§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ 6.43 p.m.
§ Mr. CHARLES BROWN
It is difficult to understand why this Clause has been inserted. We were informed on a former occasion by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade that the reason was that it was demanded by the Government of India, and that it was in the spirit of the Ottawa Agreements. I imagine that this will be the contention which the hon. Member will advance to-day. The Ottawa Agreements encouraged certain people in this country to do certain things, but the change of attitude on the part of the Government has put these people into great difficulty. The vagaries of the Government are difficult to understand by those engaged in trade and industry. They do one thing at one time and then, later on, change their minds and do something entirely contrary to that which they 247 have previously done. As a result of the Ottawa Agreements certain people became interested in dealing with rice, and have carried out the process of cleaning the paddy. A considerable amount of labour has been employed in milling and in the complementary services of transport and carting. But now the Government come along and, in order to give what is a very slight advantage to India, insert this Clause in the Bill.
The whole argument for the Clause turns upon the question as to whether there will be any considerable advantage to India. There will be certain disadvantages to some sections of people in this country engaged in the milling of rice; there will be real hardship for them, but, viewing this from an Empire point of view, will there be any real advantage to India by the insertion of this Clause? No one can examine the figures in connection with this matter without seeing at once that if there is any advantage at all to India it is very small indeed. Without quoting the figures, I am certain that if the Parliamentary Secretary can convince us that there is any real advantage to India which is in any way a compensation for the injury and the injustice done to the rice milling industry in this country, there will be no substantial reason for moving the deletion of this Clause. I am inclined to think that the Parliamentary Secretary will find that a very difficult task. At any rate I am prepared to hear what he has to say.
§ 6.46 p.m.
§ Sir WALDRON SMITHERS
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, when speaking on the Budget Resolution, said, with regard to this Rice Duty, that it might be a difficult thing to follow. I agree with him. It is a technical matter, and it is therefore as well to be quite clear about it at the outset and to define quite broadly what we are discussing. During the past three weeks I have spent about 14 hours in conference with the rice millers of this country, with the officials of the Board of Trade, with the Parliamentary Secretary himself, and again with the rice millers, and having studied the question, and having been instrumental in sending out a memorandum to every Member of Parliament, I have put my name to this Amendment because I believe that the 248 Board of Trade have put this Clause in the Bill owing to a misunderstanding.
The more I study the matter the more I am convinced that the case which I am about to state leaves no loophole whatever. I ask the Government to be brave and to acknowledge that there is a misunderstanding, and to withdraw this Clause. The Clause imposes a Customs duty of two-thirds of a penny per lb. on rice in the husk. Rice in the husk is known commercially as paddy. Paddy is the rice stripped from the stalk. Paddy when milled produces four different articles. There is, first, what is called either whole rice or clean rice or grocer's rice or white rice. I have here figures audited by chartered accountants which prove that the amount of white rice, number one, which can be obtained from the paddy varies between 43 per cent. and 60 per cent.; and the average yield of white rice is about 55 per cent. Then there is broken rice, which incidentally comes into this country free of duty. It represents about 12½ per cent. Then there is the bran which comes in with a 10 per cent. duty. That is again about 12½ per cent. of the results of milling. Then there is the waste, which is of no value and at times costs the millers money to get rid of it. It is about 20 per cent. That gives us a total of 100 per cent.
There are some minor points which may be adduced, but, speaking broadly, there are two kinds of rice; there is the round grain and the long grain. The round grain rice is known as the Japan type of rice, and it comes principally from Spain, and from Italy, Egypt and Japan, and a small amount from Australia. I shall refer to that kind of rice as foreign rice. Then there is the long grain rice produced in the Empire. Some comes from America and some from Java. I do not want to go into too many details. As I have said, roughly speaking there are two kinds of rice. It is interesting to note that they are really two different articles. The Empire rice commands in this country a price varying between 8s. 7½d. and 14s. 6d. a cwt., whereas the foreign rice commands between 21s. 6d. and 30s. a cwt. They are two distinct articles, and the British housewife knows perfectly well which article she wants. She can use the cheaper form of rice for some purposes 249 but when she wants to give her husband a nice rice pudding she invariably buys the more expensive kind, which is not produced in the Emire.
The consumption in the United Kingdom of all rice, Empire and foreign, is between 70,000 and 75,000 tons a year. The Ottawa Agreements have conferred enormous benefits on the Empire, and India and Burma being by far the largest producers of rice in the Empire have benefited proportionately. The Ottawa Agreements are working naturally, and I contend that there is no need for this duty of two-thirds of a penny on the imported foreign paddy. I am bound in this rather technical matter to give the Committee some figures of the rice imports into this country. In 1931 the Empire sent to this country 31 per cent. of the rice consumed here, but by 1934 the 31 per cent. had gone up to 60 per cent., mainly owing to the Ottawa Agreements. That is to say, the importation of Empire rice in those three years has practically doubled. The foreign rice imports show exactly the opposite trend. In 1931 the imports of foreign rice—I am taking the paddy figures converted into white rice equivalent—were 68 per cent. of the total consumed, whereas in 1934 the figure had fallen to 39 per cent.
