Clause 1. — (Charge of Customs Duties on goods in Schedule.)

Part I. – in the House of Commons on 29th June 1921.

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(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act there shall be charged, levied, and paid on the goods specified in the Schedule to this Act, on the importation thereof into the United Kingdom, duties of customs equal to one-third of the value of the goods.

(2) Where any other duties of customs, not being duties chargeable under Part II of this Act, are chargeable in respect of any goods chargeable with duty under this Section, duty under this Section shall not be charged except in so far as the amount thereof exceeds the amount of those other duties.

(3) No duty shall be charged under this Section on goods which are shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners to have been consigned from and grown, produced or manufactured in the British Empire, and for the purposes of this Sub-section goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured in the British Empire which would be treated as having been so manufactured for the purposes of Section eight of the Finance Act, 1919 (which relates to Imperial preference), and that Section shall apply accordingly.

(4) Where an imported article is a compound article of which an article liable to duty under this Section is an ingredient or forms part, no duty shall be charged under this Section in respect of the compound article if the compound is of such a nature that the article liable to duty has lost its identity, and any dispute as to whether an article has lost its identity shall be determined in like manner as disputes as to whether goods are goods specified in the schedule to this Act.

(5) For the purpose of preventing disputes arising as to whether any goods are or are not any goods chargeable with duty under this Part of this Act, the Board may from time to time issue lists defining the articles which are to be taken as falling under any of the general descriptions set out in the said Schedule, and where any list is so issued defining the articles which are to be taken as falling under any such general description, the said Schedule shall have effect as if the articles comprised in the list were therein substituted for that general description.

Every list issued under this Section shall be published forthwith in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes, and in such other manner as the Board think, proper.

If within three months after the publication of any such list any person appearing; to the Board to be interested delivers to the Board a written notice complaining that any article has been improperly included in, or excluded from, the list, the Board shall refer the complaint to a referee to be appointed by the Treasury, and the decision of the referee shall be final and conclusive, and the list shall be amended so far as is necessary in order to give effect to the decision, without prejudice, however, to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The first Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Members for Central Aberdeen (Major Mackenzie Wood) and East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge), to insert at the beginning of the Clause the words, "So long as the Corn Production Acts, 1917 to 1920, continue in operation and," is out of place, and can only be admissible on Clause 16.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

On a point of Order. This first Amendment, as it is worded, does not propose, in the way in which Standing Order 45 deals with this question, to limit the duration of the Bill to any precise date. The Standing Order which deals with that says, of course, that the duration of a temporary Act shall be expressed in a Clause at the end of the Bill. The object of this Amendment is to raise the new situation which has arisen since this Bill was read a Second time. As you, perhaps, are aware, the Government have disclosed an entirely new policy with regard to agriculture, and as agriculture was treated by the Government as the principal key industry in the country we are anxious to know the views of the Government with regard to this Bill, not on the question of its duration so much as its relation to their new policy. I respectfully suggest that if you agree that can-be done, we might be allowed to take this Amendment at this place.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I am afraid the Standing Order is very clear on this point. The exact limit of time is not defined in this Amendment, but it would make the life of the Bill dependent on other considerations. I do not think that that can be done. Whether the Amendment would be admissible on Clause 16 I reserve my view. It certainly is not admissible here.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I do not want to trouble you too much on that point, but I would like to observe that as we are under the Guillotine it is obvious we never can have an opportunity of raising this point on Clause 16. As it is an absolutely vital point, and as there has been an entire change of policy on the part of the Government with regard to key industries, and as, also, we are working under the Guillotine I respectfully suggest that we ought to be allowed to take this substantial point now.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The Amendment is out of order here. I cannot say, of course, whether the opportunity will arise on Clause 16. The business of the Chairman is order and not prophecy. The next Amendment, in the name of the hon. Members for West Leyton (Mr. Newbould) and Middlesbrough (Mr. Trevelyan Thomson), which proposes to insert after the word "Act" ["provisions of this Act"], the words "after the 30th day of September, 1921"—is in order, but I think the point could be better raised on the next Amendment of the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley), on whom I propose to call, and in so doing I may suggest that it is probably intended to add to that Amendment the words, "one thousand, nine hundred and twenty-two."

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "Act," ["provisions of this Act"] to insert the words, "after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-two."

The object in moving this is to enable such firms as have already made commitments to work those commitments off. We had a precedent for this only a few months ago, in what is known as the German Reparations Act, which allowed those who had already made commitments time to work them off. It was then discovered that no less than 16,000 applications for exemption had to be considered, and that no less than 16,000 different consignments had to be imported. That was under a very limited Bill, and under this Bill it may be that in two or three times 16,000 cases serious injury may result if the persons who have made contracts in perfect good faith are not allowed to work them out. There is another and far more important aspect of the case. It has astonished me, although I have had some considerable experience, to find what a large number of manufacturers are dependent upon the importation of some commodity or other essential to their respective businesses. A large number of the most important manufacturers of Northampton declare that they cannot produce the best shoe without the importation of a certain foreign leather. If they cannot get the material that they want, it means a certain amount of unemployment. That is one industry, and I could quote half a dozen others which will be very seriously interfered with by this Bill if they cannot get the raw materials and substances which they require. They must, therefore, have sufficient time to go to such markets as do not come within the provisions of this Bill to obtain that which is necessary for them to keep their workpeople employed.

4.0 P.M.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

These considerations are relative to Part II rather than Part I, which deals with the safeguarding of key industries according to the Schedule. The hon. Member is not confining his remarks to the Schedule at all.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

It is perfectly true that there are some commodities which come under Part II, but I have in mind a certain commodity which comes under Part I. I have in my own district some very large soap works who find it necessary to import a certain perfume which under Part I they will be prohibited from obtaining. It is quite possible that they may have to go to other parts of the world and find a new market, but, until they obtain that new market, they must carry out their present contracts, and, unless they are to discharge their workpeople, they must have sufficient time to go further afield to obtain the commodity which is necessary for their business. There are a good many issues which might be raised, but I think I have said sufficient to show that time should be given. If there were a representative of the Treasury present, he would be able to convince the President of the Board of Trade by the recent experience under the German Reparation (Recovery) Act of the tremendous volume of work occasioned by a Bill being brought into operation without sufficient time being given to enable existing contracts to be worked out. I think I have shown justification for a sufficient period being pro- vided to enable those concerned to be relieved before the proposals of this Bill are put into operation.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I can see the point which has been raised by the hon. Member. I know that he does not like this Bill, but I have no objection to fixing a date some short distance after the Bill becomes an Act. The time which he names is too long. It must be remembered that, after all, the business public have been fully cognisant of the proposals in this Bill for some months past. I think, therefore, it would be quite reasonable to take the date mentioned in the preceding Amendment, namely, 30th September, and if the hon. Member will substitute that date I will accept it, but, if he insists on the 1st January, 1922, I am afraid that is a much longer period than I can agree to.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

That represents something like twelve weeks, and the right hon. Gentleman, as a business man, will know that contracts are made for six and twelve months ahead. Therefore, the period he suggests would be of no use whatever. If he would make it the 1st November, it would give from three to four months and would be much more reasonable. Under the German Reparations (Recovery) Act, which came into operation on 8th March, the Treasury found it necessary to extend the date to the 15th June. That was a small restricted measure, and with a proposal of this kind that period and more should be given. If he would substitute the 1st November, I would accept that date.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

We must remember, in dealing with this Bill, that it is going to cause a revolution in our industrial relations in this country. The right hon. Gentleman has said that the industrial community has already had notice of it. It is quite true that they have had notice that there was going to be a Bill or that there might be a Bill, but, as a matter of fact, a great number of people are not yet persuaded that the Government, and particularly the right hon. Gentleman, really wish to have this Bill. It is obvious that the country does not know what the details of the Bill are going to be, and people cannot make their preparations unless they know those details. It is quite idle to suggest that the manufacturers or merchants of this country can make their preparations between the date at which this Bill will take its final form and the 30th September, suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. After all, we have had concessions of this kind when discussing similar Bills and for exactly the same reason, and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will see that if a month's respite in respect of dyes was reasonable, six months in the case of a Bill of this magnitude is relatively very much less. It has always been the practice to give considerable notice of new taxes in order to prevent uncertainty being created in the industry and upsetting preparations which have already been made. It will certainly be September before this Bill is on the Statute Book, if it ever gets there, and my hon. Friend therefore is asking for something less than four months' notice. I should imagine that anyone looking at the matter impartially must come to the conclusion that that is a very short period, and I think the Government will be very unreasonable if they insist upon any less period.

Sir WILLIAM BARTON:

The right hon. Gentleman bases his opposition to this Amendment very largely on the fact that people have already had very considerable notice of this Bill. If ever there were a Bill about which people were justifiably sceptical, it is this Bill. The people concerned in this matter tell us, and they are justified in telling us, that it is very largely based on promises given nearly three years ago. If hon. Members are satisfied to accept the performance of promises two or three years after they are made, legislation will proceed very much more slowly. The Government had a Bill in print last year, and people were led to suppose that it was going to be placed on the Statute Book. Then in a most mysterious way it was withdrawn. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that there is a considerable feeling of doubt in the country whether it is ever going to be placed on the Statute Book, and, that being so, it is surely reasonable that some adequate notice should be given. The right hon. Gentleman must know that to-day the Board of Trade is seriously concerned owing to the number of applications caused by the comparative suddenness with which the Dyes Bill was put into operation.

Sir W. BARTON:

I shall be very glad to give the right hon. Gentleman evidence of it. If he does not know it, he is not fully informed by his supporters. To-day there is the very greatest complication owing to the operation of that Act. Here we have an extraordinarily complex Bill covering a great many articles. There are a great many contracts now in existence, and you are going to cut into them and seriously to upset manufacturers. The right hon. Gentleman tells us that the reason for it is the safeguarding of industries. Will those few months make all that difference? Surely it cannot be at all commensurate with the trouble you are going to bring down upon traders. I do ask the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider the matter and make it a period of, say, 6 months from the passing of theft Bill.

Photo of Sir Francis Acland Sir Francis Acland , Camborne

I think that my right hon. Friend might give us a little longer than the date he suggested. That is the same date as the date proposed for the repeal of Part I of the Agriculture Act, and it would be almost too good a point to be able to make against the Government that, on the same day on which they have repealed the Agriculture Act, they have allowed these duties to come into force. Let the right hon. Gentleman give us another month.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

The right hon. Gentleman has admitted that there is a real point to be met, and I suggest that that point cannot be best met by fixing any arbitrary date. Seeing that the concession is suggested in order to meet the case of a person having a continuing contract, I suggest that the date should be fixed for that person as the time when his contract comes to an end. As the hon. Member who moved this Amendment has said, traders in this country have made commitments depending upon contracts for the supply of these goods, and they will be placed in a position of great difficulty if these duties are to be imposed before their contracts come to an end. I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman might consider the matter from this point of view, perhaps not now, but between now and the Report stage, and see if he cannot meet this point by an Amendment providing for those cases in which contracts have already been entered into for a continuing period. Naturally, some term will have to be fixed, but the duty should not be imposed while existing, contracts remain in force if proper evidence can be adduced that there are such contracts.

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

I have an Amendment on the Paper which has a considerable bearing on this point, and I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can give any intimation as to how he would regard my Amendment. I look at this Bill from a different point of view from that of hon. Members opposite. I am very friendly to the Bill, and want to see it come into operation without delay; but there are numbers of contracts covering these key industries which affect every trade and which are still running, and intolerable hardship will be entailed upon the persons who made those contracts if they are suddenly called upon, long after their contracts were made, to pay a duty which was not in existence at that time. I am aware that this must be looked upon with circumspection, and that notice has been given that this Bill was going to be proposed. Therefore, in my Amendment, I have limited the date to the 31st May, namely, the day on which the Bill was introduced, and on which traders had notice of the actual goods and commodities on which the duty was going to be imposed. The Amendment before the Committee does to some extent meet the case of existing contracts, but also, by the proposed extension of time, would delay the coming into operation of the Act as regards future contracts. If the principle of my Amendment were going to be accepted, I should be prepared to-take the view of the right hon. Gentleman as to fixing the date at the 30th September. If he is not going to give the relief for which I ask, I should certainly support hon. Members opposite in asking for the extension of time mentioned in this Amendment.

Dr. MURRAY:

This Amendment has been moved entirely from an industrial and commercial point of view, but I think the Government ought to remember that the hospitals of the country have been in dire straits ever since the Armistice. Their laboratories have got out of gear, and almost universally need a great deal of re-equipment. One of the tragedies of the last three years has been the fact that the hospitals have not only been unable to minister to the number of patients who required their aid, but have been unable to procure the instruments, glassware, and other equipment of that kind which they required in the interests of their patients. I am quite aware that from a fiscal point of view there are objections to delay, because it gives an opportunity to tradesmen to restock their premises. But, even allowing for that, I think that this point ought to be kept in view. The Government have announced that they are going to give £500,000 to the hospitals, but if they do not get time to re-equip their laboratories and restock their instrument departments, nearly the whole of that £500,000 will be used up in extra expense in that direction, so that the Government will be robbing Peter to pay Paul, and this £500,000 will be a sham, a delusion, and a snare. This Bill is going to hit our hospitals very hard, and the governors of those hospitals should be given sufficient time to replace their equipment. That cannot be done in six months. They do not yet know how much of this money they are going to get, and unless they can carry out the whole thing before January, all this money will be practically useless. I do not believe the Government intended that that should be so. It is the result of putting their policy into watertight compartments. The Minister of Health did not know, when he was supporting this Bill, that he was making his gift of £500,000 useless. I want to impress upon the Government the necessity of giving the hospitals, whose laboratories have been reduced to very small and ineffective proportions during the last two or three years, sufficient time to replenish this department of their administration before the Bill is placed on the Statute Book.

Major BARNES:

The President of the Board of Trade has now an excellent opportunity, such as does not often come to a Minister, of killing two birds with one stone. He can get rid of two Amendments by accepting this one. If he accepts this Amendment, he satisfies those on this side of the Committee and also the hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead (Mr. Cautley) on the other side. The hon. and learned Member shakes his head, but I understood him to say that, if the President would accept this Amendment and give us till the 1st January, that would go a long way at least towards meeting his point with regard to existing contracts. It is not often that a Minister can satisfy the whole House on any subject, and he ought not to let this opportunity escape him. The hon. and learned Member for East Grinstead likes this Bill, as I understand, but he has an Amendment down to exclude some people from coming under it. That is rather a curious attitude. If it be such a good Bill, why let anyone escape its provisions? I do not know that the hon. and learned Member has made his reason quite clear, but I think it was that the people whom he wants removed from the operation of the Bill are people who will suffer if it is brought in, because their contracts will be affected by an increase in price. That is the whole point of his Amendment, and, of course, it is the whole point of the Bill that it is to increase prices. The Minister of Health put that to us as being the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill. If it does not increase prices it is of no use.

It is because it is going to increase prices that the hon. and learned Member wants to remove from under it people who have existing contracts. I think that is a very good argument. I think it is very wrong that people who have made contracts under existing circumstances should be penalised by a Bill of this kind being brought in by the Government. But what they are suffering is an individual loss. My hon. Friend the Member for the Western Isles (Dr. Murray) has pointed out, however, that this Bill is going to inflict a very considerable amount of loss, not only upon people engaged in business for the purpose of making profit, but upon the great charitable institutions of this country, and what, in effect, we are asking in this Amendment, is that some little breathing space should be given in which they may equip themselves and make the most of such small moneys as are now in their possession. One cannot go up and down the streets of London without seeing at every hospital bills notifying the closing of beds and the reduction of the number of out-patients. At a time like this, when every such charitable institution in this country is crying out to the charitably disposed for funds for, perhaps, the most sacred cause to which funds can be devoted—the alleviation of human suffering—the Government are bringing in a Bill to make it more difficult and more expensive to alleviate that suffering. We come before the Minister to-day with a very modest request, namely, that the operation of this Bill shall be postponed for a few months. So far no really very serious objection has been advanced to that request. When my hon. Friend the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley) was dealing with this Amendment, I rather gathered, Mr. Hope, that your ruling was that it was an Amendment which only dealt with the part of the Bill affecting key industries. What the Government have before them is the problem of establishing key industries in this country as early as possible and upon as sound a foundation as they can, and the disadvantages that their course of action is going to have for people with contracts and for these great institutions. We on this side believe that the whole country would be better without the Bill, but it is clear that, in the feeling of the present House of Commons, the Bill is going to come. What we now ask is that the passage from the present period, in which all these things which are described in the Schedule can be obtained of the best quality and at the lowest price, to the period when their prices are going to be very much increased, shall be made as easy a one as can be. That is a very strong plea and one to which the Government should listen.

I want to refer to what was said with regard to the Dyes Bill. My hon. Friend spoke of the great inconvenience that had been caused by the operations of the Dyes Bill and said the Board of Trade were very well aware of the fact. I think the impression is growing, not without some reason, that the inconvenience to British trade is not merely a matter of concern to the Board of Trade and that a disclaimer from the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department is not to be taken as disposing of the question. What happened under the Dyes Bill was that there was a certain period of time allowed for postponement, and during that time the people in the dyes business, as far as they could, loaded themselves up with the particular kind of dyes which it was going to be difficult to get, and during that Debate we had the extraordinary situation of one hon. Member admitting that people who were supporting the Bill had loaded themselves up with stocks of the things they were going to prohibit. I think the House winked at that and thought it was a reasonable thing to do. They realised that it was going to cause a good deal of inconvenience to the textile industry.

Photo of Sir William Pearce Sir William Pearce , Stepney Limehouse

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman referring to a statement of mine?

Major BARNES:

It is not the hon. Gentleman I have in mind. If it was a wise and a sound thing in the case of the Dyes Bill to give them that postponement and it was a sound thing to let the textile trades have an opportunity of escaping the immediate inconvenience of that Bill I submit that we have made out a good case for giving a period of postponement in which charitable institutions and individuals with contracts may be able to pass from one period to the other as easily and with as little inconvenience as possible. I should like to read an extract from a letter I have received from a gentleman engaged in scientific research who brings in a matter which is pertinent to the point we are pressing. We are dealing here with key industries and with a Schedule referring to substances, in many cases small in quantity, but immensely valuable for the purpose for which they are required. He says: The most serious objection to this Bill seems to he that it will necesstate much clerical work and red tape in dealing with the small quantities which are involved. The cost of working the Act would probably provide a handsome subsidy for the industries. All this will cause delay and greatly hinder research, even if the research worker is prepared to get the material at any cost. To give an example from the Reparations Act—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

This is hardly related to Clause 1 or the question of postponement.

Major BARNES:

It is on this one point of delay. It would only take a moment— I ordered some material in February, some of which was not then obtainable in this country, or not obtainable in anything like the purity required for the particular research. One lot of goods was dispatched from Germany in March, and another in April. They were ordered and paid for before the Act. Acting for an institution I cannot get them to pay the duty and be done with it, with the result that the things are still at the docks. Under these circumstances, in view of the importance of not penalising unnecessarily institutions and individuals, I suggest that the Minister should accept the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

My hon. Friend thinks he has made out a good case in support of the Amendment. If the arguments put forward by him and by the hon. Member for the Western Isles (Dr. Murray) and the hon. Member for Oldham (Sir W. Barton) can do no more than they have sought to do, the case is a pretty bad one. What are the arguments put forward by my hon. Friend? That the hospitals are in want of these instruments, that suffering must be alleviated, and so on. No human being would do anything to clog the ability of a hospital to be properly equipped, but they have not given us a single proof that the instruments are not in the shops or warehouses already in this country to be bought if the hospitals want them. What sort of argument is that. We know that the hospitals are short of these instruments, but it does not follow that the Bill will prevent them from getting them. So far as I can understand, the instruments are at their disposal in the shops and warehouses, and therefore the Amendment will do no good one way or the other. But the most extraordinary and, if I may say so, immoral argument, put by the Member for Oldham, that we are going to pass this Bill because it was a promise, simply astonishes me. If there is any reason for anything being done, I can conceive none better than a word of honour. We were asked on various platforms throughout the country by working men to bring in a Bill of this kind. Whatever employers may say at Oldham or elsewhere, I am quite certain that in my own native city the working people would beg me to vote for this Bill. I gave a promise in my own Division to vote for it.

