HC Deb 12 December 1935 vol 307 cc1249-80

10.10 p.m.


I beg to move, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 23) Order, 1935, dated the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved. There are other Orders on the Papers—Nos. 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, 32 and 33, and with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I would suggest that we might take these Orders altogether as was the custom in the last Parliament. As this is the first batch of Import Duties Orders, perhaps it would be convenient if I state what has been found to be the convenient practice hitherto. The practice hitherto has been that the Minister introducing these Orders has made a general introductory speech notifying the House of the principal points that were covered by the new Orders, and has then invited questions on any Order to which the House attaches particular importance and has made a speech in reply. Hon. Members will appreciate that that permits an individual vote being taken on any single Order, but at the same time gives the Minister the opportunity of dealing with the Orders in one speech. Unless objection is taken to that course, I would like to adopt that method on this occasion.


If I say that we have no objection to that to-night, it must not be taken that we agree to it as setting up a precedent.


I understand the right hon. Gentleman's point. It is a matter that can be dealt with on each occasion.


On previous occasions, of course, it has always been done by consent of the House. It has been put to the House, not formally but informally, and the House has given consent. Of course hon. Members are entitled to vote on any particular Order.


I only wish to point out that there might be times when Orders ought to be taken separately and we do not want it made a rule. On this occasion I think we might take them together.


It has always been done with the approval of the House. If any Member raises objection, the Orders must be taken separately.


The eight Orders which are now before the House do not, as far as I am aware, involve any great issue of principle. That was stated by the Prime Minister on 3rd December, and is reported in Column 77 of the OFFICIAL REPORT. I think when hon. Members have heard the explanation I am about to give they will confirm that view. Two of these Orders, No. 23 and No. 24, which deal respectively with synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers and with steel tubes, are designed for a similar purpose, that is, to protect the home market from foreign imports owing to the breakdown of international agreements which have governed imports of these products in the past. Hon. Members will appreciate that there are more methods than one of protecting the home market, and that perhaps a cartel may work satisfactorily. Both these Orders, No. 23 and No. 24, are rendered necessary by the breakdown of international cartel arrangements which have hitherto operated in these particular trades. Order No. 23 imposes additional duties in the form of a specific duty of £4 a ton on foreign synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers.

The test of the adequacy or otherwise of a duty may be examined in many ways. The productive capacity of makers of these fertilisers both here and abroad is very greatly in excess of consumption. Some countries have prohibited imports except under licence and have taken other steps to protect their industries. The manufacture of fertilisers covered by this Order have given satisfactory assurances regarding prices. I would like to emphasise that. Manufacturers of these fertilisers have given satisfactory assurances with regard to prices. That means, of course, the price at which the fertilisers will be sold to the farmer. An agreement has been reached between this country and certain Continental countries and Chile. Neither Japan nor the United States is a party to that agreement, and the House will understand that this specific duty, which is a new duty, is necessary to cope with the possibility of imports from Japan and the United States. I shall be very happy to deal with questions with regard to this or any other of the Orders. I have the details of imports, prices, home manufacture and all other relevant considerations available and hon. Members who are interested will, no doubt, put their specific points. For the moment I am making a general review of the whole of the Orders.

Order No. 24, which also is necessitated by the breakdown of a cartel, imposes specific duties on certain kinds of steel tubes in which competition at very low prices has been experienced. Tubes of this particular kind have been sold in some of our overseas markets at prices below our cost of production and, what is perhaps a greater factor of interest to the House, they have been sold at prices less than half the protected home market price of the country of origin. Since 1932 the imports of these tubes have been relatively small, chiefly because of the international tube cartel. Before the tube cartel, tubes of this kind came largely from Germany, the United States and Belgium. Orders 26, 30, 31 and 32—I am not proceeding chronologically for a definite reason—are on the same lines as a number of additional Import Duties Orders which have been confirmed by Parliament in recent months. That is to say, they are designed to produce a similar degree of protection by means of alternative specific duties, and they are brought in to increase the duty on the cheaper ranges of goods without affecting the duty on the more expensive goods. It is a swing from ad valorem to specific, a practice which the House has found on a number of occasions has been a definite advantage. Order No. 26 imposes a duty of 3d. a 1,000 on certain eyelets of metal. The previous duty was 20 per cent. ad valorem. The whole trade is quite small. Most of the imports come from Italy. The effect of, the specific duty increases the duty on the cheaper range of goods, leaving the more expensive untouched.

Order No. 30 deals with oil baize, a curious substance, of which there is very little. The specific duty is 2½d. a pound as an alternative to a 20 per cent. duty. Imports come from the United States and they are less than a million square yards. They consist of job lots. There is very little that disturbs a market more than a job lot. A job lot from the United States disturbs the United Kingdom market out of all proportion to the importance of the particular consignment. The duty will have the effect of discouraging United States manufacturers from disturbing our market instead of theirs by sending job lots at less than half the price of perfect goods. Order No. 31 imposes various rates of specific duty in place of the existing ad valorem duty of 20 per cent. In this trade Sheffield and Birmingham have captured a large share of the home market. New plant has been installed. When the duty was reduced to 20 per cent. in 1932 considerable competition was experienced from Germany at cut prices, with the result that the output of the United Kingdom plant has now been reduced to as low as 25 per cent. of capacity, and that means that, with the plant working at 25 per cent. of capacity, the whole production is made at a loss.

Order No. 32—that is the last of that particular series of four—imposes upon trunk and suit case hoops a minimum specific duty of three farthings per piece or 1½d. a pair. Imports come wholly from Germany. They amount to 500,000 pairs, worth some £12,000 a year, and on the average this duty amounts to about 25 per cent., or in the case of the cheaper hoops about 33⅓ per cent. The increase of duty on these cheaper hoops will amount to from 2d. to 4d. per trunk, and as the hoops last a long time the production costs of the makers of trunks should not mean that the price need be materially raised either to sellers or to buyers.