So the Committee will see that the Ottawa Agreements work exactly according to plan. I am not here to speak in any way against the Ottawa Agreements, for I am all in favour of them. This tendency for the imports of Empire rice to increase and for the imports of foreign rice to decrease, is shown in the latest figures available for the first four months of this year. You cannot take four months as typical of the whole year, owing to seasonal variations, but the fact remains that the imports of Empire rice have gone up to 76 per cent. and the imports of foreign rice have gone down to 23 per cent. I am told from an authoritative source that it is expected that this year foreign rice will not exceed 30 per cent. of the total consumed in this country. On the Budget Resolution the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade said:At present it is subject to a 10 per cent. duty under the Import Duties Act. This Resolution increases that duty to two-thirds of a penny a lb. as from the 16th April of this year for this year.250 Later in the same speech the hon. Gentleman said:As the imports of paddy threatened to undermine the preference which India had obtained for husked rice, India suggested to us that the matter might be put right by a small increase of that duty.I ask the Parliamentary Secretary how he would define a "small increase." The original duty of 10 per cent. was equal to 10½d. per cwt. on the imported paddy. The two-thirds of a penny a lb. now proposed is equal to 6s. 2¾d., which means a sevenfold increase of the original duty. Does the hon. Gentleman call that a small increase? I contend that the increase is penal and unjust. The Parliamentary Secretary also said, in the same speech:The rate of duty of two-thirds of a penny per lb. has been calculated to give India a preference on paddy corresponding to the preference of a penny on cleaned rice."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st May, 1935; col. 461, Vol. 301.]I should remind the Committee that after Ottawa the penny per lb. duty was imposed on the importation of foreign cleaned rice, and the Parliamentary Secretary has stated that this two-thirds of a penny is to correspond to the penny a lb. on the cleaned rice. I have already explained the proportion into which the paddy breaks up—55 per cent. of white, clean rice; 12½ per cent. of broken rice, which comes in free; 12½ per cent. of bran, which pays 10 per cent. duty; and 20 per cent. of refuse which costs the millers money to get rid of it. Taking all those factors into calculation the two-thirds of a penny per lb. works out at a duty of 2d. per lb. on the white rice produced from the imported foreign paddy. It may be said that that has nothing to do with the amount of the duty, that it is owing to working costs. But if the millers of this country can carry on at a small profit the business of importing paddy into this country and milling it here, and if the duty works out at 2d. a lb. on the white rice, then it seems obvious that the British public cannot eat the rice unless it is imported and prepared in the proper form. Therefore in reality the two-thirds of a penny proposed in this Clause is equal to an import duty of 2d. per lb. on the rice produced from the imported foreign paddy.
I have already shown that the imports of Empire rice are increasing and that the imports of foreign rice are decreas- 251 ing. I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary a question. Have the Government any option in this matter? Must they blindly carry out the request of India to levy a duty of two-thirds of a penny on foreign paddy? I would remind him and his chief that, while I am entirely with them in trying to carry out the spirit of Ottawa, they are the Board of Trade of the United Kingdom, and therefore should look after the interests of the millers in this country. I would like further to ask him if, before this Clause was put in the Bill, the rice millers of this country were consulted? This duty is not put on for revenue purposes. He himself said in his speech on the Budget Resolutions that the revenue would be very small. It is put on simply as a sequence to the Ottawa Agreement. There could have been no harm done in consulting the rice millers. They could not have anticipated anything. They could not have done anything to feather their own nests if they had advance information. The rice millers supplied the figures to the India Trade Commission. They gave their trade figures quite freely, and these figures are now being used against them. I maintain that the duty proposed in this Clause will not help India. The only effect of this Clause, if it is not withdrawn, will be to make a present of milling of foreign paddy to the foreigner, for this type of rice, this expensive rice, will still come into the country, whether it comes in in the form of paddy or in the form of cleaned white rice.
Those who proposed this Clause were misled by the great increase in the paddy import figures. The Parliamentary Secretary in the same speech to which I referred stated that in 1932 there were two cwts. of paddy imported into this country; in 1933, 20,000 cwts., and in 1934, 330,000 cwts. That is true, but from the figures I have already given the imports of foreign rice of whatever form—whether in the form of white rice or in the form of paddy—are appreciably going down, whereas the imports of Empire rice are appreciably rising. When he mentioned these paddy figures he did not take into account the total foreign rice imports. Having put down this Clause, of course it is difficult for the Government to withdraw it, but I think I can show that it will not achieve the desired 252 object. I would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary how this agitation began. I believe, about 18 months or two years ago, the agitation originated from the Rangoon millers. They asked the Burma Chamber of Commerce to request the Government of India to ask for this duty. I believe that is the fact, but I am not sure. If it was the fact, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary this further question? Did the Indian Government, or whoever made this request, realise when they made it that the United Kingdom millers, who have co-operated loyally to push the sale of Empire rice in this country, are being penalised to the benefit of the foreign millers? I believe if those who advocated this duty had realised that, the Clause would never have been put in the Bill. The Parliamentary Secretary talks about the spirit of Ottawa. A Clause of this kind cannot be put forward in the spirit of Ottawa if it can be proved that it is no good to India, and at the same time does serious harm to the rice millers of this country.
I want to repeat that I am here to maintain the spirit of Ottawa, but it is a fact, if hon. Members would please throw their minds back to what I said at the beginning of my speech about the two different kinds of rice, that as yet the Empire cannot produce, and does not produce, this particular form of high-priced rice. If proof were needed of that, proof is forthcoming to the full, because the British public will only pay round about 10s. a cwt. for the Empire rice, and they are willing to pay £1 a cwt. for this different form of high-priced foreign rice. The Empire cannot produce this particular form of rice, and does not produce it. It takes eight or 10 years, I am informed, for the new rice seed to become hybridised and get going in a new country. The Empire is doing her best to produce the higher-priced rice. Seed has been sent to Burma and in time, no doubt, all the rice consumed in this country, of both qualities, can be and will be supplied by the Empire, but to-day about 40 per cent. of the rice consumed in this country and demanded by the British public is not available from Empire sources. It is true that the process of development of the dearer kind of rice is going on in the Empire. Some Empire rites are brought to England. They are graded, cleaned and polished— 253 I believe that is the technical term—and they do to some extent compete with the higher-priced foreign rices, but even so they are inferior to these higher-priced rices; but as yet the Empire cannot produce enough of these higher-priced rices for which there is a general demand in this country.
I am told by gentlemen for whom I am speaking to-day—and I believe them to be honourable men who have told me the truth right through—that although this type of rice—the rice they call the Japan type of rice, and what I am calling the foreign rice—is inferior to the foreign rice, they have taken every available bag of that kind of rice produced in the Empire, but the British public still have a taste for and demand the higher-priced rice. Here is really the pith of my whole argument. As long as foreign rice comes into this country, I do beg the Government to allow that rice to be milled in this country, so that the work may be done here. I honestly believe, after very careful study of the whole subject for many days, that the effect of this Clause will not be to diminish the total imports of foreign rice paddy and clean rice together, but merely to hand over the milling of it to the foreigner, and it will not benefit India. The Indian trade representatives have admitted in the past that as yet India and the Empire cannot produce these higher-priced rices. I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary: Is it the policy of the Government to allow no foreign rice at all, and to deny the British public the use of the higher-priced rice which comes in in spite of the duty of a penny a pound? Let the Government be logical. Let them prohibit foreign rice altogether; but if they are going to allow foreign rice to come into this country at all, then let these men who have set up an industry under the Ottawa Agreement and who look for a certain security over a period of years carry on—let the Government allow the foreign rice that does come in to be milled in this country
It can be argued that the price difference between foreign rice and Empire rice should greatly assist the sale of Empire rice here and force the public to switch over from one to the other, but there is a limit to this, and unless you have prohibition of foreign rice, the demand for foreign rice will still persist. All the available higher-priced Empire-grown rice 254 is now being obtained, and yet the public will still demand—and get over the penny duty—about 40 per cent. of their consumption in the United Kingdom. While this demand persists I do beg the Government to allow the milling to be done in England. The imposition of this duty, as the hon. Member who moved this Amendment pointed out, does nothing for India. I am going to give the Committee same rather remarkable figures. The world production of rice is about 58,000,000 tons, excluding China and Russia. Of this, India and Burma produce about 30,500,000 tons and the rest of the Empire 500,000 tons. Last year there was milled in this country 20,000 tons of paddy, which produced about 10,000 tons of clean white rice. That 10,000 tons, milled from foreign paddy, is only.0315 per cent. of India's production, yet Clause 8, as drafted, for the sake of.0315 per cent. of India's production, will definitely put a complete stop to the milling in the United Kingdom, throw out of work those employed, and the millers will lose one-third of their business. It is rather interesting to know that during the last few days India has bought 15,000 tons of paddy from Saigon, which, I believe, is in Cochin-China, under French protection. I want to ask the Parliamentary Secretary: Is there an import duty on paddy into India?—because you have the paradox that while India is asking protection of this nature, she should at the same time be refusing the United Kingdom millers similar facilities. I understand that the Empire countries, Australia and Canada, protect their milling industry, and why should not the United Kingdom millers, the oldest of all, receive similar consideration?
The United Kingdom millers—and this is a most interesting point—are well aware of conditions in the East. They have their correspondents there, and in some instances their partners have large businesses in the East. Many of them have spent many years in the East and know the conditions well. Further, the United Kingdom millers are the largest buyers of Empire rice. They import 75 per cent. of the Empire rice in this country and the fairness of their claim should be admitted. Does India realise that she is ill-treating her best customer? The rice produced from foreign paddy does 255 not affect Empire rice, but this rice produced from foreign paddy does affect the price of imported foreign clean rice. It can, I am informed, be sold—that is the rice milled from the paddy—at about 1s. a cwt. cheaper than the imported foreign clean rice. That should appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite, because the industry in this country produces rice at slightly below the imported finished article from abroad. As the Empire learns to produce the higher-priced rice the situation will cure itself naturally. I believe that the trend of the figures which I have given—decreasing imports of foreign rice and rising imports of Empire rice—will continue, even if this Clause is omitted from the Bill.
In conclusion, I make two suggestions to the Parliamentary Secretary. I ask him whether, after the arguments which I have produced—and I think any hon. Member who has read the memorandum will agree that there is no loophole in those arguments—he will withdraw this Clause for one year and see whether what has been termed the undermining of the Ottawa Agreement is indeed a reality. During his speech on the Budget Resolutions he used such expressions as "the undermining of preference," and "the threatening of preference," and "the frustration of preference" and other phrases to that effect. I think I have shown clearly that the Ottawa preference has not been undermined and that the Agreements are working well, in the spirit and in the way which those who framed them desired. Will he therefore withdraw this Clause in order to see whether the complaint of India will be substantiated or whether the natural tendency to which I have referred will continue?
If he cannot do that, will he, either by law or by a gentleman's agreement—such, for instance, as an agreement that certain taxation upon beer shall not be passed on by the brewers to the consumer—come to some arrangement with the millers or the importers that the amount imported last year or over a period of years, or whatever he considers a fair amount, shall not be exceeded this year, and that the status quo shall continue for another year. It can then be seen whether the tendency to decrease the imports of foreign rice and increase the imports of Empire rice will con- 256 tinue. The Clause as it stands can have no other effect but that of putting out of business those engaged in rice milling and the people whom they employ. It will do double harm because the importation of paddy means the importation of double the bulk, involving shipping, transport and handling, all of which goes to create more work. If the Clause is not withdrawn the milling of paddy in this country will be stopped, and I contend very strongly that it will not in any way benefit India.
§ 7.19 p.m.
§ Mr. CLEARY
I do not pose as an expert on this subject, but it affects firms and factories in Liverpool and any reference to the importation of "paddies" is of course relevant to the City of Liverpool. There are two or three points which I desire to place before the Committee on the basis of the information which has been given to me. This industry, as we have it in Liverpool and in other parts of the country, employs a large amount of labour in transport, cartage and warehousing, which employment will no longer arise if the rice is milled abroad. Again, the yield of clean rice is only 50 per cent. and the argument is therefore advanced that this proposal will, in effect, place a duty of 2d. per lb. upon British-milled white rice while there will be a duty of only 1d. per lb. upon the same rice milled by foreign millers. Another point brought to my attention is that the duty will not check the importation of foreign rice but will merely transfer to foreign mills the milling now done by British millers. On the question of benefiting India, which, apparently, is the desire behind the action of the Government, the interested parties point out that it affects luxury rice which India cannot yet produce and, therefore, the desired effect will not be achieved by the new duty. It is difficult to appreciate why British millers, who are working their hardest to oust foreign rices from the United Kingdom market, should be penalised in this way. Finally, there is the effect upon Liverpool, already a depressed and hardly-hit area, to strengthen the plea for fresh consideration of this important point, and the hope that the representations that have been made in the Committee by hon. Members and by the interests concerned, will have some effect.