Sir W. BARTON:

As a matter of fact. I did not say a single word at all relating to what was said there.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

I should be the last man in the world to misrepresent the hon. Gentleman, but it is in the recollection of the Committee that he said we are going to get this Bill because we made a promise.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member is travelling rather wide from the question of postponement.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

The arguments put forward by those hon. Members are very wide if they are used to support the Amendment. I have risen to explain as best I could how little reliance can be attached to arguments of that sort.

Photo of Sir William Pearce Sir William Pearce , Stepney Limehouse

The example of the. Dyes Bill was an unfortunate one. It. is notorious that everyone knew what was going to happen and there was an enormous importation of German dyes in preparation for the Bill. So much so, that by the time the Bill was passed there was probably a year's stock of dyes, in the country sufficient for all the requirements of the Ministry. The same notice has been given now, and I cannot help thinking that most of the articles in the Schedule are pretty well stocked. I do not say there is no hardship, but I do not think it is of the magnitude that hon. Members opposite have stated. One point my hon. Friend mentioned is, I think, of some importance—I do not know if the Board of Trade can meet it—I mean substances which are not manufactured and are not going to be manufactured in this country. There I can understand that there is a hardship, and there is something in the point, but I do not think it is of serious magnitude.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

I wish to drive in the appeal to the Government to extend this time. The hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) says we have not quoted an instance where it would be advantageous to extend this time to the end of the year. I should like to give one case. Only the other day we saw an account of a new scientific instrument which has been acquired by the West London Hospital for the treatment of cancer. It cost £2,000. Under this Bill £600 odd will be added to its cost to the people who hope to benefit by this treatment. Is that the policy of the Government? There is no doubt that the Bill will increase prices. It is admitted by the Minister. I know the Government have a horror of cheapness. I stand for cheapness, and I am not ashamed of it. What we are suffering from to-day is artificial dearness, encouraged not only by Bills such as this, but by other causes for which the Government are responsible. I believe that had it the money each hospital would acquire one of these new instruments. If you gave them the extra six months and they had £500,000 for the equipment of their hospitals a large amount of human suffering would be saved.

Photo of Mr Peter Raffan Mr Peter Raffan , Leigh

Under your ruling, Sir, we are discussing only a section of the provisions of the Bill. We are not dealing with the provisions that affect dumping, where it might be argued that the patriotic course of the British consumer was to patronise the home manufacturer rather than the manufacturer abroad. The whole case for the Bill so far as it affects key industries is that at the moment these industries are not established at home, and under these circumstances it is obviously impossible for the home consumer to secure these supplies otherwise than from abroad. Under these circumstances what is the consumer to do? If he is to receive his supplies in the ordinary course of trade he is bound to enter into contracts, and it is no answer for the right hon. Gentleman to tell us that he had due notice that the Bill was to be introduced and that under the circumstances he could make his preparations. What was he to do when he had some information that the Government contemplated legislation of this general character? Was he to cease to order supplies? Was he to enter into no contracts? Obviously, under conditions of that kind it was quite impossible for business to be conducted at all. The right hon. Gentleman has admitted that there is some case for the Amendment because he has made what is in his own view, I gather, a concession. If he makes a concession at all he ought to make a real concession. The danger which he has suggested is one contemporaneous with the Bill passing into law. It may be some advantage to have a really definite date whatever it is, but he is making no concession whatever to those who have entered into these contracts. I have risen for the purpose of making a final appeal to the right hon. Gentleman, if he will not accept the Amendment in its entirety, at any rate not to close his mind to the appeal made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Camborne (Mr. Acland) at least to extend the date to 30th November. If that were done there would be some possibility of justice. We are asking for a very short period, which could not interfere with the operation of the Measure and could not weaken it. We make no attempt on the main proposal of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman must realise that, although there is a considerable volume of support of this Measure in the House and in the country, it is opposed by a great volume of business opinion in the country. It ought to be his object to conciliate opposition of that kind, and he has an opportunity of doing so by making this small concession and easing away the difficulties and making it more possible to carry on the Measure.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

Has the right hon. Gentleman given further consideration to the compromise date which I suggested? I suggest that we might well compromise on November.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

I hope the Government will not accept the Amendment. If this Measure be required to safeguard industries, it is required urgently. I am not one of those who believe in the Japanese proverb that if there is anything; you can leave until to-morrow that should be done to-day, always leave it. Hon. Members tell us that we are suffering from dearness of materials. Free Traders say that we must have everything as cheap as possible, no matter what maybe the consequences. If they can prove to us that their policy would have landed us in such a condition that our state of unemployment would have been a great deal better than that in other countries—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member is entering into the merits of policy rather than confining himself to the Amendment.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

The hon. Member for Oldham (Sir W. Barton) seemed to say that there was hardly any necessity for this Bill, because it was simply to redeem a promise made by the Government. I have a recollection of hearing the hon. Member saying that he thought there might be some reason for legislation of this sort. That was in the days before the General Election, when, although he was still a Free Trader, he said there were a great many things that had happened owing to the War, and he could see his way clear.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The only question is whether the Bill should come into operation immediately, on the 1st January, 1922, or on some other intermediate date. The hon. Member's argument must be directed to that and that only.

Mr. GREENWOOD:

My argument is that there ought to be no more delay than is absolutely necessary, because if we are to safeguard industries, and it is necessary to bring in this Bill, the sooner it is brought into operation the better. The notice that is to be given, which has been promised by the right hon. Gentleman, is quite sufficient. It is not a good argument to say that because some things will be a little dearer this Bill should not be brought in. We are told that we are suffering because things are too dear. The opposite is the case. We are suffering a great deal at the present time from unemployment because things are too cheap. If you look at the report of advancement in industry in a country which is not a Free Trade country, namely, Germany, you will see that the reason for its advancement—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

This argument is quite outside the scope of the Amendment. The hon. Member may argue that the Bill ought to come in at once and that the arguments that have been used as to contracts are not material, but he cannot go into general policy on this Amendment.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

When the time for our discussion is so limited, I would rather give more time to the discussion of other Amendments, but some reply is required to the arguments that have been put forward. The hon. Member for East Newcastle (Major Barnes) talked about giving traders what he called "breathing space." They have had six months' notice. The Resolutions on which this Bill is founded were published, with a list of the key industries, on the 31st March, and from that date to 30th September, which is the date I suggest, is six months. The only reason which should prevent people availing themselves of that knowledge was given by the hon. Member for Oldham, who alleged that a certain kind of popular sceptisism was rife in the country. I am no judge of sceptisism, and I am sorry if it does exist. I always proceed in a spirit of cheery optimism. It is much more likely that people have

managed their business on the lines suggested by the hon. Member for East Newcastle, who spoke of people who had voted in favour of putting some penalties on goods and then had loaded up in plenty of time to avoid those duties. That is not an uncommon form of human precaution; it is common to all people. I know of people who have advocated the abolition of the House of Lords who have become Peers. I remember one gentleman who had been an advocate of Home Rule for Ireland and who when he died left a clause in his will that none of his property was to be invested in that country.

I took the date which I suggest not out of my own head, but from an Amendment put down by two responsible Members of the party opposite, and in doing so I thought I was doing something which would give pleasure to hon. Members opposite. I am sorry that that is not so. My own view is that the time during which people have been fully aware of our proceedings under this Bill has been ample. When the McKenna duties were brought in people had only two weeks' notice. Cases of hardship which do arise whenever any question comes of fresh or increased taxation are met under the Finance Act, 1901, and if there are any peculiar circumstances such as those to which the hon. Member for East Grinstead (Mr. Cautley) referred, I should be only too glad to look at them between now and the Report stage. So far as the date for the commencement of the Act is concerned, I cannot go beyond the point where I now stand, and that is, to accept the Amendment that was put down in the name of the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Newbould) and make the appointed day the 30th September.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 77; Noes, 189.

Division No. 204.]AYES.[4.58 p. m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)Halls, Walter
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamDavies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)Hayward, Evan
Armstrong, Henry BruceDavison, J. E. (Smethwick)Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert HenryEdwards, G. (Norfolk, South)Hinds, John
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)Hirst, G. H.
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Entwistle, Major C. F.Hodge, Rt. Hon. John
Barton, Sir William (Oldham)Galbraith, SamuelHolmes, J. Stanley
Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)Gillis, WilliamHopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Glanville Harold JamesIrving, Dan
Briant, FrankGriffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)John, William (Rhondda, West)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Grundy, T. W.Johnstone, Joseph
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)Kennedy, Thomas
Davies A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M
Kenyon, BarnetO'Grady, JamesWaterson, A. E.
Kiley, James DanielRae, H. NormanWedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Lambert, Rt. Hon. GeorgeRaffan, Peter WilsonWignall, James
Lawson, John JamesRees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Lunn, WilliamRendall, AthelstanWilliams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John MurrayRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Wilson, James (Dudley)
Mills, John EdmundRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Morgan, Major D. WattsRobinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)Wintringham, Thomas
Mosley, OswaldRose, Frank H.Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)Royce, William StapletonYoung, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Myers, ThomasSpoor, B. G.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Newbould, Alfred ErnestThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. Hogge.
O'Connor, Thomas P.Tootill, Robert
NOES.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherGreene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)Neal, Arthur
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteGreenwood, Colonel Sir HamarNicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Astor, ViscountessGreenwood, William (Stockport)Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Baird, Sir John LawrenceGreer, HarryPalmer, Brigadier-General G L.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyGregory, HolmanParker, James
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Greig, Colonel Sir James WilliamPearce, Sir William
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Gretton, Colonel JohnPercy, Charles (Tynemouth)
Banner, Sir John S. HarmoodHacking, Captain Douglas H.Perkins, Walter Frank
Barnett, Major Richard W.Hambro, Angus ValdemarPhilipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City),
Barnston, Major HarryHarmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardHarmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Pratt, John William
Beckett, Hon. GervaseHarris, Sir Henry PercyPretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Haslam, LewisRaeburn, Sir William H.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)Remnant, Sir James
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Renwick, Sir George
Bethell, Sir John HenryHenry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Betterton, Henry B.Herbert, Col. Hon. A. (Yeovil)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonRoberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Borwick, Major G. O.Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankRodger, A. K.
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Breese, Major Charles E.Holbrook, Sir Arthur RichardSamuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl' ckm' nn, W.)Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)
Broad, Thomas TuckerHope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Brown, Major D. C.Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)Seddon, J. A.
Brown, T. W. (Down, North)Hopkins, John W. W.Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Hurd, Percy A.Simm, M. T.
Burdon, Colonel RowlandHurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.Smithers, Sir Alfred W.
Carr, W. TheodoreJackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Casey, T. W.James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertStanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Cautley, Henry StrotherJephcott, A. R.Sugden, W. H
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)Jesson, C.Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Jodrell, Neville PaulSutherland, Sir William
Cobb, Sir CyrilJones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Taylor, J.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelKidd, JamesTerrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeKing, Captain Henry DouglasThomas-Stanford, Charles
Conway, Sir W. MartinKnight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryLewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)Tickler, Thomas George
Davidson, J. C. C.(Hemel Hempstead)Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)Lindsay,-William ArthurTryon, Major George Clement
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)Lloyd, George ButlerTurton, Edmund Russborough
Dockrell, Sir MauriceLloyd-Greame, Sir P.Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)
Doyle, N. GrattanLocker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tigd'n)Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)Lorden, John WilliamWard, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Waring, Major Walter
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. Charles A.Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayMackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)White, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Fildes, HenryMcLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)Williams, C. (Tavistock)
Flannery, Sir James FortescueM'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Ford, Patrick JohnstonMacnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Foreman, Sir HenryMcNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)Winterton, Earl
Forestier-Walker, L.Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Wise, Frederick
Fraser, Major Sir KeithMalone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Wolmer, Viscount
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis EMarriott, John Arthur RansomeWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Gardner, ErnestMason, RobertWood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)
Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)Mitchell, William LaneWoolcock, William James U.
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzYoung, E. H. (Norwich)
Gilbert, James DanielMoreing, Captain Algernon H.Younger, Sir George
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnMorison, Rt. Hon. Thomas Brash
Goff, Sir R. ParkMunro, Rt. Hon. Robert.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Gould, James C.Murray, John (Leeds, West)Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Murray, Major William (Dumfries)Dudley Ward.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I beg to move, in Subsection (1), after the word "paid" ["paid on the goods"], to insert the words "or bond given for payment within ninety days."

5.0 P.M.

I do not know if the Government have made up their minds not to accept any Amendment at all, but in case they have not arrived at that decision I desire to move the next Amendment on the Paper. There are very few firms who have sufficient available capital to put down cash for every consignment of goods which arrives, and for that purpose it will be plain to the House that if every trader is called upon to find 33⅓ per cent. of his total imports it must necessitate a very large increase in his capital. If we assume for argument's sake that a man can carry on his business with £1,000 at his disposal, if he is called Upon to pay £133⅓ before he receives his goods that will involve a substantial increase in his working capital. That will be a matter of difficulty for some traders. There is an arrangement, I believe, which I learned for the first time a few months ago, that in certain cases the Customs authorities are prepared to allow the sale of goods to be delivered on a bond being given for 90 days. I only learned of that arrangement a short time ago, although I have 25 years' experience of the working of the Customs in this country, and when we consider that hundreds of thousands of people will make the acquaintance of His Majesty's Customs for the first time in their business experience under this Bill, their knowledge will not be any greater than mine has been. The Amendment which I propose does not involve any new departure on the part of the Customs, and therefore I beg to move.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

I must oppose this Amendment, for the simple reason that, once the principle is adopted, you will have every tobacconist, publican and wine and spirit merchant in the country who imports cigars or wines or spirits from abroad taking advantage of this novel privilege. If the Government is going to alter the whole of its Customs arrangements in order to fall in with the view of my hon. Friend, it will put the country to a deal of inconvenience and loss, and I think it is a principle which cannot be accepted.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

The principle is not in operation already. The Customs do not give the importer three months' credit; the goods are left in bonded stores, and they are not allowed to be taken out unless the dues are paid. If you possess a principle, already stereotyped, in regard to goods like cigars and spirits and wine, why should you make an exception in the case of goods coming in under this Schedule?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

I think the case has been very fairly put indeed by my hon. Friend (Mr. A. M. Samuel), who has a very large commercial experience, I think as large a commercial experience as the hon. Member who proposed the Amendment. I am sure my hon. Friend will not press this Amendment. It would be contrary to the Customs practice of this country and, I think, of every other country in the world. My hon. Friend must meet the position that it is intended to put on a 33⅓ per cent. duty, and that that duty will be collected in the ordinary way at the time of importation. I can conceive of a case where goods are brought in for the purpose of transhipment abroad, and for this discretion should be left to the Customs, but to put it in as an order to the Customs that in collecting dues they are in every case to accept a 90 days' bond would be absolutely contrary to the Customs practice of this country.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

Do we understand that the entrepôot trade will receive consideration from the Government in relation to goods covered by this Bill?

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

If my hon. Friend will look at Clause 12 and Clause 13, he will see what the position is with regard to that matter.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

We are really suffering a considerable amount of inconvenience through not having a representative of the Treasury here. He would put a quite different aspect on the case. Under the German Reparations Act His Majesty's Customs arrangements broke down on their levying 33⅓ per cent. on certain importations from Germany. At their request I myself recommended the Customs, in no fewer than 3,000 different cases, to allow the goods to be taken out on a bond for 90 days. What is the use of the representative of the Overseas Department coming down and making the speech he has just made? This matter ought really to be more fully considered, and the Government ought, if necessary, to postpone the consideration of this Bill. If this is not done, what will be the result? His Majesty's Customs or somebody else will have to provide bonded stores for all these goods.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

The Member for Farnham says "Why not?" That shows how little practical experience he possesses. Does he realise that this would mean some miles of warehouses at every dock, in every port throughout the country? Let me tell my hon. Friend what happened at Folkestone the very first day the German Reparation Act came into operation. The boat arrived at Folkestone and they turned out on the quay three trainloads of goods. The bonded store there was the size of a decent drawing room. The authorities telegraphed to the other side to stop any more goods coming in. They said, "We cannot get rid of them here. The people have not come with the 33⅓ percent., and the ports are blocked.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

The Overseas Department are setting up a system by which we are going to get credit, and when that is in operation I suppose money will be forthcoming. But are we to close down whatever business we have until all these brilliant schemes come into operation? I do suggest that between this and the next stage of the Bill the President of the Board of Trade might take counsel with those who have had, perhaps, more experience than he has had of this particular problem. If he will give that undertaking, I am prepared to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Baronet the Member for Twickenham (Sir W. Joynson Hicks)—[in Sub-section (1), after the word "Act" ("Schedule of this Act"), to insert the words "other than those which are not now or which in the opinion of the tribunal hereinafter set up will not be manufactured in the United Kingdom"]—is also out of order. He speaks of a tribunal, but he does not set it up.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

May he not put down an Amendment later to set up that tribunal?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I think not, but in any case I should not select an incomplete Amendment like that. The next Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Newbould)—[In Sub-section (1), to leave out the words "United Kingdom," and to insert instead thereof the words, "Great Britain"]—would involve a discrimination against Irish manufactures such as prevailed in the 18th century, and raises an issue too wide to be dealt with by an Amendment to this Bill.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

In a Bill which in itself is essentially discriminatory in deciding different duties should be applied to every country in the world, do you rule out of Order a suggested Amendment of this kind?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I do not rule it out of Order, but I am submitting reasons why I am not disposed to select this Amendment.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the words Provided that no duty shall be imposed under this Act which is at variance with any treaty, convention, or engagement with any foreign State in force for the time being. This Clause will undoubtedly mean that we shall be subject to retaliation by certain Governments. Certain countries from which we import will not take a proposition of this kind lying down. They will retaliate and impose tariffs where there are none now, or will increase them where they are small in amount. Therefore anything which is to be gained by additional trade in one or two directions will be more than off-set, because very few of the proposals which we are now considering involve what are really key industries. There may be one or two which could be construed as key industries, but the vast majority are not. The proposal will undoubtedly benefit the producers of those commodities, but whatever benefit those engaged in producing these commodities stand to gain will be more than wiped out by the increased taxation on commodities which we export. In enforcing such a proposal as this we are really pursuing a dangerous course which is bound to react on us in a way that is little contemplated at this moment.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

These words have no effect at all in the first part of the Bill, because the duties in the first part are generally applicable to all countries, and therefore no question of any favoured nation Clause arises. The points that might arise can be debated on Part II. of the Bill.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I am afraid that I have not made myself clear. If we impose duties, as we will do, on these articles, the country on whose goods we impose these duties will naturally be annoyed. They have their remedy by imposing additional duties on any goods which they import from our country. I want to avoid any increased tariff being put up against British goods which we export to the countries with which we have now got commercial treaties, with which we are now doing business. If we put a tariff on their goods they will put a tariff on our goods.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I see the point of my hon. Friend now. I am afraid that I did not make myself clear. I think his words mean exactly what I said. What I said was that the duties imposed under the first part of the Bill apply to all countries.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