Of the remaining two Orders, Order No. 25—rubber tubing and piping—rectifies an anomaly. Such of these goods as have been in the past subject only to 10 per cent. ad valorem are now treated in the same way as other wholly manufactured rubber articles. They are now made subject to a duty of 20 per cent. An opportunity has been taken by Order No. 25 to make an alternative specific duty for the purpose of discouraging attempts that are being made to import the cheaper type of Japanese garden-hose piping.

Order No. 33—and I apologise to the House for being obliged to give so much detail—imposes an additional duty of 10 per cent. on staves, whether hollow or bent. One effect of this Order has been to charge that additional duty on cylindrical sawn staves which have undergone a simple sawing process, and under the new Order the additional duty will not be charged on staves not further prepared than sawn. Orders 27, 28 and 29 do not require affirmative resolutions because they are all dealing with reductions. The House understands that it is only necessary to come for approval affirmatively by resolution when the subject of the Order is an increase. I have now sketched out the type of material covered by this mixed bag of orders I have the detailed information relating to every one and perhaps it will be more convenient if we take the Orders as a whole and ask questions on specific matters.

10.25 p.m.


We are at the opening stages of a new Parliament, and we have to remember that during the previous Parliament there was executed, without a mandate at that time from the people, a complete fiscal revolution. In the carrying out of that fiscal revolution, although a small and gallant band did their best to deal with the proposals as they were put through, the actual plan laid down by the Government for the Import Duties Act and its procedure has always made it very difficult to check and properly criticise the proposals which the Government put into operation. In this new Parliament we ought to give adequate attention to the proposals which come before the House from time to time for additional duties, whether by way of ad valorem duties or by specific duties.

It is significant that we have just listened to a short sketch of what the duties will do, but there has not been the slightest real argument for them in the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. On the last occasion on which I was able to address the House on the fiscal issue, the hon. Member and his chief were pillars of the Free Trade faith in another part of the House. They are perhaps the most reprehensible of all the advocates of the kind of duties put before the House to-night, because they both know that they are sinning against the light. When we come to deal with the actual duties, it is well to call the attention of new Members to the extent to which this procedure injures many sections of British taxpayers. We had a very ancient and honourable tradition that no man should be taxed in this country unless this House had said so, but we are dealing to-night with a whole series of Orders, some of which have been in operation since the 31st July and some since the 1st of August, without any real consideration by the House as to whether the specific taxes were fair and just to the citizens. The citizen has had to pay them, and on 12th December the Government come forward and say: "Will you give final approval to these taxes, which have been levied without specific authority from this House?"

Now that the House is returning to a better balanced and more sane consideration of these matters we ought to see to it that the citizens get a better opportunity for the protection of their interests. The reason why I mention that—I hope I am not egotistical or putting myself in a special position—is that I am perhaps the only Member of this House who regularly finds it necessary to appear before the Import Duties Advisory Committee to state specific trade objections to proposals for increased duties or to deal with applications for special variations by way of drawbacks. Listening to-night to the Parliamentary Secretary explaining why these additional duties should put put on, I am confirmed in my impression that the machinery set up for dealing with this kind of duty in the course of the fiscal revolution which the country has gone through, has involved us in the worst kind of practices, corrupt bargaining and corrupt agreements that we have ever had described by all the authorities on fiscal procedure, from Henry George to Professor Thompson. I have to appear before the Advisory Committee again and again. I find one or more members of the Import Duties Committee sitting in camera to hear the applicants for the duty and the objectors against it. You hear on occasions some objectors to the duty declare that they wholly object in principle to the application for an increase in the duty, but, nevertheless, they have met privately, before they go into the tribunal, the applicants for the duty and, on a consideration that they may get special consideration for drawbacks or for a particular section of their trade which has some advantage in the export market, they are quite prepared to collect from the home market all that is required by the applicant industry. No one is ever heard there, except myself as representing the Co-operative Society, putting the case for the consumers of this country.

When we come to deal with this sort of duty and have to listen to the Parliamentary Secretary what does he do? With the exception of reading a few sentences out of the printed reports of this council of three, the Import Duties Advisory Committee, which in a fiscal sense is as much a council of three as the council of three at Venice, nobody has any adequate lead or advice at all as to what is the real argumentative basis for and against the duty, and the House has suddenly, usually at a rather late hour I find on looking up the OFFICIAL REPORT, been called upon either to approve or reject. It is one of the gravest possible deteriorations in British Parliamentary procedure, in regard to the method of taxing the people that has taken place within the last three or four years, and I think it is a good thing that now we have a somewhat stronger Opposition in numbers, instead of those who have so gallantly led the Opposition for the last three years, so that on these questions we can give closer attention and criticism than in the past.

Let me now look at the first duty proposed—a duty of £4 per ton as recommended in Order No. 23 on nitrogenous commodities. We are told that this duty is necessary because of a breakdown in the international cartel. In a single sentence there could not be painted a better word picture of how this kind of fiscal jugglery works. All that really counts is the interests of the capitalist combine—the user, the citizen, does not count at all. If they can make out a case in order to maintain a certain percentage profit return on their shares well and good, but sooner or later thieves, apparently, fall out again and this fiscal procedure is undertaken to prevent things again coming into their own. They seek to prevent what is going to be useful to consumers through the breakdown of the international cartel by introducing a duty in between. This is a special example of that kind of procedure. Look at the actual commodities in this Order. I suppose there is only really one large concern interested in this particular duty—Imperial Chemical Industries. You have the various chemicals connected with the basis of ammonia and like substances, some of which will be useful as fertilisers for agriculture.

The Parliamentary Secretary says that reasonable assurances have been given as regards prices. To whom have these assurances been given? Have the farmers been given a specific pledge as to the actual prices which they will be charged over a given period. If so can the hon. gentleman tell us what prices have been fixed by the chemical combine, Imperial Chemical Industries, for the main fertilisers, over the next two years, in order that the farmer who is considering his plans for the next two seasons may have some idea of what his fertilising costs will be. From my experience of appearing before the tribunal I have little doubt as to what these assurances have been. I know how I have been met and how others have been met who appear before the Committee with regard to these matters. When you go there with a certain amount of timidity and trembling to say where a proposed duty is going to hurt your business or your commodity you are usually told, "Do not worry too much Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones or Mr. Alexander. If you find this duty pressing a little heavily upon you you can always come back and ask for some protection for your own commodity." So it goes on and on, growing like a snowball. My experience is that these proposals come back over and over again, each time with a new request for a duty upon some other commodity. I shall hope to illustrate that presently in regard to another of these duties.