§ 7.22 p.m.
§ Mr. HERBERT WILLIAMS
I am not an expert on this subject, as is my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers), but I have tried to understand this Clause in the light of the information available in the May issue of the Trade and Navigation Returns, published yesterday. Unfortunately that information is not as complete as I would like. Rice appears in three categories in the monthly return, though no doubt the annual statement, which will be published later, will contain fuller information. The three categories are, first, rice, husked or clean, second, broken rice and mixtures of whole and broken rice and third, rice meal and dust. Unfortunately, the particular class of rice, the duty on which it is proposed to alter, does not appear to be separately classified in the returns. There is, therefore, available to us no information as to what has been happening with regard to the importation of the kind of rice which we are discussing, namely rice in the husk. No doubt the Customs have that information and perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade will give it to us when he replies.
Let us examine, however, what has happened in the case of those classes of rice on which information is available. The returns give certain particulars for the current year, for 1934 and for 1933. I take the first five months of each year and there is no reason to believe that they are not characteristic of the whole 12 months in each case. The imports of the first category from British India in the first five months of 1933 were, 387,000 cwt.; in the same period of 1934 that figure had increased to 498,000 cwt., and in the present year it had increased to 596,000 cwt. That is a remarkable rate of increase which indicates that as far as "rice, husked or cleaned" is concerned India is doing very well. I may mention that the imports in the first five months of this year were worth £250,000. When we come to "broken rice and mixture" which apparently is not very good stuff there has been some decrease in the amount from India though not much of a decrease—nothing comparable in quantity to the very large increase under the first heading.
I come to the important category, namely rice meal which is a very much more valuable product. Whereas rice 258 husked is worth about 10s. a cwt., rice meal is worth nearly 14s. a cwt. Under that head, I find that the imports from India have increased to a marked extent. In five months of 1933 they amounted to 67,000 cwt., but in 1934 that figure had increased to 106,000 cwt. and there is a slight drop this year when the figure is 103,000 cwt. But the most significant figure of all is that of the imports of rice meal and dust from foreign countries this year. I wish that I had looked up the April figure because this change came into operation some time during April, but whereas in the month of May last year we imported rice meal and dust from foreign countries to the extent of only 146 cwt., in May of this year the figure was 10,638 cwt. Apparently, foreign rice flour is now suddenly coming in, to a much larger extent than formerly. It may be that this is only the figure for one month, but it is the first complete month since the change was made and it seems to show that while shutting out rice in husk, we have a very large increase in the imports of the much more valuable commodity rice meal. It is true that in 1933, 1,035 cwt. came in, but I ask the Committee to consider that the figure this month is ten times the figure of May, 1933, and the value was £35,000 in the month, so that it is not a negligible value.
I never like to draw definite conclusions from the statistics of one month. I know how dangerous it is but in so far as these figures have any significance they confirm the case made out by my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst. He said that if you put a duty on the raw material and did not, at the same time, increase the duty on the manufactured product, all that happened was that you did not import the raw material but you did import the manufactured product and displaced your own people from employment. As far as these figures go, subject to the qualifications which I have just made, they confirm that point of view. In all the circumstances, unless the Parliamentary Secretary can produce a volume of evidence of a kind which it is a little difficult to anticipate—though I know what wonders can come out of the Board of Trade—some of us will be in a considerable difficulty. Anxious as we all are on this side to promote Imperial unity and Imperial trade, this seems the wrong 259 way of going about it. Unless this Clause is to be accompanied by another Clause and a further Financial Resolution, imposing definitely higher duties on husked rice and rice meal, many of us will find ourselves in a position of great difficulty when you, Captain Bourne, put the Question from the Chair.
§ 7.28 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Dr. Burgin)
The proper course for a Minister to take, in view of the way this matter has been debated, is to give the fullest possible information to the Committee at the earliest stage in the discussion, so that the contrary point of view can be expressed. I do not dissent from the broad statement of facts made to the Committee, but I want to give to the Committee some information which they have not yet had. Let us approach this matter from the year 1932, trace out the importations of rice since, and see whether the deductions that have been drawn by hon. Members are correct or whether the facts are capable of any other explanation. Let us also bear in mind that while it may be necessary, in order to implement an agreement under the Ottawa arangements, to impose a duty on a particular substance, namely, paddy, there is, of course, nothing to prevent any industry from applying at any time to the Import Duties Advisory Committee for a duty on some other article which may be affected consequentially by what we are doing in this Finance Bill. For instance, reference was made in the concluding remarks of the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) to the fact that the effect might be that art imported article could come into this country in a manufactured state rather than the manufacture being carried on here. Assuming that to be true, there would be no objection to the millers of rice in this country applying to the Import Duties Advisory Committee to consider the case whether or not a duty should be imposed, under the ordinary procedure, higher than the existing duty on clean rice.
But how does this matter come about? One of the aims of the Government of India at the Ottawa Conference was to increase the trade of India with the United Kingdom in rice generally. That was the very definite object of the Gov- 260 ernment of India. The United Kingdom supplies of rice for home consumption had, up to that time, been imported in the form of clean, whole rice, and India sent roughly a third and other countries sent roughly two-thirds. I am taking the figures roughly, but I have the exact quantities should the Committee desire them. One of the provisions, therefore, of the agreement concluded with India at Ottawa was an undertaking on the part of Great Britain to increase the duty on rice husked, including cargo rice and cleaned rice, but not including broken rice, to a penny a pound, and that duty was imposed as from the 1st January, 1933, by the Ottawa Agreements (No. 2) Order, 1932, made under the Ottawa Agreements Act. The object, to increase the trade between India and the United Kingdom in rice; the method of doing it, a duty on foreign rice with a view to giving India a preference. That substantial preference has, as the figures which have been quoted have shown, worked very well, in that the imports from India have tended steadily to rise, whereas the imports from other countries have tended to fall.