If the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to accept my view, it will be very easy to modify my words.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

May I suggest to the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley) that we do not propose to break any treaty by doing something which we must not do under a treaty. The hon. Member is assuming something which will never happen. His reciprocity point is that if we do this, other nations will do it. There is not much in the point. Foreign nations will continue to put on such duties as they think proper without any consideration as to what we do in not putting duties on their productions.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

Let me recall to the President of the Board of Trade the case of Canada. Some years ago there was a question of preference as between this country and Canada and Canada and this country, and foreign countries objected under the most favoured nation Clause of commercial treaties, and the same preference had to be given while those treaties lasted or until they were denounced. Is it not possible that something might occur under this Bill which would conflict with commercial treaties? We have no knowledge whatever, and we have failed to extract from the Government any information, about these treaties. My own personal opinion is that there are very few nations that this Bill will affect and that the mere fact that the commercial treaty conflicts with the Bill is mere camouflage for the Tariff Reformers and that this is really another German Reparation Act and will not come into force at all, but I think that we are entitled to some information as to how the position with foreign countries will be affected.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend, because he has put a point which the Mover of the Amendment has not put. I would remind my hon. Friend of a provision in the Finance Act some years ago, which it was said would cause trouble, but there was no trouble of which I am aware. As to the point that any action of ours in putting on tariffs might tell against us in other countries, I do not think that the danger of that at the present moment is very real, because most of the countries in the world, for reasons of their own, are raising their tariffs as a general matter of policy, and would not be affected in this respect by these proposals. It is very interesting to see how even the countries who took part in the Financial Conference recently have increased their tariffs since that time. I do not believe that at this particular moment we need consider that point as one which vitally affects this question.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

had given notice of the following Amendment. At the end of Subsection (1), to insert the words Provided that such duties shall cease to be payable after the expiration of twelve months from the passing of this Act upon any article unless, in the meantime, the Board shall have obtained powers to control the following matters in connection with manufacture of similar articles in this country, namely, the wages to the workers in the industry, the selling price to the public, and the profits made upon the manufacture.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

The next Amendment raises, inferentially, the question whether a subsidy or a tariff is the right way to protect key industries, and is an Amendment of some substance.

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert the words Provided that no duty shall be charged on any such goods as are shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners to have been imported for the purpose of fulfilling any contract made prior to the thirty-first day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-one. This Amendment is to provide that in the case of existing contracts made prior to the 31st May, when the Bill was introduced and public notice was given to everybody of what articles and commodities would be subject to these duties, goods imported to fulfil such contracts shall not be liable to duty. The Amendment is so worded that there can be no chance of fraud, because the onus is on the importer of satisfying the Commissioners that they are so imported. I think that this Amendment will commend itself to the Committee on the grounds of justice and expediency. I object to legislation that is retrospective. This legislation is retrospective by putting a duty on goods that have already been purchased. I object also that it is grossly unfair to people who have made these contracts. Under Clause 3 of the Bill the Duties are not going to be imposed on all goods that are imported whatever their source of origin, but goods from other parts of the British Empire are to come in free. Therefore the man who has made his contract, running perhaps for a year, for these particular goods, with a country on goods from which the duty is payable, will have to pay that duty, which is considerable, until his contract expires, whereas his competitor in trade, who had not made such a contract, although he may have been in the habit of dealing with the same country, will be in a position to go to other countries, on goods from which no duty is payable, and the man who has got the contract is penalised. I can conceive cases where the cost might be considerable. I have raised this question at the request of several of my constituents, though we are not a trading constituency to any extent. It applies more particularly with reference to Part II, but the principle is the same in both cases. I understood the President of the Board of Trade to say that before the Report stage he would consider cases of hardship.

Photo of Mr Stanley Baldwin Mr Stanley Baldwin , Bewdley

This Amendment appeared on the Paper for the first time to-day. If my hon. and learned Friend would be good enough to bring to me any evidence he has that bears on this matter I should be glad to consider it. Up to-the present nothing has been brought to our notice. I will bear my hon. and learned Friend's proposal in mind and I will consider it before the Report stage, but without giving an undertaking that I will meet my hon. and learned Friend. On the information at present before me I could not accept the Amendment.

Photo of Mr Henry Cautley Mr Henry Cautley , East Grinstead

I am grateful for that promise. I have no cases relating to the actual commodities mentioned in the Schedule. I have had from several traders in my constituency, which is not a trading constituency, letters on the subject, but more particularly with regard to Part II of the Bill, and the putting of certain commodities in the Schedule. The conduct of business would be almost impossible if people who had made contracts extending over a long period were to find that the articles in which they were trading had been brought under this Bill. The same thing must apply to some of the commodities which are in Part I of the Bill. I am not prepared to give any instances of contracts dating so far back, but there might be very serious loss incurred if the people who made the contracts had a duty put on after the contracts had been made. I think the right hon. Gentleman has met me very fairly and I am prepared to accept his offer.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

We have here an illustration of the absolutely ridiculous and impossible position in which we have been placed. The hon. and learned Member has moved an Amendment on a point of very great substance. He feels the importance of it, and so does the President of the Board of Trade. But this Committee and the House of Commons will have absolutely no further power in the matter. As soon as the Amendment is withdrawn the President of the Board of Trade will draft another Amendment that will ultimately appear on the Paper, but it will never be reached or discussed, because on the Report stage the guillotine will fall, and then under the terms of the Parliament Act the Government them-selves will have no power to amend their proposal in another place. It means that tariff legislation is being passed by the ipse dixit of a very charming Minister, but he is pursuing duties which properly ought to belong, and would belong, if we were not working under this ridiculous and crippling and humiliating system, to the House of Commons.

Mr. T. THOMSON:

I wish to support the Amendment, as I have had an experience exactly similar to that of its mover, in that my constituents are extremely anxious to know what will be their position with regard to contracts already entered into, should those contracts be affected by this Bill. The cases given to me refer more particularly to Part II, but as this is the only opportunity of raising the matter, I hope the President of the Board of Trade will consider Seriously whether in equity an Amendment of substance like this should not be accepted. The cases affected may not be many, but whether few or many, the justice of the matter remains the same.

Mr. MacCALLUM SCOIT:

I would like to hear the President of the Board of Trade explain what are his reasons for not accepting the Amendment. He leaves it in rather a peculiar position. Here is a theoretical possibility of hardship, a possibility which must confront everyone in the case of forward contracts. The President of the Board of Trade has said that he is prepared to consider any case that is put to him, and if it is proved to him that there are cases of hardship he will consider whether he will do anything. Does that mean that when we are confronted with the theoretical possibility of hardship, before we make any provisions to meet it we must prove every case in this House? I hold that that is not necessary. We should provide theoretically against the hardship, if it is admitted that it is a hardship. None of us can prove all the cases. I think there is some point in the contention that even if the individual case is proved in practice, under the procedure now imposed on the House there will be no opportunity of remedying matters or of carrying an Amendment. If this Amendment does not destroy the principle of the Bill, the proper thing to do is to provide against the theoretical possibility of hardship by accepting the Amendment now, and later on, if necessary, it can be amended in the House of Lords.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

No; that cannot be done.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

The President of the Board of Trade shows a friendly disposition to supporters behind him, and he has given the hon. and learned Gentleman's Amendment much more favourable consideration than he has given to any proposal that has come from this side of the House. I would beg the Mover of the Amendment to be careful regarding any promise made to him, and to see that words are put into the Bill. Recently I took to the Board of Trade deputations which placed before the Board the details of eight or nine cases which would be affected by the Bill, but the Board of Trade said, "We cannot deal with any of those cases because they cut right across the Bill." There are two forms of contracts to be considered. Assume that one contract has been delivered and that the other contract has not been delivered, or that only a small portion of it has been delivered. The one man would find himself much better placed than his competitor, although both might be carrying on identical work in the same town. One of them would get a very valuable concession and the other would not. It shows where the President of the Board of Trade was wrong in not giving reasonable facilities for all those who are engaged in importing certain articles to be placed on an equality.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

I think it is quite possible that a man might have, exempt from taxation, a contract which would run for the whole period of the Bill. There might be forward contracts made for a period of five, ten, or even 20 years. Under this Amendment, the whole of those would be exempted. I do not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley). The customs would have no power to levy upon those goods, because the contracts were made before a certain date. It is not quite fair to treat a large trader who is able to make long forward contracts in one way, and to treat a small trader in another way. They ought all to be put on the same footing. The Mover of the Amendment talked about paper. If the big paper manufacturers are to be exempted—

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams Lieut-Colonel Penry Williams , Middlesbrough East

If the paper manufacturers are to be exempted, we ought to know what undertaking has been given in the matter. If anyone is exempted, I hope all will be exempted.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

I beg to move, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "not being" and to insert instead thereof the word "including."

This Sub-section deals with cases where an article which is subject to a duty under this Clause may at the same time be subject to some other duty. It lays it down that where an article is subject to other duties than this particular duty, the other duties will abate; the combined duties will not be more than 33⅓ per cent. unless the other duty happens to be more than 33⅓ per cent. It makes an exception and says that that abatement shall not operate if the other duties are duties which are to be put on under Part II of this Bill. If an article is an article manufactured by a key industry it may be right that there should be a duty of 33⅓ per cent. put upon it in order to give it necessary protection. But if it gets that protection, and it is alleged that it is also an article which is subject to dumping, that 33⅓ per cent. put on for the one reason should be equally operative for the other purpose. If you want to keep out an article which is being imported into this country at less than cost price, and you put on a 33⅓ per cent. duty, that will act to the extent of helping those manufacturers who are making it in this country as a key article, and I cannot see why it should be necessary to put on the two duties. If the Amendment were accepted the two classes of duties would not operate together. I ask the Government why they think it necessary to put on these two duties at the same time. Why not either treat an article as an article made by a key industry, and put on a duty under the one Section, or treat it as an article that has been dumped into this country, and put on a 33⅓ per cent. for that reason. There seems to be no reason why we should put on the two together, and I hope the Government will see there is reason in my case and accept this Amendment.

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

I think I can agree with some part of the reasoning of the hon. Member who has moved this Amendment, but certainly not with his conclusions. If he considers what the position is, and how these two sections will operate, he will see that his proposal is not reasonable. It was intended from the outset to impose a duty of 33⅓ per cent., no more and no less, on the articles enumerated in the Schedule. Therefore it becomes necessary, supposing some of these articles are already subject to duty, to make allowance for that, so that they shall not bear a greater duty than the 33⅓ per cent. protective duty. Supposing a magneto is already subject to a duty, then it will not pay under this. The object is that there shall be 33⅓ per cent. imposed, and no more.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

The other duty may be more than 33⅓ per cent.

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

There is no other duty which is more than 33⅓ per cent. That is no reason for preventing these articles coming within the scope of Part II of the Bill which deals with collapsed exchanges and dumping. I quite agree with the hon. Member that once the duty of 33⅓ per cent. is put on these articles it will be more difficult for those who produce them, having that protection, to prove that there is dumping, or that they are suffering by reason of the collapsed exchanges. Persons who wish to dump goods into this country below the cost of production, or who were assisted by the bounty of the collapsed exchanges, have got to overcome the wall of the 33⅓ per cent. It is by so much the more difficult for the foreign exporter to dump into this country once this duty has been put on, but conceding that the duty has been imposed, and that, notwithstanding the duty, articles have been dumped into this country, then people who produce those articles in this country should not be precluded from taking advantage of Part II. For that reason the Committee will appreciate that it is perfectly fair to say that Part II of the Bill should apply, notwithstanding that the duty of 33⅓ per cent. has been imposed from the outset on these goods. I think that the reason which the hon. Member advances in support of his Amendment might more logically be used in support of the proposal of the Government

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I understand the statement of the hon. Gentleman is that two duties can be charged under the two parts of the Bill if the circumstances warrant it, so that a German magneto might pay 66⅔ per cent. under this Bill subject to certain conditions and perhaps also 26 per cent. under the Reparation Act.

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend does not want to misrepresent me. What I said was, that if, notwithstanding the 33⅓ per cent. duty, an article is dumped an Order may be made in that case, making the two duties payable; but unless it is dumped despite the protective duty, then there is only the one duty payable.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I quite understand. The position is that it pays 33⅓ per cent. to start with, then it will pay 26 per cent. under the Reparation Recovery Act—or the traders concerned—and, in addition to that, if it is possible to bring sufficient pressure to bear on the Board of Trade it may have to meet an additional 33⅓ per cent. or about 93 per cent. in all. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] This question of what the duty should be has considerably exercised Members of the parties composing the Coalition. There is a group, including the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Captain Coote), who declare that to rectify the difficulties in which we are placed by the state of the exchanges a duty of 400 per cent. or 500 per cent. will be required. On the other hand, there are other Members of parties supporting the Government, who think that the less there is of this sort of thing the better. I observe in the "Times" they have had the honour of breakfasting with the Prime Minister and Lord Derby, and what those present regarded as definite guarantees were given by the Prime Minister that 33⅓ per cent. would be the maximum duty imposed. It seems to me somebody is being deceived. What is really going to happen is that instead of having a tariff under which a certain duty is imposed which everybody can understand, we are to have an arrangement by which at breakfast it is promised that the maximum shall be 33⅓ per cent., while at a meeting of more energetic supporters of the Government a 400 per cent. or 500 per cent. duty is advocated.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

Who was at this breakfast party?

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I do not want to weary the Committee by reading the whole account, but the right hon. Baronet will find it in the "Times" of the 7th May.

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

Has this any bearing on this particular Amendment to the Bill?

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

With due respect, Sir Edwin, it was a breakfast party dealing with this particular Amendment. Not only that, but those attending it came away with a definite guarantee that a maximum of 33⅓ per cent. would be imposed. [An HON. MEMBER: "What was the menu?"] I do not know. I am not one of those privileged to receive invitations to these functions which are held for the consolation of various parties. I do think we are entitled to know where we stand in this matter. The hon. Gentleman will own up to the 66 per cent., though I understand he will not own up to the 94 per cent. Other Members think that 33⅓ per cent. is the maximum, and the fact is that the whole matter is being taken out of the hands of this House, and is going to be decided by the Board of Trade. We should get a definite statement and a fixed tariff. If we must have Protection let us have it honestly and straightforwardly.

Captain COOTE:

One of the arguments used by the hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken does not apply. When I made the statement about a duty of 400 per cent. or 500 per cent. being necessary to correct the effect of the collapsed exchanges, I did so as part of an argument that the Bill was futile. May I address myself more particularly to this Amendment? I am impressed by the reasoning of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Department. I think he has demonstrated conclusively that the proposal to deal with this particular problem as it is dealt with in the Bill is equally futile and that the only proper way to deal with it is by prohibition and importing under licence, which, I understand, is the view held by a great number of Members in all parties in this Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"] Let me put it in this way. It is admitted by a great number of Members that key industries stand in a class by themselves. This part of the Bill is intended to deal with the dumping of products of a key industry. If an article which is the product of a key industry is imported into this country it is charged 33⅓ per cent., and under this proposal a further duty will be applicable to such articles if they are dumped. That is what I understood the explanation of the hon. Gentleman to mean.

Photo of Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame Mr Philip Lloyd-Greame , Hendon

The antidumping provisions could be applied to such goods as well, if they were in fact dumped, notwithstanding the duty.

Captain COOTE:

Then I am right that there is a possibility under this Clause as it stands, that not only the ordinary duty upon a key industry product may be imposed, but also that a duty with regard to dumping may be imposed. May I put it to my hon. Friend, that what he wants to do with the key industries is, to keep the products of those industries which are made abroad out of this country and the really effective way of doing that is not by putting on a duty. May I further point out that he deliberately contemplates in this Clause a state of affairs in which the duty will not be sufficient to keep these things out, and therefore he will have no guarantee that those articles will be made in this country which the Bill deliberately intends to have produced in this country. For that reason I cannot support the Amendment. The Amendment would make it still easier for these products to be imported into this country by limiting the duty in so far as a duty can rectify this matter. If you accept the contention that there is such a thing as a key industry at all and that a duty is effective, then the bigger the duty you put upon the key industry products coming into this country the better. A large number of us have accepted the position that there is such a thing as a key industry, and key industries are defined in the Schedule to which this part of the Bill applies. Logically, the bigger the duty you put upon these particular things the better for the purpose of the Government and for the purpose of those who brought forward this particular Bill.

6.0 P.M.

Dr. MURRAY:

The brilliant little speech we have just heard is characteristic of the attitude of mind of certain hon. Members on the other side who make very strong declarations and wind up by declaring their intention of not voting for Amendments to this Bill. This Amendment has revealed to the House one of the most important elements of this Bill. That is, that an article may not only be charged 33⅓ per cent. but also an additional tax under the Anti-dumping portion of this Bill. I heard the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. T. A. Lewis) make a very excellent speech in support of this Bill on the Second Beading. I understood another hon. Member from Wales was very much against the Bill, however, on the ground of the adverse effect it would certainly have on the price of microscopes and other scientific instruments which are required for use by the universities in Wales. If an instrument that cost £20 went up to £30 by the addition of the 33⅓ per cent. duty, that was bad enough, but now, apparently, it is likely that it will go up still higher by the addition of another 33⅓ per cent., and the poor Welsh may have to pay £40 for a microscope. Yet the hon. Member for Pontypridd promised his constituents to vote for the Bill. An hon. Member asks me what about the Scottish universities. The, Oxford lawns were made by rolling and mowing for 600 years, and that is how the Scottish universities have grown, but I was speaking about the Welsh universities, although, of course, I had got my eye on the Scottish universities all the time. Although they have to pay 33⅓ per cent. extra for all the scientific instruments they have got to use according to the Bill, they may be called upon to pay, according to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn), who is never wrong on these matters, over 90 per cent., and I am not surprised that the hon. Members from Wales are getting anxious about the finances of the Welsh universities, as we are about the finances of the Scottish universities. The hon. Member from Wales promised to his constituents to vote for a thing which he has not really considered, and I do not believe any man or woman in Wales sent the hon. Member here to vote for a Bill that will not only make all scientific instruments dearer by 33⅓ per cent., but, in the case of every old wife who wants a new pair of glasses and who used to pay 5s. for them, will make her have to pay 15s. now.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

The Amendment opens a very wide and intricate line of argument, and when I look at it I do not know how to vote in view of the fact that I want industrial alcohol to be free from duty. A thing which comes to my mind as I stand here is a substance called pyroxylin. It contains ether and alcohol and might come under the Schedule to the Bill either as a colouring matter, or a dyestuff, or a fine chemical, or it might come under the description of a compound article or an ingredient or an article which has lost its identity under Sub-section 4 of Clause I. May I explain what pyroxylin is? It is simply a thin film or varnish or collodion which, mixed with ether or alcohol, is applied to leather surfaces and patent leather is the result. It is subject to Customs duty. Patent leather comes in as patent leather and we had to buy it from Germany because of the duty on alcohol or the ingredient. We cannot make up pyroxylin in this country because it is made of a solution of nitric and sulphuric acids and ether and alcohol, and we have to pay duty on the industrial alcohol; but when this pyroxylin or collodion comes in on the leather, made up as patent leather (as a compound article), we have to pay no Customs duties on the ingredients. When it comes in in a non-compound condition as pyroxylin without the leather—

Photo of Mr Gerald France Mr Gerald France , Batley and Morley

On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member not speaking about another Clause altogether?

Photo of Sir Edwin Cornwall Sir Edwin Cornwall , Bethnal Green North East

I do not think so, as far as I understand his remarks.

Photo of Mr Arthur Samuel Mr Arthur Samuel , Farnham

Pyroxylin thus is an ingredient which forms part of something that might come under the schedule description of organic dyestuffs or colouring matters, or chemicals made by fermentation, and I think I am in order. Suppose the Bill took the duty under Sub-section (4) off this compound article or ingredient, although it might charge it with the duty when it comes in finished as patent leather, rather than as an alcohol or other compound article, you bring this ingredient material into the country duty free, but the manufacturers here will have no benefit, because unless you take the Customs duty off industrial alcohol the whole of the benefit provided by the Sub-section is nullified. We ought to be careful how we deal with ingredients or compound articles under this Bill, or we may prevent us making patent leather here and compel us to import it in its finished state. For that reason, although I do not say my view is right, I dare not vote for or against this Clause until my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has seen how a position like that I have instanced will be affected by this Bill, and I hope he will allow this to be thought out in special reference to pyroxylin before the Report stage.

Photo of Mr Oswald Mosley Mr Oswald Mosley , Harrow

The most remarkable confession concerning the utter futility of this Measure has just emanated from the hon. Gentleman who speaks for the Board of Trade. Up to this Amendment we have always been informed that the 33⅓ per cent. duty was a universal panacea for all ills and an absolute specific against the conditions in which we find ourselves to-day, but now the hon. Gentleman comes down and envisages a prospect where a 33⅓ per cent. duty is wholly and utterly inadequate. He said, "Supposing we have a key industry protected with a 33⅓ per cent. duty, and the goods still come in from abroad, it is open to us to apply also the anti-dumping duties—if necessary, to the extent of 90 per cent. foreshadowed by the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn). After all these discussions, therefore, we find that a 33⅓ per cent. duty is not considered adequate, but that in some cases a duty of about 90 per cent. is required. What happens in the cases where it is not within the power of the Government to apply a duty of more than 33⅓ per cent.? The fact is, as everybody knows, that under these conditions of great collapses of certain exchanges a duty of 500 per cent. or 600 per cent. would be necessary to protect these industries in our country. In fact, no tariff of any sort could conceivably protect these articles under the conditions of fluctuating exchanges which prevail at the present time. The root of the whole matter is that the Government is out to get as much protection, by one way or another, as it can, but that in reality it knows well, as everybody else knows, that no protection which it can get under this Bill will really affect the condition of industry in this country one iota one way or the other. The whole Measure, from beginning to end, is pure camouflage, pure eyewash, to satisfy traders who are complaining to-day in face of world conditions which it passes the wit of man to remedy by legislation of this sort, and the Government knows, of course, as well as everybody knows, that industry can only be adversely affected, if it is affected at all, by a Measure of this sort. We have now a confession that 33⅓ per cent. is utterly farcical.

Photo of Mr Gerald France Mr Gerald France , Batley and Morley

I am beginning now to understand the mixture of somewhat cynical levity and extreme gloom on the part of the Ministers. I wish the Minister for Education had been here. When he was speaking the other day, he spoke of this as being a right thing to adopt, this key industry remedy, but he said it was a poison. He was only thinking of 33⅓ per cent. He must have been at the breakfast which has been referred to, and he was imbued with the idea that only 33⅓ per cent. was being charged. What he would think of a possible double dose of poison, of 66 per cent., I do not know. I should like to ask the hon. Member in charge of this matter whether it really means that he is so determined to make all the articles in this Schedule dear, more difficult for those who use them to purchase, that if, after putting on 33⅓ per cent. for the purpose of protecting or helping a key industry, someone abroad desires to reduce the price slightly in order to try and meet competition and get into this country, that would be construed at once by the Board of Trade as an act of dumping, and that the other duty of 33⅓ per cent. would be put on? If that is so, if my hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Coote) really desires to keep these things out at all costs, I quite agree with him, though it is not my point of view, that this is all futile. You are not going to succeed, and nobody thinks you will succeed, in protecting this country by these duties of 33⅓ per cent. or 66 per cent. If firms are determined to get their goods in, they will try to do so, and we can contemplate in twelve months' time the hon. Member who represents the Board of Trade coming down and saying, "The duty of 33⅓ per cent. is no good; I have made it 66 per cent., because somebody has tried to get their goods in; that is no good, and I must ask for something more," which is the inevitable course which follows when you once begin to try to remedy matters of this kind by putting on tariffs. If the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill and his able assistant the Parliamentary Secretary are genuinely as anxious as many of us are to see that any industry essential for a time of war is helped in the country, they will adopt the method, however unpopular it may seem to be, of giving some assistance to that trade by coming to Parliament in a bonâ fide, open way, and asking for funds, and not by trying these, foolish expedients, which will only lead to expense and to objections which everyone can foresee, but which the Government will not admit now.

Mr. T. THOMSON:

The ambiguity of this matter is admitted, and I perhaps may also plead guilty to haziness as to what this does mean. May I take a concrete case? Take tungsten, which is a key industry, according to the Schedule. It is entitled to the 33⅓ per cent. duty. Is it also entitled to an additional, say, 20 per cent. which is required to prevent it being brought in as a dumped article? Does it get 53⅓ per cent. as the necessary protection, or does the 33⅓ per cent. which it gets as a key industry also cover the 20 per cent. which it might claim as a dumped article? Does the greater include the less, or what? I submit that, where you are beginning to interfere with trading and contracts, you want to have everything down as clearly as possible, so that the trader may know exactly to what he is liable and what he has to provide against. In view of the Debate that has taken place in this Committee, there appears to be a certain amount of haziness on the part of Members on both sides of the House as to what this proviso really does mean. Seeing the right hon. Gentleman resists the Amendment, it seems desirable he should make the matter clear.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

I think we ought to have an answer to the very specific request made by hon. Members, for the thing goes to the very root of the matter.

Question put, "That the words 'not being' stand part of the Clause."

Division No. 205.]AYES.[6.20 p. m.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherGregory, HolmanPalmer, Major Godfrey Mark
Agg-Gardner, Sir James TynteGreig, Colonel Sir James WilliamPalmer, Brigadier-General G. L.
Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William JamesGretton, Colonel JohnPearce, Sir William
Armstrong, Henry BruceGritten, w. G. HowardPease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike
Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Pennefather, De Fonblanque
Astor, ViscountessGwynne, Rupert S.Perkins, Walter Frank
Bagley, Captain E. AshtonHacking, Captain Douglas H.Perring, William George
Baird, Sir John LawrenceHambro, Angus ValdemarPhilipps, Gen. Sir I. (Southampton)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyHannon, Patrick Joseph HenryPhilipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City of Lon.)Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel Charles
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Harris, Sir Henry PercyPratt, John William
Barlow, Sir MontagueHenderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Barnston, Major HarryHennessy, Major J. R. G.Rae, H. Norman
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardHenry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)Raeburn, Sir William H.
Beckett, Hon. GervaseHewart, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonRawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.Reid, D. D.
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h)Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankRemer, J. R.
Betterton, Henry B.Hills, Major John WallerRemnant, Sir James
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Renwick, Sir George
Blair, Sir ReginaldHope, Sir H.(Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)
Borwick, Major G. O.Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Breese, Major Charles E.Hopkins, John W. W.Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveHorne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)Rodger, A. K.
Broad, Thomas TuckerHorne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Brown, Major D. C.Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Brown, T. W. (Down, North)Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur
Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Inskip, Thomas Walker H.Seddon, J. A.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William JamesJackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Shaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)
Butcher, Sir John GeorgeJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertShortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Carr, W. TheodoreJephcott, A. R.Simm, M. T.
Casey, T. W.Jesson, C.Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)
Cautley, Henry StrotherJodrell, Neville PaulSprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A.(Birm., W.)Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Stanier, Captain Sir Beville
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeStanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Churchman, Sir ArthurKidd, JamesStewart, Gershom
Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. SpenderKing, Captain Henry DouglasSturrock, J. Leng
Coats, Sir StuartKinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementSueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Cobb, Sir CyrilKnight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)Sugden, W. H.
Cohen, Major J. BrunelLaw, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Surtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Cope, Major WilliamLewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)Taylor, J.
Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South)Lindsay, William ArthurTerrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryLloyd, George ButlerThomas-Stanford, Charles
Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry PageLloyd-Greame, Sir P.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)Lorden, John WilliamThomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.Lowe, Sir Francis WilliamTickler, Thomas George
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Townley, Maximilian G.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. Charles A.Tryon, Major George Clement
Dennlss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Turton, Edmund Russborough
Doyle, N. GrattanMcLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Macleod, J. MackintoshWalton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayMcNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)Waring, Major Walter
Fildes, HenryMacpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Warren, Sir Alfred H.
Flannery, Sir James FortescueMalone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Ford, Patrick JohnstonMarriott, John Arthur RansomeWhite, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Foreman, Sir HenryMitchell, William LaneWilliams, C. (Tavistock)
Forestier-Walker, L.Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzWilloughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotMontagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Fraser, Major Sir KeithMoreing, Captain Algernon H.Winterton, Earl
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Munro, Rt. Hon. RobertWise, Frederick
Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Wolmer, Viscount
Gee, Captain RobertMurray, Hon. Gideon (St. Rollox)Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydMurray, John (Leeds, West)Wood, Major Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamNall, Major JosephWoolcock, William James U.
Gilbert James DanielNeal, ArthurWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnNewman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)Younger, Sir George
Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Hack'y, N.)Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John
Greenwood, Colonel Sir HamarOman, Sir Charles William C.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Greer, HarryOrmsby-Gore, Hon. WilliamColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
Dudley Ward.
NOES.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert HenryBarton, Sir William (Oldham)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamBarker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)
Adkins, Sir W. Ryland D.Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)

The Committee divided: Ayes, Noes, 84.