The second point I wish to make with regard to these chemicals is this: I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has studied the paper dealing with this duty, but I notice it is said that these particular commodities will be most valuable in connection with munition services—chemical services. If it is proposed to entrench a large combine, with high protective duties, in regard to commodities which are not only valuable to agriculture for fertilisers but which may become vital to the nation in regard to munition services, then I do not think I should be doing my duty to my colleagues if I did not say that in our view, from the munitions point of view alone, that industry ought not to be left in the hands of private individuals. The Parliamentary Secretary may smile. I wish I could go back to his college days and read some of the lectures to which he has listened and some of the utterances which he himself made, in his student days, on this question. If he would give us some of those statements of his what a revelation it would be. At any rate, we make the claim that if the protection of the State is being given in a case of this kind, and if, as we are told, the safety of the nation is likely to be involved in time of war, then this industry should be put under public control.

I turn to Order No. 24, which proposes an increased duty on iron and steel tubes. This also, says the Parliamentary Secretary, has been rendered necessary by a breakdown in an international cartel. I hope the hon. Gentleman will be able to tell us whether there is any sign of this cartel being patched up again. We know what happened with regard to the general steel industry. A great deal was said earlier in the year about a very steep increase in the general scale of iron and steel duties as a weapon against people who broke down one cartel. It has been said since that that weapon has been to some extent successful. That may be but, if so, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will tell us, as this duty has been on since August, what has been its effect in regard to iron and steel tubes. I cannot find from commercial men that there is any great financial stringency in this section of the iron and steel industry which calls for high protective duties. I would like to quote from the "Economist" for 30th November, a reference to a company's report, headed "Tube Investments"—a very interesting revelation regarding this industry which so badly needs protection against the wicked foreign cartel which has broken down: The progress and development in every branch of this undertaking, to which the directors refer in their report, is amply reflected in the profit figures. Total profits have jumped from £371,370 to £502,784, and earnings for dividends, at £493,863, are well over twice those of 1932–3. Such geometric expansion of profits forms the happiest context for share bonuses. I see that the reserves of this tube investment combine have increased from £28,000 in 1933 to £230,000 in 1935 and that the price of the £1 shares is now standing at 69s. This is the industry which specially requires a dole at the hands of this House to-night. This is just the kind of section of the iron and steel industry which is so important and vital in its production for our raw materials and other sections of industry. Let us take two illustrations. You have had a very good boom in the last two or three years in connection with the great increase in housing accommodation. In the furniture industry and in the new types of modern furniture which are being supplied to the small and modern house, the iron and steel tube basis is very important. Do not let anyone think that the duty you are putting on iron and steel tubes is something which passes nebulously into some large form of manufacture and will not be paid by the individual householder and consumer. Every penny of this tax will be paid by the individual householder and consumer in so far as it goes into that type of tubes.

I think this is an appropriate occasion on which to remind the House of that extraordinary speech delivered, I think, during the Election by Lord Nuffield at the dinner in London of the Morris Commercial Cars, when he referred to his disgust at the methods and practices of those who were enjoying the benefits of these high protective duties in forcing up the price of his raw material until he was having to pay one-third more for the raw steel for the purpose of his manufacture than were his competitors in the highly protected United States of America, and he referred to the kind of people behind this application to the House to-night as leaning back in their comfortable armchairs, smoking their large cigars, and being prosperous behind their 33⅓ per cent. duties. This is the kind of industry to which you are asking us to give this duty, and the motor car and similar industries are going to suffer in consequence.

I understand that the Government intend to submit a very large programme for the expansion of armaments and that they are going to have a very large expansion, if they get their way, in naval provision. What sort of guarantees can the Parliamentary Secretary give us to-night as to what will be the effect on the market for British produced tubes for munition purposes? I hope he will be able to tell us something about that and whether there is a form of agreement with the Government that in return for their largesse there will not be undue profits made out of them. I have grave doubts having regard to what has happened on the share markets with regard to the aviation companies. It does not need anybody with a great deal of special city commercial intelligence to understand what has taken place in the flotation of 12 separate new companies in the City of London in anticipation of profits arising from what the Government are going to do by way of an expansion of aerial armaments and by special subsidy in the promotion of civil aviation. Unless you have proper guarantees in regard to such a duty as this, it is unreasonable, if it is not actually criminal, to ask the House at short notice always to be voting increased duties of the kind.

I will confine my closing remarks to only one other of the many duties that the Parliamentary Secretary has so very briefly outlined to-night, that is, the duty on oil baize. The Parliamentary Secretary said there was not much of it. All that they were proposing to do here was to keep out a few odd job lots. My hon. Friends behind me know very well that a few odd job lots of oil baize may often be a very important thing to the poorest people. I do not think the Parliamentary Secretary knew very much of any of the duties about which he was talking. He was making a very good lawyer's statement from a brief supplied to him. If he knew anything about oil baize, he would know that the poorest people, in districts where they have not yet been given houses with tiled sculleries, special draining boards and tiled dressers, use these job lots of oil baize a good deal. This tax, however, is not being imposed merely to deal with odd job lots. It is because they use to a considerable extent a substance called linseed oil in the manufacture of oil baize, and on Monday the Parliamentary Secretary will come along with a proposal for a second addition to the duty on linseed oil.

