§ 5.41 p.m.
§ Debate resumed.
My Lords, this debate has run for a long time and therefore I shall have to cut down the remarks I intended to make. First of all, I wish to say that at this time, after two great wars in which we have been successful, the wars with Germany and with Japan, and with an Imperial Conference imminent and with an international economic conference to be held shortly afterwards, we are very much indebted to the noble Lord, Lord Altrincham, for bringing forward his Resolution this afternoon. It is a Resolution which fits the economic conditions in this country and the economic conditions in the Commonwealth and Empire and the effect that they may have upon the international economic conference itself. Perhaps I may take a slightly different line from that which has ready been taken in the debate. I should like first of all to refer to what happened in the early days with regard to Imperial Preference. In doing so I have, of course, to refer to the Dominions. As your Lordships all know, the 1198 Dominions have an entirely free hand to do exactly what they like and they have had that for a very long time. They were the first in these circumstances to grant preferential treatment and to make preferential arrangements for this country. To give her her due, and to her great credit, Canada was the first Dominion, or self-governing Colony as she was then, to give that preference. Why did she give us that preference and why was that preference followed by similar grants from the other Dominions? I venture to suggest to your Lordships that the first reason was that there was a kind of sentiment about it.
Most of the inhabitants of Canada and of the self-governing Colonies came from the old country or if they had not come from the old country themselves they were the descendants of people who had. They preferred to buy in this country and to sell to the old country rather than to go to a foreign country for their trade. This country was a very fine market for them. It was a growing market and they had a definite place to which to sell their produce after their home consumption had been fulfilled. On the other hand, here in the old country we learnt and began to appreciate that the Dominions were a good and expanding market for our manufacturers' goods.
So this went on over the years. We went through one war and we came to another war. I do not propose to go into the question of the extent to which the Dominions helped us militarily, but finally, as the noble Lord, Lord Pakenham, said in what I may describe as his amusing as well as interesting speech, we had in the time of the depression in 1932 a conference at Ottawa at which we discussed the whole question of improving and solidifying what had then become a settled policy. By that time the Dominions were already well advanced in secondary industry manufacture, but notwithstanding that there were many articles manufactured in this country which still found a market in the Dominions. These articles were demanded and in return for them the Dominions found a large and permanent market for their primary produce in the United Kingdom. In that way trade links, as well as sentimental links, were finally established between ourselves and the Dominions greatly to the advantage of both of us. Side by side with these developments, 1199 considerable financial investments were made in the Dominions by United Kingdom investors, and manufacturers as well, and in this way our invisible exports to the Dominions increased in volume every year, whilst concurrently the resources of the Dominions were being developed and the Dominions were rapidly increasing in wealth themselves.
There was another outcome of this which is not always appreciated although it has 'been referred to this afternoon. The trade of the Dominions kept its standing to such a degree that it greatly overflowed the United Kingdom basin. In spite of what the noble Lord opposite has said this afternoon I am going to give some figures. I am not going to give a mass of figures but those I am going to give will, I think, emphasize the point I wish to make and which has been considered from many angles this afternoon—namely, our relationship with the United States of America in regard to this whole question. I find that in 1937—and this was five years after the Ottawa Agreements to which the United States took exception at the time and afterwards—the total imports from British countries into Great Britain were £405,000,000 in value or 39 per cent. of her imports, whilst the exports from Great Britain to British countries were £251,000,000 or only 48 per cent. of her total exports. That shows at least that Great Britain, the Mother Country, was doing a very large trade outside the Dominions and Colonies, and trading more largely with foreign countries than she was with her own Dominions and Colonies. This is a remarkable fact. On the other hand, the total imports from British countries into the United States of America were £272,000,000 or 36 per cent. of their import trade, whilst the exports of the United States of America into British countries were £335,000,000 or 40 per cent. of their total exports. It seems to me we got even with the United States of America, assuming these figures are correct, so far as our trade is concerned, and they have nothing to complain about in the fact that we are granting preferences to our Dominions, or that our Dominions are granting preferences to us, because they get just as much trade out of it to-day, or they did in 1937, as the United Kingdom.