If I may trouble the Committee for a moment with figures to the nearest 100,000 cwt., I think I can make the position clear. In the years 1930 to 1934 the imports of cleaned rice into the United Kingdom from India, to the nearest 100,000 cwt., have been 400,000, 500,000, 500,000, 600,000 and 800,000 cwt. On the other hand, the imports of cleaned rice from other countries, not separating between Empire and foreign but merely taking non-India, have shown a tendency to decrease, as the figures from 1930 to 1934, again to the nearest 100,000 cwt., show, namely, 900,000, 1,000,000, 1,000,000, 400,000, and 500,000 cwt.—a tendency rather to fall, a rather surprisingly large import in the year 1932, whether or not connected with forestalling I do not pause to say, but in 1933 falling to under 400,000 and in 1934 still being under 550,000, so that you do get the effect of the Ottawa Agreement implemented by figures showing a progressively increasing import of rice from India and a progressively decreasing import of rice from other countries than India.
The case that has been made out this evening has been that you have a British industry, employing British labour, carrying on a legitimate trade, that has 261 a right to expect some security in its trading position, threatened by a Clause in this year's Finance Bill. I think that accurately puts the case that has been put forward by the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. C. Brown) and the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers), and supported by the hon. Members for Wavertree (Mr. Cleary) and South Croydon. Let us look at the facts. In the year 1932 no trade of any magnitude in the importation of foreign paddy existed at all. The contemplation that anybody would import foreign paddy for the purpose of hulling and husking in this country had not entered the mind of the Government of India or of the negotiators on the part of the United Kingdom Government in dealing with this matter at Ottawa.
In the year 1932 there were 2 cwt. recorded in the Customs return as the total quantity of this foreign, usually Spanish, uncleaned rice that came into this country. But what happened? It was perceived that there might be a possibility of importing that paddy and a trade has sprung up, since 1932, in a foreign imported article. Since the Import Duties Act of 1932 a business that is built upon the basis of its material being a foreign import is built up with the knowledge that there may be a restriction or a duty applied to that foreign commodity. That is self-evident. That it has to be dealt with on its merits, I admit at once, but I want, in examining the case of the British miller, who says: "I think I was entitled to security of trading conditions for the new industry I have started," to reply: "You have started this with the knowledge that the material upon which you were depending was a material coming from a foreign country, in regard to which the Import Duties Advisory Committee could at any moment, upon proper application, make a recommendation with regard to a duty." The 2 cwt. in 1932 became 20,000 cwt. in the following year, became 333,000 cwt. in 1934, and in the first five months of this year has increased to the rate of 500,000 cwt. in the course of a year.
There is, therefore, something going on to which the Government of India were entitled to pay very considerable attention. What has been the effect of the importation of this commodity, hitherto not imported, but imported in this 262 startling geometrical progression since the year 1932? It has been, in the mind of the Government of India, to constitute a menace to the preference of a penny a pound on rice which the Ottawa Agreement was intended to give them. I am not arguing the reasons which the Government of India had for coming to that conclusion, but I am telling the Committee as a fact that the Government of India have come to the conclusion, on what appear to them to be good evidence and satisfactory grounds, that this sudden growth of an unlooked-for import, not taken into account at Ottawa, has, in their judgment, constituted a new factor which in their mind seriously threatens the preference of a penny a pound which it was the contractual obligation of the United Kingdom to give them as a result of the Ottawa Agreement.
§ Sir W. SMITHERS
Is the figure of 500,000 cwt. for 1935 the figure for the five months or the rate per annum?
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
Is it a fact that these particular milling operations have largely been created under Spanish influences?
§ Dr. BURGIN
Perhaps we might deal with the matter rather more generally than by an examination of that particular point. The point that I am making is that the Government of India, faced with this complete alteration in trading conditions since 1932, have come to the United Kingdom Government and said, "This new trade that has sprung up, this trade whose origin is subsequent to 1932, this trade which we constantly warned the millers we should regard as being likely to undermine our preference, is having the precise effect that we said it would have." The United Kingdom has, to some extent, as a consumer had a prejudice in favour of the expensive foreign rice, and one of the objects of Ottawa in attempting to increase the trade between the United Kingdom and India in rice was to overcome the prejudice that appears to exist with regard to the difference between Empire rice and these foreign ricer, and India has come along and said, "When this method of paddy import first showed itself by the trade returns, we instructed our trade commissioner to inform the United Kingdom authorities that we 263 regarded this trade as an inroad upon the preference." That inroad having continued in the very startling way to which I have called attention, the Government of India have renewed their protest and asked that this duty should be put on to deal with a situation which, in their view, evades the preference that we had intended to give them at Ottawa.
Some reference was made to the calculation of the duty. The hon. Member for Chislehurst gave a long account of the different qualities of rice, the different ways in which they were treated, their different yields, and so on. I do not pause to examine the accuracy of those technical details. I am willing to accept them for the purpose of this argument, without of course, having had expert advice as to their accuracy, but the calculation of two-thirds of a penny a pound has been made by those best qualified to do it as being the figure to which the 10 per cent., the one-tenth of a penny at present, ought to be raised in order to give India a preference for paddy corresponding to the preference of a penny a pound on clean rice after allowance is made for loss of weight on milling. I am only saying that because there is nothing capricious about the two-thirds of a penny. It is a mathematical calculation intended to be a complete fulfilment of the United Kingdom agreement with the Government of India made at Ottawa, and is intended to be the precise equivalent of the penny a pound on clean rice after allowance is made for loss of weight on milling.
That really is the Government's case—a request from the Government of India to implement a provision of the Ottawa Agreement under which the plain intention was to give this preference of a penny, a new trade arising, new circumstances coming into existence which appear to undermine the preference already conceded, and so a duty of a corresponding type imposed against the other articles to bring about the same result. If, as a consequence, the foreign rice still comes in, if it be true that this will not have the effect of shutting out the demand for other rice, then application for a duty on that rice must be made, in accordance with the ordinary procedure, by organised bodies in the trade who give the proper evidence and are subject to the proper examination. This is a matter which arises now, and all I have to do is to ask 264 the Committee to resist the Amendment, which would, of course, have the effect of leaving the duty on paddy at a tenth of a penny, as it is now.