Linseed oil was the subject of one of the special applications for a duty to which I have given particular attention. It enters into a lot of other things. It enters, for instance, into oil cakes for the farmer by the use of the residue from the crushing process. It enters into paint and varnish, and into the manufacture of linoleum and floorcloth. It enters, also, into the manufacture of oil baize. I never remember in all my experience of public life anything which nauseated me more than the proceedings before the Import Duties Advisory Committee on linseed oil. The applicants for a duty said that they were really Free Traders and that they had never desired a duty. When 10 per cent. duty was put on their product, however, they said "Very well, thank you." That was followed by a tragedy and it was the Ottawa Conference. At Ottawa it seemed that they had almost gone to the extent of their consideration when they found that, although something had been done for all the Dominions, nothing had been done for India; and some bright person turned round to see if anything could be done for India. Nothing but linseed oil was left, and they put a 10 per cent. duty on it, but as it would require the laying down of a great deal more additional plant to supply the demand, it was impossible for that to be done. The Argentine was able to push up the price by the amount of the duty, and the supplies became exhausted. What was to be done? We could not get it back from the farmers, who were already depressed. Then they turned to some alternative form. There were the paint manufacturers, still opposed in principle, who said that if only they had the support of the applicants it would be possible to collect from the home market all that was needed. Similarly the manufacturers concerned.

Nothing could be more illustrative of the cant and the humbug and the logrolling that go on behind this type of fiscal system and manipulation. From my point of view, and I think I speak also for Members of my party, I say that if that is the kind of thing which is supposed to be the great via media for achieving recovery, the sooner we get rid of it the better. There will be other opportunities in the course of this Par- liament for dealing with specific duties. But after we have had the reply of the Parliamentary Secretary I hope that the House will divide on at least one or two of these Orders, to show what it really thinks about this latest example of the Government's manipulation. There was a good deal of talk during the Election about the tremendous asset which tariffs have been in the so-called recovery of the country. I have always noticed when I have been looking at the examples of industrial and commercial recovery in the country that the Government are usually careful to build their case on sterling values. Even then they have a pretty bad record to show when they begin to compare 1934 and 1935 with a normal year like 1929. [Interruption.]

I have read in the newspapers of the fact that from 1929 the world was passing through an economic blizzard. The Government quote it when it suits their purpose and deny it when they want to make a special case. One had only to listen to the very good maiden speech of the hon. Member for Everton (Mr. Kirby) last week to see the effects of this policy on the ports in the actual suffering and poverty of the people. Look at the experience at the ports—Glasgow, Leith, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Southampton, Cardiff, and all the way round.


Southampton has not declined.


All I have to say is that if you look at the weights of goods—


They are in excess of what they were in 1931.


I should say that at Southampton there is no real improvement in the weight of goods, but I will check it up with the hon. Member and, if he is able to show a, difference, I will guarantee that he will find that it is the one exception which proves the rule. When you look at the actual weight of goods exported you find that it is far below what it was in anything like a normal period. Another thing which has been clearly shown, in a brochure by Mr. F. W. Hudson, is that the progress of our rate of recovery in regard to our overseas trade has only been about one-sixth of the rate of recovery at the time when we were recovering without all this incubus of fiscal manipulation and interference in trade between the various nations. From all those points of view we criticise these proposals, as we shall continue to examine and criticise equally stupid and futile proposals in the future.

10.58 p.m.


I think the House has listened with great interest and, I may say, with a certain amount of patience, so far as my colleagues on this side are concerned, to the speech of the right hon. Member for the Hillsborough Division of Sheffield (Mr. Alexander). He told us that he has on many occasions appeared before the Import Duties Advisory Committee, no doubt to look after the interests of the large co-operative stores in the country, to see how imported goods might come into this country at no greater cost than would allow him to sell a proportion of them. It was somewhat surprising to me to hear that the right hon. Gentleman should, in his speech, suggest that the company in which he is interested—


I am interested in no company.


Well, we will say the co-operative societies, should be so keenly interested to appear before the Advisory Committee to prevent certain duties which those interested in manufacturing goods in this country think advisable in the interests of industry. I think, too, that the right hon. Gentleman's criticism of the methods adopted at meetings of the Import Duties Advisory Committee is unfortunate, because I am one of those, and I believe a very large number of hon. Members agree with me, who think that no such great change in the fiscal system could have been made in any country in the world with less log-rolling, with less chance of corruption, than the great change which has taken place during the last three or four years.

The suggestion in the case of these two first recommendations that the House should not give an affirmative decision because of the failure of a cartel, seems unfortunate. British manufacturers, by co-operating with foreign manufacturers in similar trades and trying to obtain a fair share of world trade for this country, have been of great advantage to employment, and during the last three or four years have greatly affected the figures of employment. It is very surprising that during the Election many Opposition hon. Members, when asked what their opinion and their decision would be with regard to the fiscal system, said very little. They said that they did not intend to make any change until they had given the matter very careful consideration. After the Election, and upon the first occasion that import duties come up in the House, we hear a very striking speech from one of the leaders of the Opposition, saying that the duties are of no use and opposing them in every possible way.

I noticed that the right hon. Gentleman referred in his speech to several of these recommendations, but to the only recommendation where there is some work done in the right hon. Gentleman's own constituency, he made no reference. With regard to tubes, the right hon. Gentleman made reference to important figures respecting one of the finest tube manufacturing companies in the world. We are proud on this side of the House that that firm have done so well during the last 12 months, and to know that they have been so energetic and enterprising as to put down important plant and to have beaten all other firms in the world in the production of best quality tubes. Reference was also made to the point that the consumer was not adequately represented before the Import Duties Advisory Committee and that only manufacturers were adequately represented.

The first recommendation taken to-night deals with synthetic ammonia and nitrogen. I am told, and have also seen it referred to in the Press since the application was granted, that not only were several representatives present of the National Farmers' Union, which is the leading organisation in this country representing farmers, but also two or three representatives of the Corn Merchants' Association. They appeared before the Import Duties Advisory Committee and strongly protested on behalf of the consumers regarding this application. There is not the slightest doubt that a very long time was given by the three Members of the Committee to the application and that it was only recommended to this House after the Com- mittee were assured that agriculturists would not suffer in any way.

I would like to remind the right hon. Gentleman that the farmer has obtained during the last year or two sulphate of ammonia, which is the usual form used by the agriculturists of this country, at an average price much less than at any time since the War, and at practically half the price that it was sold at just after the War. Compound fertilisers, in which sulphate of ammonia is one of the chief ingredients, are sold at a less price than they have ever been sold at in this country. The price has been gradually declining for the last 10 years. That is due particularly to the much more efficient factories that have been put up in this country, and to the fact that one of the largest firms in the country, Imperial Chemical Industries, has established at Billingham one of the finest and most efficient factories in the world, after considerable research work, and has not only given the agriculturist very cheap nitrogen, but has also provided for this country the material that will be required in an emergency, and in that way, no doubt, has been a very great asset to the country as a whole. I would conclude by saying that we on this side of the House believe that it certainly would not have been possible to provide anything like the amount of employment that has been provided for our people in this country during the last four or five years had it not been for the change in our fiscal system, and we shall certainly support the Parliamentary Secretary in asking the House to-night for an affirmative reply to these recommendations.

11.7 p.m.


I regret that I was unable to be present to hear the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, but there are one or two points arising out of these recommendations which I should like to bring to the notice of the House. In the first place, the duty No. 23, regarding nitrogenous fertilisers, raises a number of questions which I think the House should consider carefully. It is agreed that this duty, which is a prohibitive duty, is being imposed in order to strengthen the hands of the British producers in negotiating with their foreign competitors. The result of the duty will be in fact that British consumers, and among them farmers, will be paying a higher rate than they have been paying in recent years, and a higher rate than their competitors abroad who are supplied with the same manures. That seems to me to be a situation which calls for inquiry.

I know that this industry is not only of importance to agriculturists the world over, but is of importance also to the country at large. In the old days it used to be said that we turned our ploughshares into swords. Nowadays it is truer to say that we turn our fertilisers into high explosives. But the question I want to ask is whether, supposing that it is necessary to impose this duty in order to keep the industry at work—and here I grant the Government a point with which I do not agree—it is right that one section of the community should bear the cost of that national insurance against future war? Is there not some other method? This industry has received very considerable help from the Government ever since it was established after the War, and I protest on behalf of agricultural consumers that it is unfair to saddle them with a burden for the sake of an industry which, if it has to receive some special assistance, should receive it at the bands of the nation at large.


May I ask the hon. Member what grade, or what class or what type of fertiliser he has in mind when he states that the farmer is paying a higher price for fertilisers than last year, or the year before, or the year before that?


Yes, I shall be very glad to give the figures because I am a purchaser of these particular fertilisers. I think—I am speaking from recollection—that three years ago I paid £5 5s. per ton for sulphate of ammonia delivered on my farm. The present price—prices have been rising steadily since then—is £7.


I had in mind compound fertilisers.


I occasionally buy compound fertilisers, but I find it cheaper to buy straight fertilisers—sulphate of ammonia and others. I am very glad the hon. Gentleman interrupted, because he raises the point I want to impress on the House. Granted that the representatives of the Farmers' Union have agreed to the stabilisation of prices at the present level, if—as is the case—similar fertilisers are being exported at a considerably lower price I suggest that the Farmers' Union should have, and could have obtained, a better bargain than merely getting an undertaking that prices should not be raised for a year or two. It was revealed by a question the other day that the Scottish Farmers' Union was not consulted on this point. I live not far from Scotland and I think probably the Scottish Farmers' Union would have been able to drive a rather harder bargain. I am not speaking for the Scottish Farmers' Union but I have experience of Scottish farmers' methods. This question may play a larger part in the future than it does at present.

In the development of scientific farming very considerable emphasis is laid on the use of sulphate of ammonia and other nitrogenous manures for the purpose—I am sorry to be slightly technical—of growing grass which can be dried and turned into a cattle food of very high feeding value. As soon as certain mechanical inventions have been perfected which will make that drying an economic proposition there may be a tremendous revolution in the whole of farming practice not only in this country but throughout the world. If that is so the chief raw materials for this feeding stuff will be these nitrogenous fertilisers and I for one regret very strongly that the price has been stabilised by means of these tariffs at such a high level. In a day or two we shall be asked to vote on another recommendation of the Advisory Committee. It refers to turkeys.


We must wait until that particular Order is under discussion.


The only other comment I wish to make is on Order No. 24, which deals with iron and steel tubes. I want to quote a statement made on behalf of the Iron and Steel Federation. It reads: Attempts to revive the International Tube Cartel are likely to be hampered by the attitude of the German Tube Syndicate, which is reported to have expressed its lack of interest in a renewal. German tube exports have increased materially, mainly because of the use of barter. The weapons of economic nationalism—tariffs, quotas, currency regulations and the rest—have reduced trade between a number of countries to the most primitive form, the form of barter. If we arrange a transaction on the basis of barter, it means, unfortunately, that payment will be made in goods, and this is just a case where that payment has been made in goods and immediately the interests concerned go to the Advisory Committee and obtain tariffs which even stop the most primitive form of trade, which is barter. It is not as if this trade was of any great size. Only 9,000 tons of these goods have been imported during the first 10 months of this year, compared with 260,000 tons which have been exported, so that even that small degree of barter by which our exports could be stimulated is to be prevented.

With regard to the rest I will not detain the House. I will merely suggest that your gardens will cost you more and that one or two of these duties will press heavily on the handyman who buys cheap tools to do jobs about the house, a type of enterprising individual whom we should all wish to see encouraged.


As Order No. 23 applies to Scotland, I should like the Minister to tell us if the Scottish Farmers' Union have agreed to it.

11.20 p.m.


