BURGIN
I beg to move,That the Additional Import Duties (No. 23) Order, 1933, dated the eighteenth day of December, 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 said eighteenth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved.I have to ask the indulgence of the House for bringing another Order before them. This is an Import Duties Advisory Committee recommendation and it has the effect of making the duty on certain pigments 20 per cent. instead of 10 per cent. The duty on pigments generally is 20 per cent. already and the purpose of the Order is to make certain other pigments 20 per cent. instead of 10 per cent. I can explain the position to the House in a very few wards and then I have no doubt they will desire to give me the Order without further discussion. This is all part and parcel of the dyestuffs proposals. Formerly dyestuffs were under a complete prohibition. That lasted for 10 years from 1920 and thereafter was extended from year to year under the Expiring Laws Continuation procedure. The whole matter was referred, at the request of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the Import Duties Advisory Committee and they made a report containing a number of recommendations.
Dyestuffs were to be free from the general ad valorem duty. They were to be subject to prohibition but were to be on the free list if it was found that they could not be procured within this country. Intermediate products were to be subject to the ordinary 10 per cent. duty. Colours were no longer to be 2242 within the prohibition but were to come within the ordinary Import Duties Advisory Committee procedure. In other words once you removed colours from the prohibition they were subject to such duty as the Committee should care to recommend. The Committee has considered these matters and they recommend that the duty for pigments should be 20 per cent., and this Order gives effect to that recommendation. The House will be interested to know that the new Dyestuffs Bill passed through Standing Committee without Amendment to-day and, consequently, the legislative programme of the Government is being carried out. It only remains for me to say that the general licence contemplated by the Import Duties Advisory Committee has been issued so that the whole of the report dealing with the whole of dyestuffs is being put into operation. This recommendation is a necessary part of the scheme and it makes the 10 per cent. duty which is an automatic ad valorem duty, 20 per cent. because that is the proper and appropriate duty applicable to pigments. I hope with that very clear explanation hon. Members will consent to the Order.
§ 11.5 p.m.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
I am sure the House is very well informed as to the meaning of the Order after the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary. We are greatly enlightened by what he has told us about these colours. He said that the Government were carrying out the recommendations of the Import Duties Advisory Committee. He and I have spent a good many hours upstairs trying to amend the Dyestuffs Bill; and the speeches that he delivered upstairs on that Bill—and the same remark applies to his speech on this Order—might almost hove been set to music, because through them all there was one refrain: "This is the recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee." It is almost like an oratorio in the end, if you repeat it often enough.
§ Mr. DAVIES
I do not think the pillars of the Empire will shake in their sockets if we pass this Order to-night. The hon. Gentleman has never told us anything at all as to who were ale persons who made representations to the Import Duties Advisory Committee on this Order, and I want to say that I hope the Import Duties Advisory Committee—I am nearly putting it to music myself—will be susceptible in future to representations of a very much more serious character than they have yielded to in this connection. There is indeed grave complaint from the Lancashire colour users that the Import Duties Advisory Committee is not taking sufficient heed of their representations. There is one point emerging from all these proceedings. The Government are allowing this Committee practically to undertake the functions of government itself, and if I have any protest to make—and it is rather too late now to divide on 2244 this issue—it is that the National Government are giving away their title to another authority to carry on the business of the State.
That the Additional Import Duties (No. 23) Order, 1933, dated the eighteenth day of December, 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 said eighteenth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-three, be approved.
§ The Orders of the Day were read, and postponed.