HC Deb 01 April 1938 vol 333 cc2313-41

1.6 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Captain Euan Wallace)

I beg to move: That the Additional Import Duties (No. 3) Order, 1938, dated the tenth day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-eight, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said tenth day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-eight, be approved. This Order is designed to impose a minimum specific duty on handkerchiefs made wholly or partly of cotton, in order to give manufacturers in the United Kingdom protection against abnormally cheap imports from Japan. Prior to the issue of the present Order on 10th March, handkerchiefs of all sizes were liable to a duty of 20 per cent. ad valorem, or 30 per cent. ad valorem if they contained lace or embroidery, and these rates of duty will continue to apply as an alternative to the minimum specific duty which the Order now seeks to impose. The Order, which has been issued on the recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee, relates to handkerchiefs made wholly or partly of cotton, wool, hemp, flax or jute. Most handkerchiefs, as the House knows, are made either of linen, that is flax, or cotton. Linen handkerchiefs and the better qualities of cotton handkerchiefs are, in the main, priced at a level which puts them entirely beyond the scope of this alternative specific duty, and in practice, therefore, the change in duty of which I am asking the House to approve would only affect the cheaper—indeed, the very cheapest—type of cotton handkerchiefs.

The scope of this new specific duty has been further restricted by limiting its application to those handkerchiefs which neither in width nor length exceed 24 inches. These limitations have been inserted in order to exclude so-called handkerchiefs of very much larger sizes which, I understand, are now used for bead or neckwear. The Committee have not included handkerchief material in the piece in their present recommendation; but they propose to watch the course of events carefully with regard to handkerchief material, and, if it should appear that the new duty is being avoided by the importation of this material, they may consider taking steps to close that loophole.

There is a substantial production of the cheaper types of cotton handkerchiefs in this country by firms situated mainly in the Manchester district. There was very little foreign competition in this class of trade until about four years ago, but since then there has been a very striking increase in imports from Japan at prices with which British manufacturers are unable to compete. As a result, the market has become disorganised, and there has been a marked decline in home production.

Let me support that contention with a few figures. In 1933 the imports of handkerchiefs were 1,186 cwts. at a c.i.f. value of £31,426, and of those imports only 35 cwts. valued at £401 came from Japan. Four years later, in 1937, the position had materially changed; our total imports were 6,093 cwts., valued at £83,081, and of that quantity no less than 5,768 cwts. came from Japan at a total value of £60,834. Therefore, more than 90 per cent. of the handkerchiefs imported in 1937 came from Japan, and the average c.i.f. value of those imports was the very low figure of 1s. 10½d. per lb. The House may not at first sight appreciate the smallness of that sum. Let me, therefore, give the average price per lb. of the imports from other countries. Those which came from Switzerland were valued on the average at 17s. 8d. per lb, those which came from Germany at I2s. 10½d. per lb. and those which came from other foreign countries—such as France, Belgium, China and Austria, a very small proportion of our imports—were valued at us. 8d. per lb. The goods which came from within the British Empire, that is, from Canada, India and Hong Kong, also a very small proportion, were valued at 5s. 7½d. per lb. The Japanese imports, as I say, were valued only at 1s. 10½d. per lb. On those cheap Japanese goods the average ad valorem incidence of the new specific duty would be about 80 per cent. On the basis of the average c.i.f. value as we know it for last year, the higher priced goods imported from within the Empire and from other foreign countries would not be affected at all by the specific duty which is imposed by this Order as an alternative to the ad valorem duty.

The Japanese goods in question consisted partly of children's small handkerchiefs weighing 2 lb. to the gross, and costing an average of about 3s. 6d. per gross c.i.f., and partly of larger-sized handkerchiefs which are used by adults. Both these types, and particularly the larger-sized handkerchiefs, are produced in cheap qualities by British manufacturers, and although the new duty will, as I have explained, bear a high ad valorem incidence on the average of the Japanese imports, it is really no more than is necessary having regard to the very low price of these goods. British manufacturers, I am informed, have never made handkerchiefs for retail sale below 1d. each. They have always, however, produced goods for the cheap end of the trade, and until the Japanese entered the market they had the whole of this section of the trade to themselves.

British manufacturers still produce large quantities of penny handkerchiefs for distribution through the fixed price stores as well as the wholesale trade, and I believe there is not the slightest reason to suppose that the new duty will lead to any diminution in the supply of penny handkerchiefs. I made particular inquiries this morning in order to find out whether this would mean hardship to the people who wanted the cheapest possible kind of handkerchiefs, and to ascertain whether there existed halfpenny or even farthing handkerchiefs; and I am informed that that is not so. There may be one or two cases in which handkerchiefs have been sold at under a penny, but, substantially speaking, the penny handkerchief is the handkerchief which is bought by these people who want the cheapest handkerchief possible. The substitution, therefore, of an alternative specific duty, which will frankly hit the very cheap Japanese goods, will neither put up the price of the penny handkerchief nor lead to any diminution in the supply of these useful articles to the market.

I remember that on the last occasion when we discussed Import Duties Orders, hon. Members in various parts of the House were anxious to know exactly the home production and the number of people employed.

Mr. Kelly

And their conditions.

Captain Wallace

No complete figures of the home output of cotton handkerchiefs are available, because they are not separately listed, but it is estimated that the cheap handkerchiefs, comparable with those foreign goods affected by this Order, which are produced by British manufacturers to sell in the home market amount to between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 dozens annually, not by any means an inconsiderable amount.

Mr. A. V. Alexander

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman give us those figures in weight? The figures of imports that he gave were in weight of goods; could he give the home production in weight, so that we could compare them?

Captain Wallace

I will if I can later on. There is no direct evidence in my possession of a decline in the home production, but taking the trade as a whole—that is, the better-grade as well as the low-grade handkerchiefs—there was a decline in the quantity of grey cloth, which is what they are made of, used by eight large producing firms from 12,000,000 square yards in 1933 to 10,300,000 square yards in 1935, and down to 4,000,000 square yards in the first half of 1936; and the Committee are satisfied, from the inquiries that they have made, that this decline continued in the second half of 1936 and through 1937, and also that it was the cheap end of the trade that had largely suffered.

Separate employment figures for the cotton handkerchief industry are not available, but I have attempted to get made for me a number of calculations, which, I am afraid, are contingent on various factors which cannot be exactly stated, but which I can put to the House like this: It has been ascertained that six firms which carry out all the processes of manufacture, other than the production of the grey cloth, together employ about 1,200 workpeople; and on the assumption that about 60 per cent. of the output of these six firms would be sold to the cheap end of the trade, and making allowance for further output of cheap handkerchiefs, it is estimated that not far short of 1,000 workpeople, in addition to those weaving the cloth, are employed in the manufacture of handkerchiefs of the type with which this Order is concerned. I am excluding, as hon. Members will see, the better class and more expensive handkerchiefs, upon which the passing of this Order will have no effect. The total number of workpeople employed in the handkerchief industry as a whole would amount to several thousands.

The hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) asked me about wages. This trade is covered by a trade board, and changes in the rate of wages were made on 18th October last year in a sense favourable to the workers. I do not know that it would be necessary for me to cite to the House the various details of these wages, but if any hon. Member wishes for them, I shall, of course, with the permission of the House, be delighted to answer specific questions. I think the House will see that this Order to substitute an alternative specific duty for the existing ad valorem duty is simply a wise measure of protection against a a flood of imports from one particular direction, at prices with which the home manufacturers cannot compete. They will see, moreover, that the passing of this Order will have no effect upon the supply of home-made handkerchiefs to those people who wish, or indeed can only afford, to buy the cheapest varieties; and I hope, in these circumstances, the House will recognise that this is a thoroughly good proposal from every point of view, and accept the Motion.

Mr. T. Johnston

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, before sitting down, tell us what are the rates of wages paid to the Japanese workmen or workwomen, in comparison with the rates of wages paid to English workpeople?

Captain Wallace

I could not give the right hon. Gentleman exact details, because for instance, the hours worked in Japan are entirely different from the hours here, but I think it must be plain to the House that, when these handkerchiefs can be imported at an average price of 1s. 10½d. per lb., compared with 17s. 8d. from Switzerland, 12s. 10½d. from Germany, 11s. 8d. from other countries, and 5s. 7½d. from the British Empire, the wages paid in Japan cannot be such as could possibly be tolerated in this country.

Mr. Johnston

It is not necessarily so at all. It might be that the cheap flood of Japanese imports arises from Government subsidies.

1.24 p.m.

Mr. Alexander

There are many of us in this House to-day who, if we were considering the taking of measures by the Government by way of economic sanctions against Japan in relation to the widespread aggression which has taken place on her part ever since 1931, would have been prepared to back them, but this seems to me to be a very small, meagre, and almost petty, backdoor method of dealing with the question. If you, therefore, consider the case put by the Parliamentary Secretary purely on fiscal grounds, you are brought back to consider the general procedure which the Import Duties Advisory Committee pursue and to consider the kind of information which they usually give to this House when this House is asked to approve, after the imposition of a duty has taken place, the actual fact. This duty has been paid by the taxpayer ever since 13th March, and we are now asked to put a rubber stamp on the decision. We are simply given a White Paper which consists of a few dozen words and treats the House almost with complete contempt. We have complained against this again and again. There is no real information in the White Paper, and I beg the Parliamentary Secretary to talk to this Committee and tell them that we are the representatives of the taxpayer and have a right to know on what basis they come to their decision. We are obliged to the Parliamentary Secretary who, in the middle of a lunch hour on Friday, makes a longer speech than usual and gives us a lot of ancillary and additional information. We have, however, no chance of checking any of the statements with Government reports and Customs and Excise returns.

The Import Duties Advisory Committee treat the House with contempt, and it is about time it came to a stop. The actual information in the White Paper consists of just a few generalities. There is no real information at all. When I consider, from my own experience of commodity after commodity, the manner in which the common people are being mulcted in increasing taxation by this procedure, I think it is a disgusting thing that the House should be treated in this way. I looked this morning at the total figures of Customs duties shown in the financial return published last night Almost every week new duties are put on and this year the taxpayer is being charged something like £110,000,000 more in Customs Duties than in 1931. Over and over again we get these White Papers with no information in them, and then on pressure a little extra information trickles through bit by bit by the courtesy of the Parliamentary Secretary. We make no complaint about what he says to the House, but the Opposition say on this occasion that the time has come when we are not going to stand it any more. We insist on the right of the representatives of the taxpayers to have proper information before they are taxed. That is the right and the prerogative of the elected Members of this House. The information which is given must be adequate, informative and capable of being checked by hon. Members before they give their decision.

With regard to the actual tax which is now proposed, when we compare the sources of the imports, we find that the most expensive come from Switzerland; those from Germany are less expensive, and those from other countries less expensive still. Between the cheap Japanese imports and these more expensive imports there is, apparently, a considerable volume of imports at very low rates from Empire countries. There seems to be, however, a lack of knowledge on the part of the Parliamentary Secretary for the moment, or an unwillingness on the part of the Department, to supply the answer to the question of my right hon. Friend with regard to Japanese wages. When I compare the price of Empire imports, which is between 5s. and 6s. a pound, with the Swiss imports at 17s. or 18s., it seems there must be some pretty low wages paid in Empire countries. Before we begin to attack the wages and conditions of the British producers, we want to look at the Empire position. Is there a preferential duty in respect of these handkerchiefs from the Empire? We do not know from the White Paper which imports were foreign and which were Empire. We want to know what was the quantity from the Empire, what were the wages paid in the Empire, and what duty, if any, remains to be paid on the Empire product, or whether it is included in some schedule of the Ottawa Agreements?