1200 Those figures in my submission should be a proof of the state of misapprehension in the minds of many Americans, who blame us bitterly for entering into family economic arrangements with our Dominions. They are also a proof that these family arrangements provide the background of expanding trade between the British Dominions and foreign countries, and, further, that the progressive stability of trade within the Commonwealth is adding strength and expansion to the trade outside the Commonwealth. I have had certain experience in these matters during a number of years and I have witnessed the rise in the production of secondary articles in the Dominions going on more and more. I have seen coincident with that rise in production of secondary industries, an increasing production of primary produce, and we all know all the different controversies that have arisen from time to time connected with the Dominions' trade with foreign countries as affecting this country. I wish to suggest that what applies to the Dominions so fat; as expanding trade and so on is concerned applies also to our Colonies and Protectorates.
Our system of preference to our Colonies and Protectorates has been a varied one which has sprung up over the years as a result of the needs of the moment; as a result of needs connected with the various tropical product industries which were existing at the time in the various Colonies. Most of the Colonies are almost entirely dependent for their economic livelihood upon the tropical products they grow, and only a few have other sources of wealth such as oil, base-metals and gold. Generally speaking, they are entirely dependent upon their tropical produce. Consequently, that being the case, all are dependent upon their overseas markets for that produce, and they have especially always looked to the United Kingdom market as one upon which they could always rely and which would not let them down. But unfortunately over the years (and it may happen again) world market prices for tropical products have often fallen below the cost of production or so low that there was no profit in them. It is here that our family arrangement of granting preferences to our Colonies has been their salvation.
I remember a time when I was in the West Indies when the price of produce 1201 such as sugar was so low that not only were we trying to save it through preferences but we had to give grants to several Colonies in order to keep them out of the Bankruptcy Court. In that regard I might also mention that Cuba and the American islands in the Caribbean were maintained for a long time in their sugar production upon preferences given to them by the United States of America. To-day I believe they are inside the Union and have a free market in the United States. Without our help I believe that Mauritius, whose main crop is sugar, would probably have become bankrupt. The West African Colonies and the East African Colonies would all suffer very seriously if they had these preferences cut away from them to-day.
I must say one word about Southern Rhodesia, in spite of the fact that my noble friend Lord Hawke has already referred to it. I do not quite agree with all he said about Southern Rhodesia and with regard to her tobacco With my knowledge of Southern Rhodesia, I believe if she lost her preferential arrangements in the United Kingdom market she would certainly have to cut down her tobacco cultivation and lose seriously in revenue, and as a result of that we would lose in export trade. Furthermore, I am positive the United States of America would lose in export trade because they provide quite a great deal of the tobacco machinery and even mining machinery which is used in Rhodesia to-day. Look where you will at our Commonwealth and Empire, the whole is interlaced with sentiment and reciprocal trade and holds together and stands on these twin bases, crowned, if I may say so, by a common sovereign in His Majesty our King. It was largely owing to that sentiment that they came into that first World War and it helped in the second World War. I venture to think it was largely owing to our reciprocal trade links with our Dominions and Colonies in both wars that we have been saved from starvation and consequently probably defeat. I have never concealed my belief, and I have stated so in this House before, that the new conditions arising from the war would require some modifications and even alterations in our Trade Agreements as made at Ottawa with the Dominions and the Colonial Empire, and I am just as positive that any alterations or modifications should not take the form of 1202 breaking down a family trading system which has proved so beneficial to the family itself and has also been of such immense advantage in building up world trade through the economic development of the individual members of that family group.
There could be no greater disaster to world economy that I can imagine than if the United States of America were suddenly to be disintegrated and their system of close inter-economic union between their various States abandoned. That is what the United States of America is indicating we should do in regard to our economic arrangements within the Commonwealth and Empire. The United States of America, as your Lordships are as well aware as I am myself, cover a very large area and have a huge population. The British Commonwealth, on the other hand, is also very large but is much more scattered, and I believe that its economic disintegration would be as disastrous to the world's economy as would be the economic disintegration of the United States of America.
The noble Lord who moved this Resolution is absolutely right: we cannot afford to abandon our family economic arrangements, and I was glad to hear from the lips of the noble Lord, Lord Pakenham, in his reply, that the Government have no intention of doing this. I believe that if those arrangements were destroyed it would sound the death knell of our Commonwealth and Empire, and to those who, like myself, believe that our commonwealth and Empire still have a mission to fulfil, that would amount to world disaster.