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
As I understand it, the Parliamentary Secretary has established a complete case for doing something with this new importation, but can he give me any reason, other than pure pedantry, why we do not at once alter the duties right along the scale and then provide, if it is necessary that they should be subsequently adjusted, that the Import Duties Advisory Committee should be free to make any subsequent minor adjustments? Why, for pure pedantry, should we imperil the industry while the Advisory Committee examines the matter?
§ 7.46 p.m.
§ Sir H. CROFT
May I urge the Minister to consider whether, on the facts given earlier in the Debate, this proposal may be defeated by the importation of foreign meal? Having taken an active part in resisting a certain Measure at an earlier date, I feel that it would be rather unfortunate if one of our first acts here in a Debate on trade with India, was to fail to listen to the serious fears which have come from such important bodies as the Chamber of Commerce in Burma and which are also felt very strongly in India. I confess I do not know a great deal about this subject, but I believe it is true that the Spaniards saw an opening and are proposing another mill in Liverpool, through which they are hoping to get an inflow of Spanish rice into this country. It is true also that German interests have established a factory on the Thames. If these facts are true, there is a danger of certain importing concerns permanently establishing this foreign trade.
§ Mr. C. BROWN
Is it not part of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's policy to attract new industries to this country?
§ Sir H. CROFT
Yes, unless they harm Imperial interests. Under the Ottawa policy we have definitely undertaken to do everything we can to deflect the importation of rice from foreign countries to India, and that policy has been highly successful. I am only anxious at the moment to see if we can get at the facts. I rejoice to hear from the speech of the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. C. 265 Brown) that there are at long last representatives on those benches who wish to see more food produced in this country. I am glad to see that their education has gone on. At the same time, I believe that the actual amount of employment in hulling is very small and involves the employment of only two or three men in each factory. We should take care that there is not any feeling engendered in these early days in India or Burma that we are not carrying out the full spirit of the Ottawa Agreement.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
I should be glad to know the Parliamentary Secretary's answer to the point which was put by two hon. Members who addressed the Committee before he rose, namely, that if you leave this Clause as it is the major effect will be to raise the duty on foreign rice milled in this country to the equivalent of 2d. a lb., whereas the ground rice, if it is milled abroad, will come into this country and will pay a duty of 1d. per lb. If that be so, this Clause will penalise the milling of this article in this country and allow the milled article to come in with an advantageous rate of duty. If the duty is still to be 1d. a lb. on the milled foreign rice, what good are we doing to India? That is the point I would like answered. We seem to be proceeding, as the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) said, on the principle of pedantry, and this principle will in the meanwhile kill a new industry in this country and do no good except to foreign millers. It certainly will not do any good to India. The Parliamentary Secretary did not deal with that point. If the statement circulated to hon. Members be true, we ought to pause seriously before we pass this Clause. It seems that it ought to have something added to it which will make it possible to carry on the industry of milling the foreign rice in this country, at any rate, on terms not inferior to those under which it can be done abroad. We should not put out of business milling in this country unless we do something, by raising the duty on the finished product, so as to allow them to compete on equal terms.
§ 7.53 p.m.
§ Mr. D. D. REID
I cannot say that the Parliamentary Secretary has convinced me. As I understand his argu- 266 ment, it is that this trade of importing paddy has grown up since 1932. Can he tell us how much foreign milled rice was imported into this country before 1932? I understand that foreign rice and Empire rice have all the time been coming into this country. They serve, to a large extent, different purposes. The Parliamentary Secretary's argument was that since 1932 foreign rice has been coming into the country and that it has produced a new industry here. I do not suppose that we have got to the stage when, if people prefer foreign rice, they are to be told they cannot have it. I presume, therefore, that it will always come in. The only point before the Committee, therefore, is whether the result of this Clause will be to drive the trade away from the mills in this country. If that will be the effect, we ought not to pass it. The hon. Gentleman talked about prejudice in favour of foreign rice. It is not prejudice; it is a difference in taste. I understand that for cooking purposes foreign rice and Indian rice serve different purposes and that they are not at all the same thing. Therefore, let us be certain that if we are not going to do India any good we are not going to do ourselves any harm.
§ 7.55 p.m.
Mr. GURNEY BRAITHWAITE
I have listened with care to every speech in this interesting technical Debate, including that of the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. C. Brown), who, not for the first time, has stood up as the champion of the employment of our own people; and also the speeches of the hon. Member for Chislehurst (Sir W. Smithers) and the Parliamentary Secretary. In spite of listening to all these speeches, I am still in a situation of considerable difficulty with regard to this Clause. The matter seems to me primarily one of machinery. I think that the hon. Member for Mansfield and the hon. Member for Chislehurst made out their cases, and that the Parliamentary Secretary also theoretically established his case for dealing with one item in the whole machine of Imperial preference. I would, however, ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether there could be a more unfortunate method of operating the machine of Imperial preference than through this Clause and by throwing out of work our people at home? It would, perhaps, strike a blow at the whole policy, and it would be most un- 267 fortunate from the point of view of the signatories of the Ottawa Agreements.
The point seems to be one of machinery. Is it not possible for us to act in this matter without the inevitable delay which would result from these millers having to make application to the Import Duties Advisory Committee? That body has done extremely useful work in setting up our tariff system, but the fact remains that this House can impose duties whenever it thinks fit, and at once. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that the practical way of dealing with this difficult and technical matter might be to insert in the Finance Bill between now and the Report stage the necessary consequential duties to retain the Imperial preference policy which is being inserted in this Clause, and to make the duties upon the foreign product operate from the Report stage. I am not prepared at this stage to vote against the Clause, but if, when we reach the Report stage, I find that the necessary consequential duties have not been inserted in order to deal with the difficulty raised by the hon. Member opposite, I shall feel it my duty to go into the Lobby against the Government.