We want to be informed of these things before we can come to a proper judgment on the duty. We also ask for information with regard to the conditions of employment in this country. It is always interesting when we begin to talk about the protection of the British worker on such manufactures as this to note that over and over again the trades concerned are such as have to be scheduled under the pre-war Act as sweated industries, and as industries in which the employés are not sufficiently organised to be able to do without a trade board. Here we have another instance of a trade board industry. It would be as well for the Parliamentary Secretary, before he gets a decision of the House, to tell us what are the trade board wages.

Captain Wallace

I will.

Mr. Alexander

The Parliamentary Secretary must see that the House ought not to be treated like this. I am not blaming him for working to a brief from a Department which is not wholly his Department, but is largely under the influence of the Treasury. But the Government must see that the House is entitled to the information in advance in a report given to the House. We want to know what are the actual wages paid in the industry. We also want to know what are the prices of the goods. The Parliamentary Secretary has told us that the average value of the handkerchiefs coming from Japan is 1s. 10½d. per lb. and that the duty is under 8 per cent. He has given us no real information about the really comparable article, and the prices that would be charged at this end. He has told us that, generally speaking, we do not charge less than 1d.; but what are the prices charged by the wholesaler to the retailer? What are the wholesale prices of the Japanese, Empire, Swiss and French imports which the retailer has to pay? We ought to know so that we can see how the duty will affect them.

I do not know what my hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) has to say about it; he has a wider knowledge of the workpeople in the industry; but I have grave doubts about accepting the type of calculation given this morning as to the number of people in the industry. The Import Duties Advisory Committee have heard the case and gone into it, and they ought to know how many workpeople are in the industry and how many there are to be protected. They ought to know what the wages are for this commodity. If they do not, they are not doing their job. If they are not doing their job, we ought not to be asked to put a rubber stamp on their decision. The Parliamentary Secretary says that there are no separate figures but that calculations subject to contingent factors and sub-divisions of this, that and the other kind give us a total of 1,000 people. I am beginning to doubt whether there are 1,000 people employed on the cheaper handkerchiefs.

We are tired of the treatment we are getting from his Department, and I must inform the Parliamentary Secretary that we have really come to the parting of the ways. We give him this warning: either we get proper information in these White Papers or we shall treat these Orders in a very different way when they come before the House. I beg of him, in the interests of the House and of the taxpayers, to see that proper information is supplied in the White Papers in future. I would like to add this, and if I am not completely in order I hope that the Chair will forgive me. Not only do we want more information in the individual White Papers, but we want an annual report from the Import Duties Advisory Committee giving a list of the applications which they have dealt with and a summary of their recommendations showing the applications granted and those turned down. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to tell us what he proposes to say to the Department, and what he proposes to do about the final request I made.

1.36 p.m.

Mr. Lyons

With the last observations of the right hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) I should like to associate myself. I am sure that many of us who are watching the working of the new fiscal system of this country would be glad if it were possible for the Import Duties Advisory Committee to issue a report at the end of the year showing the number of applications they have heard and the results, both in the cases where they have advised a duty, and those in which they have declined to do so. I may add that I have asked on many occasions that we should be told some of the circumstances in which the duties are sought by different industries and refused. But having said that I must join issue with the right hon. Gentleman in regard to the rest of his speech. As one representing a constituency which will be affected by this Order, I desire to offer my gratitude to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who has brought it in, and I hope that it will become known to the party which is led for the moment by the right hon. Member for Hillsborough that he, at any rate, speaking from their Front Bench, desires that we shall take no steps to cheek the increasing imports of Japanese goods into this country.

Mr. Alexander

When the hon. Member looks at the OFFICIAL REPORT I do not think he will find that I made any such statement.

Mr. Lyons

I listened carefully to what the right hon. Gentleman said, and I repeat that, although public sanctionist No. 1, he would take no steps at all to improve the home trade by imposing some check upon Japanese goods coming into this country. Not only will Manchester be affected by this Order but many constituencies in the Midlands where this is a small industry will reap an advantage, and I hope that those on the Socialist Front Bench will realise that although they oppose it, it is an advantage which will be shared by those who work in the industry. It is true that it is a small industry, that the number of people engaged in the making of handkerchiefs is small by comparison with those occupied in many other industries; but the fact that it is small is no reason why it should be overlooked.

I desire to say, on behalf of a constituency very much interested in this industry, that it has suffered a heavy setback for a long time by reason of the continued influx of Japanese goods, and that we are grateful for the protection afforded by this Order. The right hon. Member for Hillsborough complained because there was no statement in the White Paper as to the wages paid to the Japanese workers. It is not so long ago that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade informed me in this House that the wages paid to the skilled hosiery workers in Japan were about 1s. 6d. a day sterling. We have no such sweated labour in this country, and the House ought to welcome anything which will protect industrialists here against the sweated wages paid on conditions existing in other countries. The right hon. Gentleman further complained that there was no information in the White Paper, but I would refer him to one or two very important statements made by the chairman of the Advisory Committee, who said: No question arises as to the ability of the home industry to cater for the cheap end of the trade, since until quite recently the needs of the market were almost wholly met by firms situated chiefly in the Manchester district. Within recent years, however, imports at very low prices have developed from a new source and have latterly reached such dimensions as to have disorganised the market and resulted in a substantial decline in home output.

Mr. Alexander

That is a general statement without a single figure in support of it.

Mr. Lyons

I think the House will feel satisfied that when this Committee, which was set up in 1931 considers these matters it acts upon the evidence submitted as a judicial body outside the control of the House. On the evidence before it it came to this conclusion. From my own knowledge I can tell the right hon. Member that in many centres in this country employment is suffering by the influx of Japanese-made goods, and I take this opportunity of saying how much we appreciate the attention which was given by the Committee to what is comparatively a small industry, though to that industry the matter is really a momentous one. There is no reason why these goods should come from foreign sources. They can be made in the City of Leicester and other cities under conditions and safeguards which are incomparably different from those existing in Japan. Although the so-called Labour party, for their own political ends, will not see it, the real way to protect the standard of life of the worker is to maintain standards in the industry in which he works by giving him reasonable protection against sweated goods from other countries. It is difficult to think of any point which can reasonably be made against putting on the duty proposed.

