HC Deb 09 November 1937 vol 328 cc1573-5
46. Mrs. Tate

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give the full reply of the Import Duties Advisory Committee to the application made recently on behalf of milk producers for increased duties on butter and cheese.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Simon)

The circumstances in this case are identical with those in the case of the application for increased duties on eggs in shell and table poultry and I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies which I gave in that connection to my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth (Sir J. Mellor) on 28th October and 2nd November.

Mrs. Tate

In view of the fact that the Import Duties Advisory Committee has only power to consider a straight tariff with its effects on the community and on trade, can we know whether they are to have any power to consider the Government's policy of a levy subsidy for which the agricultural industry still waits?

Sir J. Simon

I think my hon. Friend will see on reflection that that could not, by any stretch of imagination, be regarded as supplementary to the original question.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the document which has been circulated this morning containing a report of the Import Duties Advisory Committee in respect of other milk products, is part of the document containing reference to the milk products mentioned in this question?

Sir J. Simon

I am afraid I have not seen the document to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is the first time that a recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee has been circulated without having attached to it the decision of the Government on the recommendation?

Sir John Mellor

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the whole question of the publication of these decisions of the Import Duties Advisory Committee with a view to giving the reasons for a negative decision just as fully as those for a positive decision?

Sir J. Simon

My hon. Friend will remember that when he put a similar question some time ago I explained to him that the Import Duties Advisory Committee had made no recommendation and their decision to that effect was published.

Sir J. Mellor

I was asking the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider the matter.