§ 7.58 p.m.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
It seems that the only possible argument in favour of the Government's provision is that something may be done to upset the Ottawa Agreement. I understand from the Debate, and it was admitted by the Parliamentary Secretary, that, as a result of the Ottawa Agreement, the Indian portion of the rice trade has been steadily rising. If that be so, what is the India grievance? If they have more trade than before Ottawa, it means that there is less foreign trade to this country. The Government then come to the Committee with the remarkable fact that, whereas in 1932 only two cwt. of foreign rice was milled in this country, there were in 1934 330,000 cwt. In other words, foreign rice, which was previously milled abroad, is now, for the purpose of getting into our market, being milled here and is employing British labour. Why is it milled here? It is because our people are in a position to do it better. The Parliamentary Secretary shakes his head, but he never gave any reason to show why India should complain if her trade is rising. It may be that the 268 rice that is being milled here now was previously milled in India, but we were not told that. If it be part of the agreement that India should have this valuable milling trade as well, we accept it, but the position which has been put to us in this Debate is not very strong so far as the Government are concerned because they have given no reason whatever.
India is getting an ever-growing proportion of the rice trade, and we are simply taking apparently from some other source the actual manufacture. If the Indians think that, by getting it polished here, sooner or later they will be in a different position and will not have the advantage in these markets that they have to-day, what you must do is to increase their preference, but you should not do it in such a way that you kill our grinding, milling and polishing trade. The Government should go into this matter very carefully, and, unless they can produce a very much stronger case than they have done, somewhere between now and Report, they ought to deal with it in such a way that they do not kill this new industry. The Parliamentary Secretary said that surely they knew that this was happening. They knew that they were taking this risk. What risk? The risk of building up under a tariff an industry employing people in this country? That is admitted. That is the position that we see to-day, and we ought to be able first of all to preserve the Indian trade in accordance with our agreements, which we are doing, and in the second place to preserve our own very valuable trade and turn the raw material into the finished product in this country. I appeal to the Government very strongly, if they cannot accept the Amendment, to undertake to go into the question from the point of view of the trade and industry of the country. They have not shown us that the Indian trade is losing its market. They have shown that there is this enormous growth of the Indian trade. It may be that we are manufacturing the Indian raw material in this country.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
That takes away the only possible loophole. I hope the Government will consider the matter very carefully.
§ 8.3 p.m.
§ Mr. OSWALD LEWIS
The Parliamentary Secretary has sought to convince the Committee that this importation undermines, or threatens to undermine, the agreements made at Ottawa. It seems to me that to support that contention, he must be able to produce certain figures showing that the importation of foreign paddy constitutes an addition to the total imporation of foreign rice of all kinds. As I understand the case put by many Members on both sides, it is that the importation of this paddy is merely a substitution for foreign cleaned rice and not an addition to the total importation of foreign rice of all kinds. Seeing that the figures of the total importation of foreign rice of all kinds are still falling, it would at first sight seem as if the argument rests with those who are opposing the Clause rather than with the Parliamentary Secretary. If the hon. Gentleman has any figures to show us that this foreign paddy constitutes an addition to the total importation of foreign rice of all kinds, and therefore undermines the agreements, or that it will grow to an extent which will undermine the agreements, he will prove his case. In the absence of any such figures it seems to me that his whole case falls to the ground. The form in which we choose to import such foreign rice as we take is no business of the Government of India. They are concerned with the total amount that we import in order that by reducing it we may increase the total of Indian rice that we import, but they are not concerned with the form. Unless we can hear something further from the Parliamentary Secretary I hope very much that he will tell us that he will reconsider the Clause before Report; otherwise, it seems to me to be exceedingly difficult for any supporters of the Government who have listened to the Debate to support him in the Division Lobby, although he may be supported by those who have not heard the Debate.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Sir W. SMITHERS
I was very disappointed with the Parliamentary Secretary's reply. He did not even take the trouble to answer two or three definite questions that I put to him. I asked him, first, how the agitation arose and whether he realised what the effect would be on British millers. He might have answered that specific question, of which 270 I thought he took a note. He gave the figures of non-Empire exports, and he said that the object of the Ottawa duties has been carried out and that the one-third importation from Empire sources and two-thirds from foreign sources previous to Ottawa had been reversed. I really cannot see what complaint the Indian people have. There is another point that he did not see fit to take up. I pointed out that it is only 10,000 tons of cleaned white rice resulting from 20,000 tons of paddy that we are asking to be kept going, which is a very small proportion—.0315 per cent. of the whole Indian production. I also asked if the British Government have no option. Have they simply to take the Indian Government's word blindly? All he could say was that he was not aware of the reason which had prompted their request. In fact, it was not his business to know. They asked for this duty to be put on, and the British Government had done so. Why was not the matter gone into more carefully? Are we really to be told seriously that the Indian traders are to say that the 40 per cent. of better class rice consumed here is merely a prejudice when the public are willing to pay double the price for it? Things are coming to a pretty pass when we are to be told by Act of Parliament whether we shall eat rice at £1 or 10s. a cwt.
There is a further point that demands some explanation. The hon. Gentleman said that the two-thirds of a penny was decided upon by those best qualified to judge. Surely those best qualified to judge are the people engaged in the trade themselves. As there is no revenue attached to the duty why were not the millers, who in my opinion are best able to judge, consulted? The hon. Gentleman completely ignored my suggestions to defer it for a year and see if the Indian complaint was in reality a good one, and also to give some form of quota. I hope he will do something before the Report stage to put the matter right.
§ 8.12 p.m.
§ Dr. BURGIN
Of course, I give the Committee the assurance that everything that has been said will be most carefully taken into consideration between now and Report. Obviously, speeches of the character that have been made deserve the closest attention, and calculations and figures will all be closely looked into. I 271 am very sorry if my hon. Friend thought me guilty of any discourtesy. I had, of course, no such intention, but in a speech of short dimensions in which I was endeavouring to give the information in my possession I did not reply textually to the long series of questions—
§ Dr. BURGIN
I took down seven. It was not that there was any difficulty in replying to them. I will, of course, go into all those matters. Having given that assurance, let me briefly pull the argument together. I would make particular reference to the speech of the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), who seemed at some pains to understand why these imports of paddy from foreign countries should be discouraged and why an industry that is growing up here should be affected by a Clause of this kind. Let me tell him why. At Ottawa it was agreed that there should be a penny duty on rice and, of of course, a preference. Paddy under the ordinary general ad valorem duty, not being rice, is only liable to a tenth of a penny. Certain clever people see that it would pay them to import paddy, perform operations on it in this country, and sell it in competition with the rice that comes in at a penny.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
It is clear that we have the industry in this country, and it is equally clear that no proof has yet been given that this is taking away Indian trade, and the Indian trade is still growing.