The right hon. Member spoke of the Customs duties in existence now by comparison with those imposed in 1931. Would he like to compare the trade of this country now with what it was in 1931? Would he like to compare the figure of unemployment to-day with the figure in 1931? Would he like to compare the annual income of the country now with the annual income in 1931, when he himself was a member of a Cabinet which had to take very stringent action because of the difficulties in which they were placed? The difference to-day is largely due to the change in our fiscal system, which has given to our industries a confidence, such as they never had in 1931. With the knowledge that they will be treated reasonably, both small and large industries can prosper, and the industry under consideration, although a small one is just as much entitled to the consideration of the Import Duties Advisory Committee as any larger industry with a bigger establishment of labour.

I understand that this Order is to be opposed, and I hope the House will realise that those who oppose it would continue to allow importations from foreign sources which jeopardise the standard of living of the workers in this country, whereas we on this side take the line that we ought to give reasonable protection to our own workers by a measure of this kind, which is reasonable to the trade and will in no way affect adversely the consumer. On behalf of the many constituencies which will benefit by this Order, I desire to thank the Import Duties Advisory Committee for the consideration they have given to this small industry.

1.44 p.m.

Mr. R. Acland

I hope the House will notice how a member will come forward and support an Import Duties Order which affects his particular constituency. Whether that is a healthy feature in our public life or not I do not know. However, the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons) made some references to the more general situation and to the declining unemployment. In the depth of a world depression we had 2,750,000 unemployed, and to-day, at a time of world prosperity, when we have 750,000 men making armaments, we still have more than 1,500,000 unemployed. If that is a marvellous result of their fiscal policy hon. Members are welcome to it.

Sir Walter Smiles

Are the United States of America supposed to be enjoying prosperity at this moment?

Mr. Alexander

They have tariffs.

Mr. MacLaren

It is a paradise of tariffs.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Captain Bourne)

We cannot pursue the subject of the interruption.

Mr. Acland

I strongly support what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) that our patience with this kind of order is exhausted. My small party will support every effort that is made to receive these Orders in future in a different way from which they have been received in the past, if the Orders continue to be put before us in this way. In the last six lines of the second paragraph of the Order there are terms wholly vague: Needs of the market. … almost wholly met. … recent years. … very low prices. … reached such dimensions. … substantial decline in home output. Unless this House is regarded by the Government as a mere rubber stamp they might amend the procedure so that when these Orders come before us all such terms as those should be supported, if we are to be able to make up our minds, by all the information at the disposal of the Ministry and of the Committee.

When it is stated that there were very low prices, could we not have the prices stated and be told the prices of what? I suspect that throughout this statement the Minister has been compounding the price for British and German manufactured handkerchiefs of the sort which he and I use with the price of toy handkerchiefs, absolute trash, which does not even find its place on the stalls of Woolworths. He is not comparing similar articles in the prices which he has given us. We hear that these imports have reached "such dimensions," but we have no statement in writing which we can consider before we come to the House to discuss the matter. What has been the volume of importations, not in two years, of which the Minister talks? We cannot grasp the full meaning of the details as he gives them out. Figures go by, and we lose the significance of what the Minister was going to say.

Let him give us the figures not for two years but for all the relevant years. Is is not true that the importation of these handkerchiefs is less this year than in 1937? The Minister has chosen two years to show a substantial and steady increase. The figures which he gave suggest a graph which is rocketing to the sky and which, unless stopped, will swamp the whole of British handkerchief production. I suggest that the true state of affairs is that the graph has gone up, but that in the last two years it has steadied, and to-day shows no tendency to increase. I make that suggestion upon information which may or may not be accurate. We ought to have the information.

For the sake of comparison we ought to have the figures of British production and of British exports in the same years. We have been told that the figures of British production are confidential, and cannot be disclosed. It has been said that those who desire equity must come with clean hands: I would say that those who desire tariffs should disclose all the information available, and not hide behind the story that the information is confidential. After all, most of it will find its way into some report or other in four or six years' time, when it does not matter.

One fact about the application which has been entirely overlooked in the speeches is that these Japanese handkerchiefs are a new article which has never appeared on the British market and never been manufactured by any British firm. They are no more competitive with British handkerchiefs than British handkerchiefs are competitive with silk scarves. They are so different from, and so inferior to, the Japanese handkerchiefs often made in this country that you will not find one of these Japanese handkerchiefs on the counters of any of Woolworths stores. The Minister spoke of the penny handkerchiefs in the cheapest price stores, but these handkerchiefs do not find their way into those stores. They are the kind that you will find upon hawkers' barrows. They are an entirely new article which has never been manufactured or attempted here, and no British manufacturer has ever wanted to manufacture them. If I am right, the importations of this new article began five or six years ago. The importation increased, and today the market is saturated. There is no further increase in the importation.

As to the scale of this importation, we are informed that the figure one year was 300, and five years later it was 5,000. It sounds as though the whole market is being swamped, but the importation of these handkerchiefs is one-fifteenth, not of our production but of our exports, of handkerchiefs, and is a mere fleabite on the trade with which we are asked to deal this afternoon. What evidence has the Import Duties Advisory Committee really taken to show that there is a decline in home production? What firms have been invited to submit their figures? There are over 140 firms manufacturing handkerchiefs in this country, including firms in Northern Ireland. Not more than nine of them have submitted information. Their names are given, but I will not read them. Then the firms are mentioned who are not included in the general application, and who have been invited to submit their figures privately to the Import Duties Advisory Committee.

Have any firms other than the nine submitted any figures or given any information to the Import Duties Advisory Committee, or is this an application on behalf of nine out of 140 firms? I understand that Tootals, the well-known handkerchief manufacturers, are not included, and that that is also the case with the Calico Printers' Association. When the Minister talks about a general setback to the trade by reason of these importations I would point out that the exports have been substantially going up in the last three years. If the information is all supplied by these nine firms, then I am not at all surprised that their production is going down. They said in their application that the factory cost of cotton handkerchiefs manufactured by these nine firms was about 2s. per dozen, or 24s. per gross. I am informed that comparable handkerchiefs of British manufacture can be purchased at 17s. per gross in London to-day, so it is not particularly surprising that the output of these firms is going down. I submit that an application on behalf of a limited number of firms who cannot hold their own against the ordinary normal competition, from this country as well as from outside, which is not supported by the trade generally, and which is directed against an article which the trade generally never have produced and do not want to produce, ought not to be approved by the House.

1.56 p.m.

Mr. Kelly

I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the speech of the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons), who endeavoured to prove, in reply to my right hon Friend, that there is evidence in the White Paper. He accepted those general statements as evidence. I have been reading of some of the work upon which the hon. and learned Member has been engaged recently, and I do not think that, when people in Croydon made general statements of this kind, he accepted them as evidence. The moment, however, that there is an opportunity of benefiting one or two employers in this country—

Mr. Lyons


Mr. Kelly

On the day when the hon. Member begins to look after the employés I will congratulate him.

Mr. Lyons

The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that in every case of this nature the employés get the same benefit as the trade. I do not like the hon. Gentleman imputing motives of this nature, which he knows are not well-founded.

Mr. Kelly

I am not imputing motives, but I think they were imputed by the hon. and learned Member when he suggested that we were quite willing to have imported into this country that which would reduce the standard of living of our people. It has been our life's work to endeavour to raise the standard of living of our people. In this case a trade board had to be set up, because the industry was a sweated industry, because the employers would not pay adequate wages or give working conditions that were reasonable. Not once did the hon. and learned Member mention a firm in his constituency, or in the Midlands, that was engaged in this trade. Probably we could tell him of one or two, but he might at least have told us, so that we could have dealt with what he is relying upon the present moment. I hope that, when he takes part again in a discussion of this kind, he will at least decline to accept as evidence that which he would not accept when he is dealing with other matters in his own profession.

He spoke of the confidence that this duty would give, and he made interjections during the speech of the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Acland) as to the confidence that it would give to the operatives. The rates are set down by the trade board for the people employed in this industry, and it will not only require the two months' notice which must be given for consideration, but, even after agreement is arrived at in the trade board, there is the two months' notice which has to be posted before any change in rates and conditions can be agreed to. I would ask the Minister in charge to reply in more detail to the question put by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Stirling (Mr. Johnston). The Minister quite readily jumped up and said what were the hours worked by the people in Japan, but, if he has particulars of those hours, I would ask him also to give the rate of production per hour in the Japanese textile trade. He went to Japan some years ago in order to test what was happening there. The operatives in this country are not afraid of what is produced by people in Japan, who take many more hours to produce a piece of work than any of our operatives in this country required to produce a much better article. I hope, also, that we shall be told something about the wages.

The Minister referred to the 1,200 people who, he states, are engaged in producing handkerchiefs of this cheaper kind—the penny handkerchief, as he called it. Is it his information that these 1,200 people are solely engaged on that particular side of the trade? Are they engaged upon it throughout the whole year, or are they engaged at various times in producing handkerchiefs of a more expensive type? Then I think we might have been told a little more about the firms—there are not many—in this particular industry. We have a right to know their names, so that we can see who are concerned in these applications, and can discuss the matter in greater detail. There is another question that I would like to put to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, though I do not know whether he will be prepared to answer it this afternoon. How many of the young people whose wages are fixed according to their age by the trade board are employed on the production of this type of handkerchief? I hope it will be realised one of these days that we in this country can carry on much of our work without artificial assistance by means of these tariffs, which are not an advantage either to the industry concerned or to the country.

2.4 p.m.

Mr. Johnston

I should like to reinforce what my right hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) has said this afternoon about the inadequacy of the information that is being supplied to the people's House of Commons when we are being asked to tax ourselves in various degrees for the benefit of various industries. I approach the matter from quite a different angle, but I agree with every word that my right hon. Friend said, and associate myself with the threat that, if there is anything more of this kind of thing, we shall do our utmost to give the Government of the day the warmest possible time before it gets any fresh duties passed. The Minister spoke rather off-handedly this afternoon, assuming that the reason for the cheapness of these Japanese imports is that a lower rate of wages is paid in Japan than is being paid in comparable industries in this country. He only assumed that; he gave us no figures. I interrupted him and asked for figures, but he had none. It is one of the jokes of the season that labouring people in this country should be asked to pay higher prices for goods on the assumption that cheap goods are necessarily produced by cheap labour. That may be so; but there is no proof adduced here.

It is vital that in every case where there is a proposal to impose a duty at the instance of the Advisory Committee we should be given clearly in the White Paper a comparison of the rates of wages paid in this and in foreign countries and the hours of labour worked in this country and foreign countries. The Parliamentary Secretary said that he assumed it was low wages. Might it not be Government subsidies? I do not know whether the Japanese Government are subsidising their exports of cotton goods; it is common knowledge that they subsidise their shipping and their shipping rates. It might be not low wages, but a fall of the yen. It might be monetary disturbances.

Captain Wallace

I do not want unnecessarily to interrupt the Speech of the right hon. Gentleman, but I ought to make it clear that it does not matter, for our purposes, whether it is a fall of the yen, Government subsidies, lower wages or longer hours of working. The only question at issue at the moment is, whether the price of these goods that come into the country is one with which our people cannot compete.