I wish to corroborate the statement which has been made by the hon. Member for North Cumberland (Mr. W. Roberts) as to the extreme importance in the interests of the vast farming industry of this country of artificial manure and that they should remain not only cheap, but, what is more important, should be stable in price. I agree with him that prices have hardened in recent years, but I am certain that they will be intensified if there are not certain guarantees that these duties should not be misused. I would refer in this connection to what the Prime Minister said in the Debate on the Address, when he suggested that those who were getting advantage from these duties should realise that they must pay back something to the State. As a grass farmer in the West of England I know how extremely important it is that manuring should take place over a period of years. You must plan your manuring. You take so many fields one year and pass on and come back again at the end of three or four years. Agriculture must be planned, and it is a very long process. A good deal has to be invested in the industry and the return comes back after many years. I should like to know from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade what are the guarantees? He nodded his head when the question was asked just now, but we really want to know more about it in this House. Can he not, in his reply, give some better guarantee than just a nod of the head that these duties will not be abused, otherwise I shall certainly be inclined to vote against these Orders.

11.24 p.m.


I crave the indulgence of the House which is usual for a maiden speech. I am sorry to have to enter into a discussion upon such a controversial subject. I noticed that the hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. L. Smith) admitted that there had been a certain amount of log-rolling in connection with these duties. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] The words used by the hon. Member were, I think, to the effect that there was less log-rolling in this country than in other countries, and that must mean that there is some log-rolling. From the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsboro (Mr. Alexander) we may take it that there has been a certain amount of log-rolling, at least on this question.

The hon. Member for Hallam suggested that civilisation really began in 1931. The suggestion has been made in this House that industries have developed only since these protective tariffs were put on. I think it is true to say that in connection with the question of tubes the Sheepbridge Iron and Steel Company were leading the world even in pre-war days. While these protective tariffs have increased profits, it cannot be said that in any case they have increased wages. The House has been discussing to-night the deplorable state of Liverpool. Liverpool's deplorable condition is due to these tariffs. On the one hand you are handing high profits to the manufacturer, and on the other hand you are having to do something for the workers who are thrown out of work by these very same tariffs.

We have heard a lot about foreign adventurers in this House during this week and during the Election. I think it is true to say that many Members of this House have described the Italian Government as going on a foreign adventure. The reason given for that was that the Italian Government had great difficulties at home, and that it was their business to direct the attention of their nationals to some foreign adventure. That happens with the tariff case. You get into difficulties at home, due to over-capitalisation and so on, and then you direct the attention of British workmen to the fact that the persons who are robbing him are Germans, French or Americans, or somebody else, instead of directing his attention to the fact that the robbers are here at home. We were promised that tariffs would cure the poverty problem. The hon. Member for Hallam had a very nice bill in the 1931 Election promising more work and more wages if the National Government were allowed to carry through their tariff policy. I think we were told that tariffs would increase the wages of the working classes. The wages of the working classes do not depend upon tariffs but upon the number of people who are seeking jobs. We in the Labour party know that these tariffs have not increased wages all over the country. We are prepared to admit that in the artificial silk industry you have given a certain amount of employment, but in doing that you have helped to destroy the cotton trade. You have redistributed unemployment by these tariffs.

When we were promised that tariffs would cure unemployment, there was no question of not doing the job properly. But immediately the Government got their tariff policy going they came to the House and said "This policy is not curing the terrible problem of unemployment. Therefore we must look for some ether types of medicine." They immediately turned to subsidies and quotas. If tariffs are claimed as a real cure, there was no need for these other things. If it was a cure the job ought to have been done after four years in office. My serious objection to this tariff policy is because I am an unrepentant pacifist. These tariff experiments in economic nationalism divide the peoples of the world, have created enmity and in the long run lead to war. Because of that I hope that the House will divide against these duties and thus show that there is in this country a large number of people who are resolutely opposed to any attempt to divide the peoples of the world.

11.31 p.m.


I want to congratulate the hon. Member on his speech. I rise only to ask a question. During the War when I had to make arrangements for the delivery of sulphate of ammonia products, I was able to do so and found three companies very good to deal with, and that when they made arrangements to deliver something to farmers at a certain price no difficulties arose. There is no doubt that they will observe the same tradition in the arrangement now made. But is it not right and reasonable that whatever arrangement has been made we should know about it fully, the prices that are guaranteed and for how long they are guaranteed? When a man is engaged in improving his grass he should know what he will have to pay for his fertilisers many years ahead. Can we be told definitely what the arrangements are, as then we shall be able to judge whether the farmers have agreed to this as being really in effect a reasonably low price, or whether they have agreed to it in default of having to put up with something very much worse.

11.32 p.m.


I can speak again only by leave of the House. On the discussions of these Orders there are always certain comments to which the Minister must pay attention, quite apart from specific questions that are put. But some hon. Members appear to think that it is an occasion when the abstract merits of Free Trade or control can be debated. They overlook entirely the fact that there is on the Statute Book the Import Duties Act, 1932, and that what we are doing here is to apply that Act—not discuss whether or not the Act should be enforced. I make that comment because in introducing these Orders it is not my duty to give reasons why they are made; that is the duty of the tribunal set up by this House. Nor is it my duty to comment on their method of taking evidence or conducting their inquiry; they are all covered by the Act of 1932, and as long as that is the law of the land my duty is to administer the Act and bring these Orders to the House for their approval. It is, of course, open to discuss any of those matters on an appro- priate Resolution, but to-night we are considering detailed application of the Act, and such a procedure would not be the best way in which to handle our problem.

A second point is this. It is one thing to comply with the convenience of the House by making a short, general statement; it is another thing to give detailed arguments in support of each Order—which I have been criticised for not doing. I do not mind which course I follow. There are eight Orders and one could have made eight speeches giving the whole of the material with regard to each Order and probably it would then have been found that five or six of the Orders interested only a few people, that no questions arose on them and that the speeches in regard to them were redundant, while there were two or three to which the House desired to devote attention. These Orders have been in print and in the Vote Office for a considerable time and could have formed the subject-matter of questions if any hon. Member desired information on them—and questions were put in regard to fertilizers—in order to clear the air. That being so, I thought it much better to introduce them in a general speech and then to deal with any questions such as that put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland). He asked whether the House could have the details of the agreement made as to price in the case of fertilizers. Certainly. That is exactly what I offered in my opening statement to give the House, namely, the details on any point which interests hon. Members. In fact, particulars of these eight Orders cover such a variety of matters relating to history, geography, science and chemistry, that the amount of time required to go into them all would be prohibitive. I thought the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) was going to thank us for having so arranged the business as to have these Orders taken at the reasonable hour of ten o'clock, but instead we had the old grievance about the late hour of the discussion. We are exceptionally fortunate to-night in that we have plenty of time in which to discuss these matters calmly, instead of being obliged to take the whole of them after eleven o'clock.

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsborough said he recollected that in my dreadful political past, I held other views on the question of the exchange of goods than those indicated by this proposal. There is a difference, even at the seaside resort nearest to Sheffield, between high tide and low tide, and I am one of those who saw that when the balance of trade became adverse to this country new methods had to be adopted. [An HON. MEMBER: "You went in on the tide."] And a very good thing to go in on. One of the most interesting political spectacles which the House could see, is that of any Member for a Sheffield constituency objecting to tariffs. If there is any part of the country which is more devoutly thankful than Sheffield for the change in the fiscal system, I have yet to hear of it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsborough speaking with all the vigour and acumen of which he is capable used the old tag to the effect that occasionally thieves fall out. Other people besides those whom he presumably had in mind fall out on this question. He forgot that tariffs are of importance to some employés, and he will find in the papers relating to these Orders constant references to the need for protecting the home market against certain forms of unfair invasion. That is a type of "falling out" which the Orders are designed to prevent. In referring to the first Order he spoke as though the only makers of sulphate of ammonia in this country were the combine called the Imperial Chemical Industries. There are 330 different concerns making this fertiliser, and employing 12,000 operatives. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall said, many gas companies are within that category and the same right hon. Gentleman's personal practical experience has been that those gentlemen keep to whatever bargains they make. The idea that the fertiliser industry is one great hydra-headed trust with which there is no competition is quite fanciful. It bears no relation to the facts, and shows a failure on the part of those who put it forward to have read in detail the very recommendations which are being submitted to the House.

The right hon. Gentleman asked what guarantees there were, what they were about, and to whom they had been given, and the right hon. Member for North Cornwall said: "Give us details." Certainly. There are two safeguards, those given to the National Farmers' Union in respect of what one may call sulphate of ammonia, and those in respect of all these composite fertilisers under the heading of the Fertiliser Manufacturers Association, Limited. The hon. Member for North Cumberland (Mr. W. Roberts), to whose speech we listened with such interest, as this House always does to an hon. Member talking with technical and accurate knowledge, asked why prices have been maintained at such a high level, and he indicated that these safeguards were merely to prevent an increase, but that is not the case. The safeguards contain undertakings not to increase prices except in so far as they are justified by an increase in the cost of labour or raw materials, and they also contain provisions that if material costs or labour costs decrease, the retail prices are proportionately to be decreased as well. We must at least give to those in charge of the negotiations credit for thinking both of the upward and the downward trends, and these matters have been taken into account.

There are detailed schedules—this is in reply to the right hon. Member for North Cornwall—of every conceivable type of fertiliser, with the actual price which is not to be exceeded. I do not think I need read at length lists of schedules. I think rather the system which the hon Gentleman suggested should be adopted, of putting down questions and receiving answers, is more convenient, but I say at once that the undertaking in terms means that the manufacturers agree not to increase prices unless their cost of material or labour increase, to decrease prices in so far as their costs of labour or materials decrease, and those prices are themselves scheduled with regard to the specific commodities, their destination, their method of delivery, and the time of the year.


Is the price for sulphate of ammonia for a whole year, or does it vary from month to month? What is the basis rate—£7, £6, £8, or what?


The price, I think, is a Spring price, which would suggest that it is not for throughout the year. It is £7 5s. 0d. per ton, delivered at the farmer's station in six-ton lots. The raw material is worked out in detail, and the incidence of the cost of raw materials, on production costs, of ammonium sulphate is also worked out, and the quantity of pyrites used in manufacture.


Is nitro chalk included?


Nitro chalk is included. It is an item in the schedule which I have. I want to deal quite frankly with the House and to give such information as I have, but it is immensely difficult to know what information to discard when there are so many and such diverse inquiries. The next Order to which I think any detailed attention was directed was the tube Order, again a steel article for which this country has made itself famous—the manufacture of tubes. A number of statements was made by the right hon. Member for Hillsborough, and his question really was, "Is not all this story of cartel some sort of bluff? Are we not being told that the reason for putting on this duty at all is that the cartel has broken down, is there not some probability that the cartel is going to be built up, and is not this duty in consequence really unnecessary?"

The Import Duties Advisory Committee have set out in very considerable detail the grounds upon which they have been induced to make this Order. It is within my own personal knowledge that the existence of the tube cartel has meant a certain security for British manufacture and employment in tubes. Immediately the breakdown of the cartel becomes evident the possibility of foreign competition on a large scale means the introduction of an uncertainty into an ordered market. That element of uncertainty is not good for anybody, and the Import Duties Advisory Committee come to the rescue and say, "This uncertainty, the possibility of the breakdown of the cartel, the possibility of large stocks of cheap tubes coming on to this market, and an uncontrolled world position constitutes such a menace that we think it right, cartel or no cartel, to introduce a duty and to arrive at the same result as if there were an effective cartel." It has been done by a method which can be varied if necessary by the Committee, and in this way we have a bargaining weapon introduced in support of the industry in their negotiations with foreign countries which we never had before. I can only say, from my experience in the conducting of negotiations with foreign countries, that it is hard to under-estimate the value of having a Government behind any industry in international negotiations. Never before 1932 was there the possibility of the Government lending a substantial hand in the conduct of negotiations with a great foreign industry, whereas, on the other side of the table, it was a matter of routine practice to have foreign governments lined up behind a foreign industry with which a British industry was endeavouring to make a bargain. Nobody who has had any experience of it can fail to realise that the present procedure is infinitely better, and has greatly advanced the possibilities of British industry maintaining a useful degree of employment.