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
My Lords, I think in almost every quarter of the House the acceptance by the Government of this Resolution, which has been so widely and so moderately debated to-day, will be most warmly welcomed. Many speakers have drawn on their own personal practical experience, and I would like, in winding up the debate from this side of the House, quite shortly to draw on my own experience, both as Secretary of State for the Colonies and three times as President of the Board of Trade. I say that because it so happened that holding those two offices made me at times responsible for negotiating and following the operation of many of the preferential 1203 agreements which have been in force for the last fifteen years. It also imposed upon me the duty of negotiating and watching a great many commercial treaties and international agreements. Drawing on that dual experience has taught me, beyond any shadow of doubt, that Imperial Preference has not hindered but has, on the whole, helped world trade.
May I take two or three aspects that make up world trade? I will take raw materials first. Imperial Preference, as we have exercised it and as the Dominions have operated it, has never restricted and never handicapped the access of any nation to the raw materials of the world. Indeed, by giving confidence and an assured market here and in the Dominions to primary producers, preference has encouraged and improved the production of many different sorts of raw materials. Moreover, by increasing the prosperity of the primary producers—and I think Lord Hailey dwelt on this—preference has enabled them to buy more, not only in the markets of the Empire, but in the markets of the world.
I am not going to quote any figures, but I remember a calculation made by some economists before the war that the primary producers of the world consumed at least half the industrial products of the world, and I should think that, broad and large, that was true. Certainly it must have been about that, and, with better prices and greater demand for agricultural products all the world over, I would suppose that it was very likely larger. At any rate, those were the old figures which had currency, and I do not remember having seen them challenged. But when prices of primary products have slumped, then it is not only the primary producer who has suffered; the industrial producer and the industrial exporter in every country, of the world has suffered with him. I could give example after example of the way in which preference has assisted research and development, but I will take only two or three examples. Lord Chesham spoke about East Africa, and I will take sisal as an example. All the products I am going to cite have been of enormous importance, not only to us but to America, in this war. The preference that was given to sisal not only encouraged agricultural, plant and soil research in Kenya and Tanganyika, which greatly improved the quality of the plant, but there 1204 was going on, and there is still going on, applied research by the rope makers, the users of sisal, and the work they have undertaken in this country has been of enormous advantage in improving quality and also in enabling a far larger proportion of the plant to be used. War came, and America wanted the sisal as much as we did. If that development had not been made, we should have fallen short.
Take another Kenya product. I well remember when I was at the Colonial Office the great help we had from some manufacturing firms here in developing essential oils. The preference just gave the turn to the market. Let me take pyrethrum. It did not seem vitally important then but, as your Lordships know, pyrethrum is the greatest insecticide in the world, and every aeroplane that passed through tropical countries had to be sprayed, and sprayed most intensively, with this particular preparation, to prevent it carrying malaria and yellow fever. That was entirely dependent on pyrethrum, and that product was developed under preference.
Now let me take timber. When we introduced the timber preference for the Colonies, we were not content just to let it take its course. We said: "We must exploit this to the full"—and I use the term "exploit" in the proper sense. That meant all the research into the qualities of timber and the uses of timber for which Princes Risborough rightly became so famous, through the work of men like Oliphant. The noble Viscount the Leader of the House 'will remember how I brought home from those timber-producing countries forest officers, carefully selected, who knew all about conservation and absolutely nothing about markets, and put them to train with timber firms in this country, to the great advantage of the timber market and to the great advantage of the Colonies. When I was in West Africa during the war there was a tremendous demand for high-grade timber from West Africa and at least half—I think more than half—of the highest grade mahogany we were producing was being sent to the United States on the highest possible shipping priority month by month.
Those, I think, are good examples of how preference has encouraged research and development and has been of inestimable benefit, not only to the producing 1205 Colonies, not only to the Empire, but to the world at large. The value of these preferences to the Colonies is so well known that I will not dwell upon it, but they have added greatly to the livelihood of many of these Colonies, which have consequently been able to develop alternative crops. Nothing is more dangerous than dependence on a single crop, and Colonies have got to live on as well as off their holdings. That is tremendously important, and preferences have helped that. In some of the Colonies preference has not only been their livelihood; in the sugar Colonies it has been their very life. When, at Ottawa, preferences were made Empire-wide, when the Dominions and India of their own free will extended mutual preferences to the whole Colonial Empire, that was not only of great mutual benefit to the parties to the transaction but was, I think, a very practical example of the Commonwealth nations joining with this country as trustees of a common Colonial trust, a matter which was dealt with so interestingly in the debate which the noble. Lord, Lord Tweedsmuir, initiated a few days ago. As a result, the world has benefited in raw materials and has benefited by the added purchasing power of the Colonies and the Dominions which have produced those raw materials.
Let me turn to another aspect. I believe it to be a complete illusion—and I found this on the dual experience I have had—that mutual trading arrangements make multilateral trade more difficult. Trade breeds trade, and it is the aggregate of trade that counts. This indeed is an obvious statement, but the aggregate is the sum of the individual transactions. My noble friend will not dissent from that philosophic pronouncement, nor from the further deduction that the bigger is that aggregate of trade the more we shall all do. I cannot take a better example than the United States itself. The United States is a great Customs Union. It is what is termed in the parlance of to-day—and it certainly ought not to be used as a term of abuse—an economic bloc. When internal trade is good within the United States, within that Custom's Union, trade is good between the United States and the outside world. We all know that. These things are not matters of old last century theory; these matters have been tested in the light of practical experience. In the United States up till 1929 trade was increasing; 1206 she was becoming increasingly prosperous internally. She was buying and selling more inside her borders, and in consequence was trading a great deal inure with the outside world. Then came the 1929 slump and we all know the history of that. It not only smashed internal trade within the United States, but its effects were felt outside; it cut off, as with a knife, both the purchases and the sales of the United States overseas. It also is undoubtedly true that after Ottawa not only did trade within the Commonwealth and Empire greatly increase but trade between the Empire and the rest of the world increased. I have not looked it up for some time, but there was an extraordinarily interesting report prepared by certain officers of the Department of Commerce in the United States on the effects of the Ottawa Agreements. When I read that report I thought there was a fair measure of blessing contained in its very well considered and argued statements.
Let me put one other proposition. It is not at all true that a mass of small national economic units makes for more world trade. To take an example from the past, although much may be said against its political administration, when the Austrian Empire was in existence the world outside that Empire did much more trade with it—and under safer conditions; it got paid—than when the Austrian Empire was split up into a number of separate units. I believe that the undiluted and rigid application of the most-favoured-nation clause is a great fallacy, and again I base my opinion on experience. Sometimes it was evaded by subterfuge. Some of your Lordships will remember the classical example where a special tariff concession was extended to canned milk provided, if I remember aright—that the milk was the product of—
§ VISCOUNT SWINTON
Contented cows with contented faces! The noble Lord should not make these vulgar observations, which are more appropriate to his memories of another place! The concession was extended to products of cows pastured on mountain pastures above an altitude of a thousand metres. That was the kind of evasion which used to take place. We, of course, were more 1207 well behaved. But where it was strictly kept to did it not very often mean that a particular piece of business between two countries, which would have been good for them and which would have been good for the world at large because that business would have increased the wealth and prosperity of those two countries, was prevented because it could not be extended to the whole world? I look back and take the example of Austria before the 1914–18 war and the example of Austria after that war. Let us learn from our own mistakes. We, I know, opposed on most-favoured-nation grounds—and, looking back, I am sure wrongly; I was very doubtful about it at the time—the Customs Union of those countries which were, formerly, included in the Austrian Empire. It would have been a breach, I agree, of the most-favoured-nation clause which we enjoyed with them all. But if we had not relied upon the letter of the law, if, on the contrary, we had encouraged such a commercial union between those adjacent countries, whose economies so naturally dove-tail into one another, we should have done a great deal more business with that Customs Union than with its elements. And it might have helped us to have had a more peaceful world.
We have all a common interest in this world trade. We are all members one of another. Prosperity, like security, is indivisible, but world prosperity, indivisible as it is, depends upon the prosperity of each country and of all countries. And the ability of those countries, as well as their will, to co-operate will depend upon their being able to build up their commercial and industrial prosperity individually and collectively. I am sure of this—that in commercial co-operation in peace, just as in the partnership of war, the contribution that each country can make is conditioned by its strength. How much the common cause owed to the strength and the combined resources of the United States and the British Commonwealth! We know how much, in peace, the world will need a United States commercially strong and prosperous. That is our interest, that is our hope, and our desire. But no less will the world need a British Commonwealth and Empire economically strong and prosperous, and so—and so, only, I believe—can we both play our part in rebuilding the prosperity 1208 And ensuring the peace of stricken world.
§ 6.23 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT ADDISON
My Lords, I should like, in the first place, to associate myself with what the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton, said at the opening of his speech, and to join in paying a tribute to the quality of this discussion, which I think, if I may say so, is characteristic of many more that have taken place in your Lordships' House. We shall all join, I am sure, in expressing our thanks to the noble Lord who initiated the debate, and I am glad that the form of his Resolution is generally accepted. I think that all of us were particularly interested in the illustrations given by the noble Viscount, Lord Swinton—they were drawn, no doubt, from his own personal experience—of the value of some of the incidences of preference in encouraging research and industrial development, in various directions. But particularly, I was interested in and encouraged by a phrase which he used which, I think, underlies a really large part of the discussion, namely, "the importance of the primary producer having confidence in an assured market"—or words to that effect.
After all, it is the purpose of all these undertakings, certainly the purpose of every one of us, I believe, who have spoken to-day, and of His Majesty's Government, to try to increase the prosperity of the primary producer. That is a fundamental necessity. As we know, the well-being of the world, of industrial nations particularly, depends upon the purchasing power of the primary producer, and I should have thought that the noble Viscount, perhaps, almost under-stated the case when he said that the purchases of the primary producer represented probably 50 per cent. of industrial products. We have to remember that in a simple thing, such as, for example, electricity, if the primary producers in a country where there is a certain limited supply—or in an English village, if you like—become a little bit better off in the aggregate, they want more electric lamps. That, in the aggregate, means that you have got to build new electric plant, to put up mighty transformers, and all the other parts of the apparatus that are 1209 needed. All this is the result of increasing the purchasing power of vast numbers of primary producers. One could give any number of illustrations of the same kind. Unless these conferences result in an increase of the purchasing power of the primary producers of the world, they will have been in vain. But that increase is, I am sure, the purpose of us all.
I would just like to refer to one or two matters which have been particularly mentioned by different speakers. May I begin with what the noble Lord, Lord Altrincham, said of the quite common misunderstanding—particularly in America, though it is not limited to America, I am afraid—of what the British Commonwealth really means? I think that what he said illustrated something which has certainly been impressed upon the minds of those of us who, in the present Government, have been associated with these things, and that is the real need all over the world for a better understanding of the British case. We must take active steps, without any shyness, to see that, if possible, this is achieved. It is perfectly true that large numbers of people have not really apprehended what sort of a structure, if you can call it a structure, the British Commonwealth really is. It varies, as we know from an administrative arrangement in a completely undeveloped territory, where the people are just beginning to want a better standard of life, and where it is administered—as the noble Lord himself knows better than I—in a great variety of forms, under the Colonial Office, varying from no form of self-expression whatever to a form of sell-expression which is only next door to self-government. This is not understood in the world as I think it ought to be. It is not understood how the scheme has led to the gradual development of self-government in countries which have steadily been brought up from a completely undeveloped state to one much more developed. The experience of every one of us, and the noble Viscount himself must know it well, is that among all the telegrams we get in our offices, there are many that typify that growing measure of self-dependence and self-development which is going on in various forms throughout the Colonies of the British Empire.
1210 I wish sometimes that some of our critics had a better understanding of how this comes about. It is designed to promote the well-being of the people who live in the several parts of the Colonial Empire, because we know very well that unless their purchasing power (to come back to the same text) can be developed, it cannot help trade and will not promote international prosperity. I expect some of the noble Lords read some of the discussions which took place at the recent meeting of the United Nations in London, where Trusteeship was discussed in various forms. I was very much impressed myself by the need of further instruction of a good many of those who themselves have no Colonies to administer. I am putting it, I think, quite politely; but it would have been very useful if some of them had had a little clearer understanding of the machinery of Colonial government, in its great variety of forms, which this country has developed, and which has given and is giving an increasing measure of freedom and self-dependence to people all over the world, of every race and colour.
Then I come to another point which I think should be mentioned, because to some extent it still influences a good many comments that are made on this subject, and that is, the insufficient realization of the complete independence of the members of the British Commonwealth. It is not open to the Mother Country to prescribe for them what should be done. They insist on making their own prescriptions. But that does not in any way detract from the immense value of the continual consultation and co-operation which we all seek to develop, and which is implicit in this Resolution. But it does mean that we in this country cannot prescribe in any particular conference what the form of many things should be. Our fellow members of the British Commonwealth will enter into it and decide for themselves. Yet, for all that, as I have said, the value of our continual and daily contacts is not diminished but is rather increased for that very reason. I think myself that none of us need contemplate entering into the forthcoming Conferences with any misgivings. None of us, I think, has misgivings.