Mr. Johnston

I am quite certain that that is the point of view of the Parliamentary Secretary and of the Government. But it is not our point of view, and I am sure it would not be the point of view of the great majority of the people of this country if the issue could be fairly put before them. I would prevent international traffic in sweated goods. I have done my utmost for many years, by pen and speech, to carry on propaganda in that direction, and it is the expressed official view of the Labour party that we should take steps, through the League of Nations, to stop the traffic in sweated goods, wherever there is an alternative source of supply. I am not going to argue whether it is possible, by the methods of the Government, to interfere with sweated goods at all. I am certain that, as the Parliamentary Secretary says, sweated goods are no concern of the Government. His interruption entirely disposes of the pseudo-humanitarian, democratic speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons). The hon. and learned Member represents an industrial constituency, and he, therefore, claims that these duties are protecting the interests of the poor working man, but that is not the point of view of the Parliamentary Secretary. If it can be proved that the rate of wages paid abroad is as high as, or higher than, ours, or that the hours of labour are similar, and that what we are doing here is protecting an inefficient industry—protecting, perhaps, second-rate machinery as against high-class machinery abroad—we shall take steps, on good, sound economic grounds, to protest, in any way we can, against the protection of inefficiency. There is no evidence produced to show that, in the case we are examining, we are not protecting inefficiency. I am not saying that we are doing so; but the Parliamentary Secretary has given us no evidence whatever to show that we are.

The hon. and learned Member for East Leicester, who is outside the bounds of Parliamentary discussion at the moment, very gravely misrepresented my right hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough. I am sure he did not mean to do so; but he did it. I listened to every word that my right hon. Friend said, and his speech did not in any way justify the taunt that he was welcoming the importation of sweated goods from Japan or anywhere else. What he did—very properly, in my judgment—was to demand that the people's House of Commons should have adequate information supplied to it before it came to a decision on any of these Import Duties Orders. Because a Member of Parliament makes that legitimate request, it is grossly improper and unjust that he should be charged with welcoming the importation of sweated goods from abroad. May I say to the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester that I went to India once to investigate the sweated conditions in an industry there which was competing with an industry here. It was true that rates of wages there were much lower than the corresponding rates here. It was equally true that a large proportion of the cheap labour there was being organised by British capital. But it was equally true that we discovered that, while lower wages were being paid there than to workmen in this country, they had to employ about three labourers there for every labourer employed in this country, and it averaged out that, in the course of the day, it was no cheaper to produce goods in Bengal than in Dundee. I am certain that, in some instances, we are led blindfold through these Import Duty Orders, protecting backward methods of production, and it is rather curious that the industries which are most active in promoting these Orders and giving us no information when we discuss them are those which themselves have had to have trade boards imposed upon them. It may be that the trade boards had to be imposed on them because of the cheap labour abroad. But why should they not give us the information? What is our function here but to safeguard the public interest and the public purse? Before taxation is imposed we ought to have information laid before us, and it is absurd for the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester to stand up and attempt to justify the kind of White Paper which has been offered to us by misrepresentation of my right hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough.

2.14 p.m.

Sir Percy Harris

I intervene only on a comparatively narrow point, but one which I shall continue to raise every time. The Commissioners treat this House with contempt. I do not think they even read our speeches. That might be a punishment, but it might do them good. It is treating us with contempt when we ask, as we asked last year, that they should give us the same figures as when they were first constituted, and they fail to do so. When first constituted, they had a much more difficult job. We had Import Duties passed through by the dozen dealing with vast industries and complicated trades. Not only did they give all the figures and facts, but part of the evidence. There is none of the evidence this time.

I know these distinguished gentlemen. I certainly would not like to attack them. They are men of great distinction, men with long years of public record; but if they are going to ignore the House of Commons we shall have to find some remedy, and the only remedy open to us is to make the Government responsible. Unfortunately the Commissioners are in a very independent position, but if they are thinking that because their work is getting less, because the number of Orders is becoming fewer, they need publish less information we shall have to find some method of bringing them to account. I do not blame the right hon. and gallant Gentleman on the Government bench. He is always the embodiment of courtesy and gives us all the information that is at his disposal. But that is not enough. This White Paper is the printed document which is placed before the Treasury. It is the document which is published to the various industries concerned. We are entitled, as a House of Commons, not to ask but to demand that in future when Orders of this kind are placed before Parliament the Commissioners shall fulfil the task for which they are appointed and give us the necessary information, whatever point of view we take, to enable us to arrive at a conclusion as to the justness of the recommendations contained in an Order.

2.17 p.m.

Mr. MacLaren

I shall not detain the House long for I see the Postmaster-General present, and I imagine that he is about to contemplate the desecration of some graveyard in Leeds. One or two things have been said to-day which make it almost necessary for any Member who is concerned with this subject of import duties to say something. The representative of the Board of Trade is perhaps the most disarming Member of the Government. I think he would get away with anything. He has done his best to-day, within the confines of the information to hand, to put up a case.

I may be forgiven for mentioning the name of Cobden in this House. It is very dangerous to mention the name of a fundamental thinker in 1938, in this age of superficiality and flippancy. However, I will risk it. Cobden said that sooner or later the apologists for Protection in defending their case would be bound to drop into the last trench of their defence by making a comparison of price with price. That is evidently so here to-day. The Parliamentary Secretary rose in his place just now and said that it was a matter of no concern to the Government whether the goods were produced under sweated conditions or whether the goods had been subsidised by the Government of the country that produced them, that that did not matter and that here is was a matter of price with price. If he had been a little more astute in his economics he would not have dropped into that trap.

Price with price—let us look and see what it means. The whole meaning and intent of science is to reduce the cost of production. It is based on an old economic law that man seeks to gratify his desires with the least amount of exertion. The whole meaning of science in production is to reduce the price of the unit of production. We are told here today that we are to fly in the face of science and try to keep up prices, although science in production is knocking them down every day. It may be that Japan is more efficient or has more efficient machinery than we have. It is probable; indeed I am almost certain it is so. I would not be at all surprised to find that Japan has more efficient machines than we have; it is so in their pottery industry. They produce commodities at a cheaper rate, volume to volume, than that at which we can produce them. I do not know who is on this Import Duties Advisory Committee. I have heard a great deal about their distinction. I saw them only once and I do not want to see them again. The Members of this distinguished Committee leave out of their consideration on every occasion the fundamental principles which govern price. They are regardless altogether of what is the condition under which these goods are produced in other countries, the point of efficiency of production, and the effects of taxation.

