HC Deb 09 July 1919 vol 117 cc1850-1W

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many British, steamers, excluding Admiralty, over 500 tons gross register tonnage and under 1,600 tons gross register tonnage, were lost in each of the five years 1910 to 1914, inclusive; how many lives were lost in. each year in such steamers; and what proportion of the losses were caused by strandings, collisions, and other causes?


I am circulating, in the OFFICIAL REPORT, a statement giving the desired particulars for steamers between 300 and 1,000 tons net, the wreck statistics being tabulated according to net tonnage, and trust that this will give my hon. Friend the information he requires.

The following is the statement referred to:

and on 7th June the Board of Trade effected a Regulation overruling the above-mentioned Cabinet decision to the extent that 75 per cent. of the value of all such importations must be British labour and materials, and has the Board of Trade Regulation received the approval of the Cabinet; whether Canada extends a Customs preference to the products of Great Britain when 25 per cent. of the value of such products are British labour and materials; is he aware that, in the face of the shortage of motor cars in Great Britain, the imposition of the 75 per cent. value regulation, stipulated by the Board of Trade, permits the entry into the United Kingdom without restrictions of only one type of motor car made in Canada, and that there are several types of Canadian motor cars which could be shipped to the United Kingdom under present conditions if a British value of not more than 50 per cent. were required on such cars; and does this impose a hardship upon the Canadian automobile industry?


I would refer the hon. Member to the replies which were given to the hon. Members for Walsall and for Frome on the 10th March, wherein it was made clear that the statement of the 7th March was confined to goods which were the produce or manufacture of, and not merely exported from, His Majesty's Dominions. By the Regulation to which the hon. Gentleman alludes the benefit of unrestricted entry into the United Kingdom is extended to Colonial articles, 25 per cent. of the value of which is due to foreign labour and materials. There is no analogy between a preference given in the assessment of duty and a preference shown in the administration of a policy which involves the exclusion of a proportion of imports altogether. I do not admit that in the circumstances any hardship accrues to the Canadian automobile industry taken as a whole. Further, to lower the percentage to 50 as proposed, would be undesirable so long as manufacturers in the United Kingdom are under restriction regarding the import of foreign materials for their cars.