HL Deb 17 August 1921 vol 43 cc938-43


Optical glass and optical elements, whether finished or not, microscopes, field and opera glasses, theodolites, sextants, spectroscopes and other optical instruments.

Beakers, flasks, burettes, measuring cylinders, thermometers, tubing, and other scientific glassware and lamp-blown ware, evaporating dishes, crucibles, combustion boats; and other laboratory porcelain.

Galvanometers, pyrometers, electroscopes, barometers, analytical and other precision balances, and other scientific instruments, gauges and measuring instruments of precision of the types used in engineering machine shops and viewing rooms, whether for use in such shops or rooms or not.

Wireless valves and similar. rectifiers, and vacuum tubes.

Ignition magnetos and permanent magnets. Arc-lamp carbons.

EARL BEAUCHAMP moved to leave out"are-lamp carbons." The noble Earl said: This is an unexpected result. I hardly anticipated, in the short time at my disposal, that I should be able to bring this case before your Lordships' House, but I am glad of the opportunity of doing so, and I am also glad that the last discussion that takes place upon the Committee stage of this Bill should be concerned with a characteristic example of protection. The noble Viscount was good enough yesterday to explain to us that these articles were included in the key industries because searchlights for military purposes were included. There is no point of difference between us as to the use of these things for searchlights. I wish to establish the other purposes for which these things are required.

First of all, there are arc lamps for street lighting. The chief engineers of corporations which stilt use arc tamps for street lighting (for example, Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin) are unanimous in their verdict as to the great superiority of imported carbons. The City of London Electric Lighting Company, Limited, has stated that they cannot believe that those responsible for this measure are aware of the difficulties of carrying out arc lighting with English carbons. Another use of are carbons is for photo processes. The Westminster Engineering Company, Limited, whose lamps are used throughout the world for photo-printing, have written to the Secretary of the Electrical Importers and Traders' Association to say they have been quite unable to obtain from English factories a carbon of satisfactory quality, and that some types they cannot obtain in this country at all.

There is a third case, and that is for cinematographs. The largest market for carbons is found in the cinema theatres. The committee of the Cinematograph Exhibitors' Association have passed a resolution stating that they use nearly 10,000,000 feet of arc-lamp carbon annually, and that they are very strongly opposed to the suggested tax on a key industry. At the present; moment. as I understand, these things can only be manufactured by a single company. This is a thoroughly characteristic example of Protection, by which many will pay more for the benefit of a few.

Amendment moved— Page 12, line 17, leave out (" are-lamp carbons ").—(Earl Beauchamp.)


I dare say your Lordships will allow me to answer the noble Earl very briefly. I can console him on one point at once, and that is as regards street lighting. As I understand, these carbon lamps are going out and they are to be replaced by half-watt lamps. So that as regards street lighting the noble Earl may be said to be a little behind the times, though not in anything else. Great stress must, of course, be laid upon arc carbons, because without them searchlights become absolutely useless. I think, when I tell your Lordships that the Admiralty press very strongly for the inclusion of are carbons in this list that you will feel that the interest of individual persons in the country must yield to the absolute necessities of national defence.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

The Schedule agreed to.

House. resumed.

Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended), Amendments reported.


I should like to ask the noble Lord whether as a pure matter of convenience it would be desirable to change the Amendment of Clause 2 relating to agriculture, which has been passed in the form which was proposed by my noble friend, Lord Bledisloo, and myself. That is to say, instead of it reading,"Articles for use in the practice of husbandry, agriculture, or the raising of stock," it might be put in this form: after the word"drink"insert"or agricultural instruments or fertilisers as used in agriculture.'' It is quite indifferent to me. but that seems rather a more suitable form.


I think it is hardly for me to say if the noble Marquess wants to send down an Amendment to another place.


I must apologise to the House, but I inadvertently allowed the Lord Chairman to pass a rather important Amendment of mine in Clause 7(2)—-namely, page 8. line 1, after'' whose insert"financial," and leave out"materially." The point is this. The Advisory Committee are persons who are obviously intended to be quite impartial and disinterested persons. As the clause is framed now, you have to show that they are materially affected by any action which they may take, which obviously means that they are financially interested. Most of us think the word"materially"is very vague indeed. It is very hard for anyone to say whether he is materially affected by the action which has to be considered, and therefore I venture to suggest, in order to make it perfectly clear, that it most be shown that he is a person whose financial interests are affected by the action which the Committee may take. I should have moved it during, the Committee stage.

Amendment moved — Page 8, line 1, after"whose"insert financial" and leave cut"materially."—(Lord Bledisloe.)


I would suggest to noble friend that he should allow the words to remain as they are, for this reason. I think his words may be too restrictive"Whose interests are materially affected" means that they are really affected. For instance, if you insert the word"financial," various persons who would be quite competent, and who ought to appear on these panels, would be prevented from judging, merely because they might have a few shares in a particular industry. I suggest that the word"materially"is rather a. wiser and wider word, and less restrictive, and that the clause bad better remain as it is.


I do not know whether the noble. Viscount is fortified by legal authority, but I should have thought it would be very; difficult to interpret the words"materially affected.' When a man upon a Committee dealing with mast important subjects of this kind is asked to say whether his interests are materially affected or not, I should have thought it would be most difficult to give an answer. I think the word"materially"is a most vague word.


And the word"financial"is extremely close and limiting.


The word"materially"may be a more difficult word to construe, hut it covers many more cases.

On Question, Amendment negatived.

LORD NUNBURNHOLME moved, after Clause 13, to insert the following new clause— This Act shall not apply to goods imported for the purpose of being used in shipbuilding or shiprepairing.

The noble Lord said: I propose this Amendment which is down in the name of Lord Emmott. I am sorry at such a late hour to detain your Lordships, but this is a very important matter for the shipbuilding industry. It is just as important as cheap machinery and the latest and most up-to-date appliances for the farming industry. Up to now it has always been the practice for the builders of tramp steamers on the Clyde and on the Tyne and other great centres to be free to buy their materials from the cheapest possible market. and to work them up into ships and sell them in the dearest market, whether in England or on the Continent., very often selling to people like the Germans. Up to now there has been a tremendous importation of cheap ship plates and crank shafts which have enabled shipbuilders in this country to turn out ships more cheaply than any other country in the world. That has all been for the benefit of this country. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 13, insert the said new clause.— (Lord Nunburnholme.)


This is rather a large subject to discuss in two or three minutes, but may I say one thing in reply to the noble Lord? A very distinguished authority in tin' House of Commons, a President of the Chamber of Shipping, said that. he was not the least afraid of this clause, because he did not think it would in any way affect Clue building of ships: If you once begin by omitting one industry you have to omit a great many others. May I point out what is often forgotten, that the interests of shipping will, of course, be looked after by this Committee. One of the things they have to consider is not merely whether employment is affected, but whether those who use these importations as materials will also be affected. Therefore, the interests of the shipping industry will be closely guarded.


I only want to say that the distinguished authority in the House of Commons does not represent in this matter the opinion of the Chamber of Shipping, of which, for the moment, he happens to be the head.


Nor does he represent the shipbuilding trade.

On Question, Amendment negatived.


I beg to move that the Bill be read a third time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed, and returned to the Commons.