We, in this country, carry a greater burden of rates and taxes than any other country in the world. Those rates and taxes are passed into price. It may be that we are competing with a country that is more efficiently organised in the field of production, and a country that is certainly not carrying the burden of rates and taxes that we carry. Our prices are inflated by the enormity of our rates and taxes, and if it be true that we are not producing as efficiently as others are, what then is the result when our commodities meet the commodities of others with these handicaps? The Import Duties Committee seem to say, "Price for price is our basis of comparison: Keep the foreigner out."

These are other fallacies it is necessary to point out. When asked about wages the Minister spoke again about the comparison of price with price. It is not possible to answer a question on wages paid in one country as against another by merely saying, "Look at the price of the goods." The whole meaning of science in production is to increase the volume of production with an ever lowering cost of the unit of production. It should be that the greater the volume of production the higher the wages paid to the producer, although the price per commodity may drop. But here we have a Committee which is wholly innocent of these laws, making a comparison of price with price, per commodity. It would be an easy job so to condemn almost any commodity that ever comes into the country if economic principles are ignored.

Another interesting thing is this: The prices quoted by the Minister showed that Germany charged 12s. 10½d. per pound, France 11s. 8d., Canada 5s. 7½d. and Japan 1s. 10½d. It is worthy of note that those countries which are carrying enormous expenditure on the Budget side and carrying out grandiose schemes in subsidising industries, compare very badly with Canada, only 5s. 7½d., compared with Germany's 12s. 10½d. I had intended referring to a speech made this afternoon by one hon. and learned Member, but his behaviour is such that I think it more advisable to ignore it utterly. There has been much talk about the Import Duties Advisory Committee treating the House with contempt. What else does the House of Commons expect? Here we have a Committee which is outside this House, to which we have given practically uncontrolled statutory authority. Hon. Members complain about it. We hear speeches in this House about threats to democracy and the encouragement of dictators, and yet we set up all these committees outside this House. We are told that we have no right to challenge them. We have delegated authority to this House to all kinds of committees. We have given this Committee such authority outside this House and the best treatment they can give us is an occasional little leaflet telling us the duties we must impose.

We have heard some talk about sweated goods this morning. I am sitting below the Gangway, and I am, therefore, in a unique position. I would ask those who talk about sweated goods to be careful. What are sweated goods? Have they ever been defined? The Government to-day are holding up Japanese handkerchiefs as sweated goods. If I came into this House and held up a lump of coal, would that not be a sweated article? And that is not a sweated article from Japan. So let us be careful when we speak of sweated goods. Reference has been made to the condition of this country in 1931, when our trade was bad, and we have been told, "Look how fine it is now as a result of this tariff policy." Trade may have been bad in 1931, but what is the result of these tariff policies which are pursued not only in this country, but in every country in Europe? Look at Europe to-day, and look at the condition of your budgets due to armaments, the result of trade rivalries. We talk much about the League of Nations but listening I often wonder whether the House does its thinking in watertight compartments.

If we mean what we say about our belief in a League of Nations are we consistent in pursuing a policy of tariffs and protective duties? The very Act we are carrying through now is in opposition to a League of Nations principle, but hon. Members do not seem to be aware of it. What will be the interpretation of Japan—whether we like it or not is another matter—of this Order? It will be, that we are taking action in this House—in a minor way, if you like—to impose new sanctions upon Japanese trade. It cannot be interpreted in any other way.

2.29 p.m.

Captain Wallace

I feel myself in some difficulty in view of the remarks which have been made with regard to the presence of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Postmaster-General on this bench and the apparent necessity for converting some burial ground to the use of the Post Office before the end of the afternoon. Had we unlimited time on our hands I would have tried to the best of my ability to follow hon. Gentlemen in all parts of the House in the wide economic discussion into which we have drifted. I would say in reply to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) that we are not seeking to impose any fresh duty upon anything but simply proposing to put alongside an ad valorem duty a specific duty as an alternative, because it appears from the figures themselves, that imports from a certain country are defeating the object which this House had in imposing the ad valorem duty.

I have not the slightest objection to the general question of the procedure under these Orders being raised or to the way in which it has been done. The procedure, as I understand it, is that it is the duty of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade to supplement, with all the information which ought to be at his disposal, the alleged deficiencies of the White Paper. Any hon. Member would realise, if he were placed in this particular position—and I know that my predecessor with all his eloquence used to suffer from it—the difficulty of appreciating exactly how much or how little detailed information the House wishes to have placed before it in regard to any particular Order under discussion. It is very doubtful as to how far the amount of detailed information which the Minister could give would help the House. I realise—and this was a point made by the hon. Gentleman opposite—how very much easier it is to have these figures on paper, but the House will realise that I am not in a position at short notice at this Box to give any undertaking whatever as to any alteration in procedure. I can only take note of it.

Sir P. Harris

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman made exactly the same remarks in the last two Debates. He said that he would take note and offered to convey our remarks to the proper quarter but apparently the Commissioners ignore even his friendly and courteous communications.

Captain Wallace

You never know. It may be like water dropping on a stone.

There are at any rate a number of detailed questions which I can answer. The imports from the Empire last year amounted to only 35 cwts. out of 6,000 cwts. total imports, and these goods from the Empire come in duty free. The annual home production of handkerchiefs last year was between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 dozen which weighed somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 cwts. That compares with the figures of imports from Japan of 2,181,000 dozen, weighing 5,768 cwts.—[Interruption] Perhaps the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Acland) will allow me to make my speech. It is easy enough for an hon. Member to interject questions which he has prepared, but the unfortunate Minister has to memorise a hundred things at once. I was asked the prices of the Japanese handkerchiefs compared with the British. If we take a typical case, say a handkerchief 17½ by 17¾ inches which, whether it be British or Japanese, weighs 6 lbs. per gross, the British wholesale selling price is 24s. a gross and that of the Japanese article 10s. 5d.

The figures of wages which I offered to give to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochdale (Mr. Kelly) earlier in the proceedings were fixed on 18th October by the Trade Board and the general minimum time rate for workers of 18 years or over, other than those to whom minimum rates are specially fixed, was raised from 6¼d. to 6½d. an hour.