So far as the Home Government is concerned, in so far as it has a responsibility to the Colonies in these matters, I can 1211 assure the noble Lords that we shall watch their interests with scrupulous care. We are fully alive to the importance of many of the things that have been referred to, and we shall take good care that they are not lost sight of. Everyone of us will realize that what lies at the back of this (we hope coming better developments in world trade) is a realization of how much further we must go, if we really adopt the right methods—I mean in development. If we secure increased prosperity of primary producers—I keep coming back to that point, for the potentialities of future world markets have, in my view, hardly been tapped, and all you have to do is to think of the many millions of people who are just living on the verge of existence and that is about all—and if we can by any means whatever lift up the standard of living by giving a better security to the primary producer, then its reaction on the increased volume of world trade will be almost incalculable.
There is one other aspect of this which I notice has not been referred to, as to the developments which may arise. May I say that so far as the word "preference" is concerned, and the various means by which it may be given effect to, I myself feel that there are much greater possibilities than we have hitherto realized. The most secure form of preference is by some combined method (I am not talking of Socialism), of co-ordinating markets by a group of communities, which is a form, if you like, of State purchase. For example, let me give your Lordships one illustration which must be in the mind of every one of us as we think of the present position. You will remember that not very long ago there was a surplus of wheat, the Canadian producers and many others found themselves possessed of vast stocks of wheat, and the price slumped. I forget how much it slumped to; the noble Viscount opposite will remember better than I; I believe it was forty cents a bushel. At all events, it slumped to an entirely unremunerative price. It was the memory of an experience of that kind which prevented vast numbers of producers from growing more wheat that the world now wants so badly. I am quite sure that the recollection of those experiences is a considerable handicap to the development of the food supplies that the 1212 world at the present moment stands in need of so sorely.
For my part, I do not think it is beyond the wit of man to devise schemes which will secure producers against that kind of slump, to give some secure (shall we say) bottom to the market; and that can only be done by large-scale co-operation, which is encouraged and fostered by State action, and that opens the door to a type of preference which I think is capable of immense expansion. I am not going to open my soul on this; if I were to do so, I should detain your Lordships far too long, because it is a subject which is very near my heart. Anyhow, it is one of the forms of development which we ought not to lose sight of, because one of the biggest handicaps to the primary producer all over the world has been the uncertainty of his markets. We must combine as well as we can to secure him against that risk.
I have only mentioned one or two matters which have been raised in this debate. Finally, let me say that I do most heartily agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Altrincham, has said of the immense moral value in the world of the British Commonwealth. It simply cannot be calculated. The more it is studied and understood, the more some of our friends outside study and understand it, the greater will be the appreciation of its value. I want to assure noble Lords, in accepting this Motion, that His Majesty's Government are fully conscious of the immense importance of that moral value and that we will do all we can to develop it.
§ 6.40 p.m.
§ LORD ALTRINCHAM
My Lords, I. do not think that any noble Lord who ever moved a Resolution in this House had less reason to complain of its reception. I am most grateful to the noble Viscount, to Lord Pakenham, and to noble Lords opposite, for the way in which they have received it. In particular, I should like to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Pakenham, on an extremely concise speech. I must say that he gave a series of very illuminating and useful observations which were most concisely put, and he also managed to keep up the suspense to the last minute. I was also most deeply impressed by what the noble Viscount said on three matters. We, on this side of the House, absolutely agree with him that the man to look after is 1213 the primary producer, and if you look after him the rest of the world will come right somehow. In the second place, I was delighted by what he said about guaranteed markets. You cannot look after the primary producer unless you give him that kind of security in this country or anywhere else. The noble Viscount, Lord Swinton, gave some striking examples of what the guaranteed market has meant to primary producers, and not only to them but to the world at large in critical times. On both these points we are delighted to hear what fell from the lips of the noble Viscount. Of course, we are happy to know what he said, and what the noble Lord, Lord Pakenham, said, about the firm intention of the Government to look after Colonial interests. Some Colonies cannot speak for themselves and therefore they are all the more dependent on our good will and understanding. I am most grateful to the noble Viscount.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.