HL Deb 22 March 1934 vol 91 cc368-70

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Templemore.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF ONSLOW in the Chair.]

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

LORD STRABOLGI moved to insert the following new clause after Clause 2:

Provision in time of war.

"After Section one of the principal Act the following section shall be inserted, that is to say—

'2. During any time when a state of war exists between His Majesty and any foreign Power, His Majesty may make such Orders-in-Council as appear to him to be expedient for the purpose of securing that the existing supplies of the goods specified in Section one of this Act and the production of further supplies are controlled by His Majesty for the defence of the realm.'"

The noble Lord said: In the absence of my noble friend Lord Marley I beg to move the Amendment which is on the Paper in his name. The Amendment really explains itself. My noble friend's object in asking your Lordships to accept this Amendment is this. We give a great advantage to the dyestuffs manufacturing industry in this country by regulating the import of foreign dyes and by preventing unfair or rigorous competition. Indeed, we guarantee them a secure market within the boundaries of the realm. In those circumstances it would appear to be reasonable that in time, of national emergency, in fact in time of war, we should have first call on their plant, factories and so on for the production of explosives and other munitions. It seems a reasonable provision to insert in the Bill and I hope very much that it will be accepted. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— After Clause 2 insert the said new clause.—(Lord Strabolgi.)


I am sorry to disappoint my noble friend, but I am afraid the Government cannot accept the Amendment. Your Lordships will remember that at the outset of the Great War the Defence of the Realm Acts were passed very soon after the declaration of war giving the Government of the day power to regulate the output of factories of all kinds and authorising His Majesty in Council during the War to issue regulations to give effect to this power. I do not think there is any doubt whatever—there cannot any doubt in your Lordships' minds—that similar legislation would be passed by any Government of whatever complexion that happened to be in power if another conflict like the last ever broke out. The Government do not think it desirable to insert a clause in a Bill of this kind which only deals with one particular substance out of a great many which may be used in the making of munitions of war. They think it is much better to deal with the matter by comprehensive legislation which undoubtedly would be passed within a very few days of the outbreak of war.


In view of the explanation given by the noble Lord I will not press the Amendments

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment.