HC Deb 27 March 1911 vol 23 cc1107-8W

asked the President of the Board of Trade—(1) whether he is aware that since the gambling operations in options and futures of cotton, wheat, sugar, etc., have been introduced from America, many local industries have been killed; that old-established English merchants have given up importing owing to its present basis being a bear sale of futures sold as a hedge against foreign imports; and whether he is aware that the spinning industry, owing to a system of Gall options, has been reduced to a gambling basis; and what action he proposes to take in the matter; and (2) whether he will appoint a Departmental Committee to ascertain if the stagnation of work, misery, and losses to owners of property in 1911 can be traced, directly or indirectly, to the increase of international gambling operations on the Liverpool Exchanges, as well as to the many months of short time throughout Lancashire during 1909–10 owing to corners in American and Egyptian cotton and to general depression caused thereby in other branches of trade in that part?


I recognise that the gambling operation in "futures" of various descriptions has its injurious side. But I have considered the question, and I do not, as at present advised, think the inquiry suggested would serve any useful purpose.