Mr. Kelly

Men or women?

Captain Wallace

I am obliged to the hon. Member. I should have said that this relates to women. The wages of females of all ages on piece work were raised from 7d. to 7¼d. per hour. For male workers of 21 years of age or over the general minimum time rate was raised from 11½d. to 1s. Coming down the ages the wages for those under 15 were raised from 3d. to 3¼d.

The hon. Member for Barnstaple suggested, with his usual urbanity, that I was intentionally or unintentionally misleading the House in regard to the imports for the last few years. He suggested that since 1937 the imports had actually gone down. We do not know anything about the imports since 1937 since we have only just started 1938, but I can tell him that for the last three years, 1935–36–37 the graph of imports has been going up in exactly the direction which he suggested I was wrong in insinuating that it was doing. He also suggested that I was not entirely frank with the House as we were dealing with different articles and not comparing like with like. Surely the proof of the pudding is in my previous statement that the grey cloth consumption has suffered such a drop. The fact remains that whether the goods are strictly comparable or not they are in fact knocking out a certain amount of British production. The hon. Member also asked about our exports. I can only say that our exports for 1936 were 23,000 cwts.

Mr. Acland

Is not that export greater than the total volume of British production which the Minister gave us earlier? I understood him to say that we had produced only 10,000 cwts. How is it possible to export 23,000 cwts. from that?

Captain Wallace

The answer is that it is not possible in this case to compare like with like. I can only give 23,000 cwts. as our total export in 1936 and I am afraid that that included a lot of the larger and more expensive ones. With regard to consultation with only nine firms out of 140, I an assured that the Committee did consult with, and get information from, all the principal makers of cheap cotton handkerchiefs in the United Kingdom. It is not possible in a debate of this kind to bandy across the Floor of the House the names of individual firms. That was generally recognised and was probably one of the reasons why this particular procedure was accepted by Parliament, of leaving the matter to the Import Duties Advisory Committee and taking the detailed discussion of these things off the Floor of the House.

I should also like to tell the hon. Member for Barnstaple that the Japanese handkerchiefs in question are not toy handkerchiefs. The same hon. Member made an amusing reference to what he described as the vague language used in the White Paper. Perhaps I might clear up four of the phrases to which he drew attention. "During recent years" means since 1934. "Very low prices," means 1s. 10½d. a pound. "The needs of the market," means that at the present time about 4,500,000 dozens of cheap handkerchiefs are required in this country. "Almost wholly met" means that except for trivial consignments the whole of these 4,500,000 dozens of cheap handkerchiefs were produced in the United Kingdom before 1934.

Mr. Acland

At 1s. 10d. a pound.

Captain Wallace

No, not at 1s. 10d. a pound.

I fully appreciated the economic lecture to which I was treated by the hon. Member for Burslem. He would be right in his argument if there were a world state and it was not necessary to have any tariffs. The obvious thing then would be to buy or use everything from the market where it could be produced most cheaply. In that case, it would be a very poor look-out for some branches of our agricultural industry. The hon. Member knows perfectly well that in this imperfect world we cannot, for political as well as economic reasons, have complete and unfettered commercial exchange of goods throughout the world.

The matter with which we are dealing to-day is a small one. Our proposal is the substitution of a specific as an alternative to the ad valorem duty, which is not being raised, in order to effect our purpose of restricting very cheap imports from one particular source. I think the issue is quite clear to the House, and I hope that we may now have the Order.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 108; Noes, 33.

Division No. 162.] AYES. [2.41 p.m.
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh) Hambro, A. V. Rowlands, G.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h Univ's) Hannah, I. C. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Assheton, R. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen)
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Salmon, Sir I.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Samuel, M. R. A.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Sandeman, Sir N. S.
Beechman, N. A. Holmes, J. S. Savery, Sir Sarvington
Bossom, A. C. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Scott, Lord William
Brass, Sir W. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Selley, H. R.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Hume, Sir G. H. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Hurd, Sir P. A. Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Bull, B. B. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Butcher, H. W. Lipson, D. L. Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Lyons, A. M. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Carver, Major W. H. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight) Tasker, Sir R. I.
Chater, D. McKie, J. H. Tate, Mavis C.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Touche, G. C.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Tryon, Major Rt. Hon G. C.
Crooke, Sir J. S. Markham, S. F. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Cross, R. H. Marsden, Commander A. Walker, J.
Crowder, J. F. E. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
De Chair, S. S. Mellor, Sir J. S. P, (Tamworth) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Doland, G. F. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Munro, P. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Elliston, Capt. G. S. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Wayland, Sir W. A.
Elmley, Viscount Perkins, W. R. D. Wells, S. R.
Errington, E. Peters, Dr. S. J. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Fildes, Sir H. Petherick, M. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Findlay, Sir E. Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Asshetor Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Fox, Sir G. W. G. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Furness, S. N. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Wise, A. R.
Goldie, N. B. Reid, Sir D. D. (Down) Withers, Sir J. J.
Grant-Ferris, R. Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Womersley, Sir W. J.
Gridley, Sir A. B. Ropner, Colonel L.
Grimston, R. V. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge) Lieut.-Colonel Kerr and Major Sir J. Edmondson.
Adamson, W. M. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Ridley, G.
Alexander, RI. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Ammon, G. G. Groves, T. E. Silverman, S. S.
Benson, G. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)
Cluse, W. S. Johnston, Rt. Hon. T. Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Viant, S. P.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.) Kelly, W. T. Watkins, F. C.
Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales) Lathan, G. Whlteley, W. (Blaydon)
Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. McEntee, V. La T. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) MacLaran, A.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Mathers, G. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grenfell, D. R. Parker, J. Sir Percy Harris and Mr. R. Acland.

Resolved, That the Additional Import Duties (No. 3) Order, 1938, dated the tenth day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-eight, made by the Treasury under the Import Duties Act, 1932, a copy of which was presented to this House on the said tenth day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty-eight, be approved.