I am asked questions about oil baize as if there were something peculiarly sinister about this Lancaster cloth, as it is called. The right hon. Gentleman made great play with a rather fanciful description of what happened at Ottawa. As one who had a great deal to do with the linseed negotiations, I had difficulty in following either the right hon. Gentleman's geography or his history. When he told the House so luridly how he had become nauseated with linseed oil, I felt a little confused and thought he had mixed it up with castor oil. In reality, the value of the linseed oil used in the manufacture of the cheaper imported oil baize would not exceed £200 in a whole year. The right hon. Gentleman in this matter has barked up the wrong tree, for he has some sort of idea that this material is linoleum. It is not. It is Lancaster cloth, a small trade or industry, and it is to be protected, if I have the power to do it, from the job lots from the United States, which seems to provide merriment to hon.

Gentlemen opposite, but which is deadly accurate in description. I doubt whether there is any other point that I need raise at this stage except to say this in conclusion. Hon. Members of the official Opposition, in pouring scorn on protective duties, are always careful not to state whether they are in favour of the open door or of any form of control. The hon. Gentleman who made an interesting maiden speech said he was an unrepentent pacifist, but he did not say that he was an unrepentent Free Trader. He talked of Liverpool, but—




Does the hon. Member wish to intervene?


Yes. I am quite prepared to state that I am an unrepentant Free Trader, and I hope that if we ever get power we shall clear away this log-rolling business.


The question of Free Trade and Protection is not before the House.


Then I think I have replied to all the point which have been raised.


May I have a reply to my question?


The answer is that no recent complaint of any character and no inquiry have been made by the Scottish National Farmers' Union. Some inquiries and investigations were made, but they were not of a recent character.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 159; Noes, 89.

Division No. 12.] AYES. [11.51 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Bull, B. B. Davidson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. C. C.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Burgin, Dr. E. L. Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Cartland, J. R. H. Davison, Sir W. H.
Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S. Carver, Major W. H. Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.) Cary, R. A. Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop)
Apsley, Lord Channon, H. Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)
Aske, Sir R. W. Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Dugdale, Major T. L.
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Clarry, R. G. Duggan, H. J.
Balniel, Lord Clydesdale, Marquess of Duncan, J. A. L.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Colfox, Major W. P. Dunne, P. R. R.
Baxter, A. Beverley Colville, Lt.-Col. D. J. Eckersley, P. T.
Beauchamp, Sir B. C. Cook, T. R. A. H. (Norfolk, N.) Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Beit, Sir A. L. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Emery, J. F.
Bird, Sir R. B. Courtauld, Major J. S. Emrys-Evans, P. V.
Blindell, J. Courthope, Col. Sir G. L. Entwistle, C. F.
Bower, Comdr. R. T. Craven-Ellis, W. Errington, E.
Boyce, H. Leslie Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Croom-Johnson, R. P. Everard, W. L.
Brown, Rt. Hon, E. (Leith) Crowder, J. F. E. Fox, Sir G. W. G.
Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.) Cruddas, Col. B. Fraser, Capt. Sir I.
Freemantle, Sir F. E. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Ropner, Colonel L.
Furness, S. N. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'nderry)
Fyfe, D. P. M. Maxwell, S. A. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Gledhill, G. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Rowlands, G.
Goodman, Col. A. W. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Salt, E. W.
Gridley, Sir A. B. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Grimston, R. V. Mitcheson, G. G. Scott, Lord William
Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N. W.) Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R. Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Gunston, Capt. D. W. Morris, J. P. (Salford, N.) Simmonds, O. E.
Guy, J. C. M. Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.) Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. Smith, L. W. (Hallam)
Hanbury, Sir C. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Hannon, P. J. H. Nall, Sir J. Spens, W. P.
Hartington, Marquess of Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. Stourton, Hon. J. J.
Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Hepworth, J. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Palmer, G. E. H. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Penny, Sir G. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Holmes, J. S. Percy, Rt. Hon. Lord E. Sutcliffe, H.
Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Perkins, W. R. D. Tate, Mavis C.
Horsbrugh, Florence Petherick, M. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Pilkington, R. Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Wakefield, W. W.
James, Wing-Commander A. W. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Joel, D. J. B. Ramsbotham, H. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Keeling, E. H. Rankin, R. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.) Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Wise, A. R.
Leckie, J. A. Rayner, Major R. H. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Lindsay, K. M.
Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Loftus, P. C. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Remer, J. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
McKie, J. H. Rickards, G. W. (Sklpton) Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) and Commander Southby.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Parkinson, J. A.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Hardie, G. D. Potts, J.
Ammon, C. G. Harris, Sir P. A. Price, M. P.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Quibell, J. D.
Batey, J. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Ritson, J.
Benson, G. Holland, A. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Broad, F. A. Hopkin, D. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Jagger, J. Rothschild, J. A. de
Buchanan, G. Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Rowson, G.
Burke, W. A. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Sanders, W. S.
Cluse, W. S. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Sexton, T. M.
Daggar, G. Kelly, W. T. Silverman, S. S.
Dalton, H. Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Kirby, B. V. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd) Latham, Sir P. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lawson, J. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Dobbie, W. Leach, W. Stephen, C.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Lee, F. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Ede, J. C. Leslie, J. R. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr, R. T. H. Logan, D. G. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Foot, D. M. Lunn, W. Tinker, J. J.
Frankel, D. McEntee, V. La T. Watson, W. McL.
Gallacher, W. McGhee, H. G. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Gardner, B. W. MacNeill, Weir, L. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Garro-Jones, G. M. Mander, G. le M. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Marklew, E. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Marshall, F.
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Maxton, J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Messer, F. Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Mathers.
Grenfell, D. R. Paling, W.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 23) Order, 1935, dated the thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said thirty-first day of July, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 24) Order, 1935, dated the first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 25) Order, 1935, dated the first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 26) Order, 1935, dated the first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said first day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 30) Order, 1935, dated the second day of September, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-second day of October, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 31) Order, 1935, dated the second day of September, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the twenty-second day of October, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 32) Order, 1935, dated the thirtieth day of October, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the third day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 33) Order, 1935, dated the fourth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said fourth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-five, be approved."—[Dr. Burgin.]