§ Dr. BURGIN
I wanted to proceed by stages. I wanted to point out that it was not an accident that paddy is imported when it has a duty of only one-tenth of a penny per lb. whereas rice has a duty of one penny. It is wrong to imagine that all foreign rice is expensive or is of good quality. There is quite a large amount of cheap foreign rice which comes into this country. There is a large field in which the preference given to India is effective in stimulating the consumption of Indian rice. It is very largely a price question. The average price for the rice from India last year was about 7s. 10d. per cwt., from Spain 10s. per cwt. and from Italy 11s. The present duty of one penny a lb. on foreign cleaned rice is 9s. 4d. per cwt., 272 so that gives Indian rice a very substantial price advantage, because it makes the price of the foreign rice more than double that of the Indian. Have I made that point clear—that by that price difference there is a very considerable advantage to India? But that advantage will be reduced and cut into if it pays to import paddy, mill it here and sell it in competition with the cheaper rice. The average value of the imported paddy from Spain in the first four months of this year was 8s. 8d. per cwt. A duty of 10 per cent. only is payable on that paddy, that is, one-tenth of a penny per lb. There is, therefore, the opportunity of milling Spanish paddy here and selling the cleaned Spanish rice at a lower price than would be possible if clean Spanish rice were imported, and it would be possible, therefore, to cut into the competition in price levels between Indian and the cheaper foreign rice. That is the position; and I end as I began by saying I would ask the Committee to resist the Amendment, which would have the effect of putting the duty on paddy back to one-tenth of a penny and encourage this biting into the preference given at Ottawa. But between now and Report stage I will examine with the officials and with everybody else concerned the speeches and arguments which have been put forward to-day.
§ 8.18 p.m.
§ Sir W. SMITHERS
If these arguments are to be taken note of it is impossible to let the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary pass without saying two or three more words. He has produced arguments now to show that the rice produced from imported Spanish paddy can be sold at a cheaper price than the clean imported Spanish rice. I agree, and I told him that in his room at the Board of Trade. In my speech I said the difference was about 1s. per cwt. But I do deny absolutely that the rice milled from the Spanish paddy can in any way compete with Empire rice. There is one other point which my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester (Mr. Lewis) put forward which is most important. He made the point that what mattered was the total imports of rice from foreign sources, in whatever form. May I give the Committee the figures of cleaned rice, excluding paddy—foreign cleaned 273 white rice? In 1932 they were 53,000 tons and they have fallen to 21,000 tons, fallen by over half. In a letter from the Parliamentary Secretary's own Department, dated 13th June, it states:Very little cleaned rice has been imported from Spain this year.Naturally, very little cleaned rice. All we want is that the rice shall come in the form of paddy and be milled in this
§ country, and that will naturally stop any increase in imported foreign cleaned rice. I do hope these points will also be taken into account when the hon. Gentleman and his advisers look into the matter.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 185; Noes, 53.275
|Division No. 235.]||AYES.||[8.20 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Hales, Harold K.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Assheton, Ralph||Hammersley, Samuel S.||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Balley, Eric Alfred George||Hanbury, Sir Cecil||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Harbord, Arthur||Remer, John R.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Rickards, George William|
|Beit, Sir Alfred L.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Boulton, W. W.||Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Bower, Commander Robert Tatton||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Hore-Bellsha, Rt. Hon. Leslie||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Bracken, Brendan||Hornby, Frank||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Hurd, Sir Percy||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Llverp't)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Jamieson, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Salt, Edward W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. Ernest (Leith)||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney)|
|Burghley, Lord||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Selley, Harry R.|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Burnett, John George||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Lees-Jones, John||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Lewis, Oswald||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Carver, Major William H.||Liddall, Walter S.||Smith, Sir J. Walker (Barrow-In-F.)|
|Cassels, James Dale||Llewellin, Major John J.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Somerville, Sir Donald|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Loftus, Pierce C.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Clayton, Sir Christopher||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Mabane, William||Spens, William Patrick|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. Sir Charles||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Bassetlaw)||Stevenson, James|
|Conant, R. J. E.||McKie, John Hamilton||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Cook, Thomas A.||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Stones, James|
|Cooke, Douglas||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Cooper, T. M. (Edinburgh, W.)||Martin, Thomas B.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Mayhew, Lieut-Colonel John||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Mellor, Sir J. S. P.||Templeton, William P.|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Thomson, Sir James D. W.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Moreing, Adrian C.||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Train, John|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Moss, Captain H. J.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Munro, Patrick||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Eastwood, John Francis||Nall, Sir Joseph||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Elmley, Viscount||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Penny, Sir George||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Percy, Lord Eustace||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Worthington, Sir John|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Wragg, Herbert|
|Gledhill, Gilbert||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n)|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grimston, R. V.||Pike, Cecil F.||Mr. Blindell and Captain Hope.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Powell, Lieut-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Banfield, John William||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Batey, Joseph||Cleary, J. J.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. Clement R.||Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Cove, William G.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Janner, Barnett||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Curry, A. C.||Jenkins, Sir William||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Dobbie, William||Kirkwood, David||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Edwards, Sir Charles||Lawson, John James||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Leonard, William||Thorne, William James|
|Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Logan, David Gilbert||West, F. R.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Lunn, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wilmot, John|
|Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Groves, Thomas E.||Mallalleu, Edward Lancelot|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Milner, Major James||Mr. John and Mr. Paling.|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Nathan, Major H. L.|