Briant, FrankHodge, Rt. Hon. JohnRendall, Athelstan
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Hogge, James MylesRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Cairns, JohnHolmes, J. StanleyRoberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)Irving, DanRoyce, William Stapleton
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)John, William (Rhondda, West)Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)Johnstone, JosephSmith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Kennedy, ThomasSpoor, B. G.
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.
Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)Kenyon, BarnetSwan, J. E.
Entwistle, Major C. F.Kiley, James DanielThomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
France, Gerald AshburnerLambert, Rt. Hon. GeorgeThorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Galbraith, SamuelLawson, John JamesTootill, Robert
Gillis, WilliamLunn, WilliamWallace, J.
Glanville, Harold JamesMacdonald, Rt. Hon. John MurrayWard, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian)Waterson, A. E.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Mallalieu, Frederick WilliamWignall, James
Grundy, T. W.Morgan, Major D. WattsWilliams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)Mosley, OswaldWilliams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Wilson, James (Dudley)
Halls, WalterMyers, ThomasWilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Hayday, ArthurNewbould, Alfred ErnestWintringham, Thomas
Hayward, EvanO'Connor, Thomas P.Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)O'Grady, James
Hinds, JohnRaffan, Peter WilsonTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hirst, G. H.Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)Major Mackenzie Wood and Mr. T.
Thomson.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (3).

In protecting key industries, surely the manufacture of the articles concerned, which are supposed to be essential for the safety of the country, should be in the country? That, in fact, is one of the justifications for this Bill, certainly one that is brought forward, and the reason adduced for the necessity of this Bill. Immediately, however, the Government put up a proposition such as is contained in this Sub-section and then proceed to drive a coach and pair through what they apparently desire by saying that if goods are made in some other part that will meet their views. What on earth is the use of that kind of action at a time of crisis? At such a time, if we want the goods at all, we want them available and not in some far away place where they cannot be got at because of a blockade. How can hon. Members opposite expect manufacturers in this country to go to the expense, which, it is alleged, they must go to, in order to make these articles in this country and at the same time you do what you can to prevent their efforts being successful by permitting the importation of the goods of competitors in other parts of the world? That is a policy I cannot for a moment understand; that is to say, if the Government are sincere in what they say.

Look at what may happen. Suppose a firm in America opens out a branch, which they can well do, in Canada. It may not be a British concern at all. An American can open up in any part of our Dominions where, it may be, they would be gladly welcomed. What on earth is the use of this present proposal to assist manufacturers of this country in view of such action on the part of other competitors? The proposal is not likely to help manufacturers or to provide much employment. It may do something to enable manufacturers here to lose their money if they start investing and putting up works. This proposal shows the insincerity of the Government and of these proposals from start to finish. Again, is it, or is it not, desirable in these circumstances to obtain some assurance from our Dominions that they will reciprocate? Have hon. Members seen in the newspapers during the last day or two as to the prohibition of British-made boots into South Africa? They prohibit these goods from going into South Africa. If the Government wish them to be made so as to provide work for the unemployed here they should protect those who put their money into industries in this country which are necessary in order to manufacture these goods. I do not think this is the time to give encouragement of this kind which will only hinder and hamper the manufacture of those particular goods in this country.

Photo of Mr Henry Croft Mr Henry Croft , Bournemouth

The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has made an interesting speech, which I confess surprised me very much, because his principal complaint appears to be that the protection of our home manufacturers is complete enough. In his speech he mentioned the fact that it would be very easy for American firms to go to Canada and produce these goods, and then export them here and so avoid the duty. That will not alarm many hon. Members of this House. The hon. Gentleman is inclined to forget that, after all, we want these goods, and in the illustration he has given they will provide employment in Canada and also revenue to the Government of Canada. I hope the time is coming when we shall be more inclined to look upon our Dominions as part of the system of the Empire, and I think we should be rather pleased than otherwise to see American firms moving into our British Dominions, because this would help us to build up our Empire as a whole.

Photo of Mr John Sturrock Mr John Sturrock , Montrose District of Burghs

The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley) professes to be a pure Free Trader, but he took up an attitude which to me seems utterly at variance with the views of all those of us who are genuine Free Traders. Here we are discussing a proposal in the Bill which is directly in the path of creating Imperial Free Trade and a world-wide Free Trade, and my hon. Friend, anxious to secure petty party points, says in effect: "We will not have this proposal and we must have a bigger measure of protection." My hon. Friend opposite admits that at the very worst this proposal is one which is going to employ British labour, if not at home, at any rate in the Colonies. I do not think my hon. Friend at this time of day would venture to suggest that this Imperial House of Commons should do anything to repudiate the bonds which have been formed with our Dominions. This proposal is not going to hurt British trade, but it will help it. I appeal to all those who are anxious to maintain any shred of Liberalism on the Benches opposite to withdraw their opposition to this Sub-section.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

I quite understand now why the Government have applied the Closure to this Measure. I do not think this Bill could stand very much more support like that which has just been given to it by the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Sturrock) who is one of the most interesting studies in the House. It is not many months ago since the hon. Member opposed a Resolution declaring that key industries instead of being protected by import duties should be controlled and assisted by the State. That proposal was opposed by the hon. Gentle- man and his friends, and now he comes forward in support of a tariff. We are told that this duty is not being put on as a tariff, but in order to create employment. We are supposed by this proposal to be safeguarding the vital military necessities of the Empire, and for that purpose we have a tariff devised to provide that only in these islands shall we produce the things we may require in the next war. Then the Government come along and say it does not matter whether they are manufactured in this country or in Australia. This proviso is merely for the safeguarding of the military defences of the country. We see the Bill now as it really is, namely, under the pretence of military necessity, and utilising the so-called lessons of the War the Government is satisfying the protectionist cravings of their supporters.

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Lanark

I should not have intervened in this Debate but for the spirited interlude to which we have just listened from the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn). His argument was founded on the theory that only in this island is there any danger from a military point of view, but he does not realise that our military necessities apply to the whole of the Empire and that in a future war we might find the Australians, for example, manufacturing these articles. All these goods produced within the Empire are valuable to the Empire if hostilities break out involving any part of the Empire. It has been shown that when you have goods produced in this Empire they are produced under the sovereignty of the people who are working for the needs of the Empire as a whole, and against the Empire's enemies as a whole. The British Navy is not an entirely negligible factor in the strategical necessities of the day, and when the hon. and gallant Member argues that to foster the manufacture of goods which may be useful to the Empire in time of war in any other part of the Empire except these islands is a thing that should not be done because it will be of no use to the Empire if hostilities break out he is going rather far even for one of the apostles of ancient Liberalism who has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Photo of Mr Evan Hayward Mr Evan Hayward , Seaham

Unlike the argument which has been put forward by some hon. Members, I am very grateful for the extent to which these articles are ex- cluded. My complaint is that goods produced in other territories are not also excluded. We have been told from the Front Bench that this Bill has been based upon the Paris Resolutions. Those Resolutions contain some indirect reference to the kind of article which is included in Part I of this Bill. In the Paris Resolutions, under Part III, which deals with permanent measures of mutual assistance and collaboration amongst the Allies, it is provided that The Allies decide to take the necessary steps without delay to render themselves independent of the enemy countries in so far as regards the raw material and the manufactured articles essential to the normal development of their economic activities. If this part of the Bill has been based on the Paris Resolutions, which we were told it was, then it must be built upon the Clause I have just read. If that is so, I should like to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he would tell us how it is, in accordance with the decisions come to by the Paris Resolutions, that the countries of our Allies have not been excluded from the operation of this Clause as well as the countries of the British Empire. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to deal with that point. On more than one occasion we have been told that the Bill is based on the Paris Resolutions, and yet, if we read them, we find they were come to by agreement amongst the Allies for the protection of the Allies against enemy countries, and now we find in this Bill they are directed against our Allies, and that they are not solely directed against enemy countries, as was the intention of the Paris Resolutions.

Photo of Mr Austin Hopkinson Mr Austin Hopkinson , Mossley

I do not think the hon. Member for Bournemouth (Lieut.-Colonel Croft) followed his argument to its logical conclusion. The hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Kiley) was protesting against American firms opening works in Canada and producing these goods within the British Empire in order to avoid the duty, and the hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth contested that argument, and pointed out that this would be even more effective than if the articles were produced in our own country. If this key industry policy is adopted it will be easy for the American manufacturers to set up works for the production of magnetos and other goods beyond the Canadian border, and when war breaks out they can shut down those works, and this would leave us worse off than we were before. If this Sub-section is allowed to remain you may create a false sense of security, because this provision would cease to be of any use if war broke out.

Photo of Sir Patrick Ford Sir Patrick Ford , Edinburgh North

I wish to protest against the limitation which the hon. and gallant Member for Leith Burghs (Captain W. Benn) attempts to put on this Bill by suggesting that it is merely directed against the submarine menace. The hon. and gallant Member will admit he is hardly doing justice to the Bill, because there is a great deal more than the submarine menace to be guarded against. There is the menace of the capture of our industry by foreign countries likely to be hostile to us, and that is a great deal more serious than the mechanical danger arising from submarines. The hon. Member who last spoke (Mr. Hopkinson) raised a much more important point with regard to this Clause, but I would protest against taking the danger which he suggested too seriously, because, after all, if we have a body of men trained to a particular industry in any part of our Empire—Canada, for example—it is quite true that while the Americans might withdraw their capital and shut down their works, we would still have left with us that trained body of workmen, and there would be a possibility of coming to some arrangement with them which would put us in a better rather than a worse position.

Photo of Major Murdoch Wood Major Murdoch Wood , Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire Central

I only want to say one word on this particular Amendment. I cannot say I am in favour of it. I believe the reason for putting it down was really to draw attention to the discrimination which has been made by the Government with regard to goods under Part 1 and those under Part 2 of the Bill. I do not think it matters much whether this particular Sub-section is in the Bill or not, because there are so comparatively few of these key articles which are manufactured in the Colonies. Why is it the right hon. Gentleman has seen fit not to put in a similar provision with regard to articles which come under Part 2? The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Lieut.-Colonel Croft) suggested that this was put in in the interests df employment. I hope he will give us his support when we come to con- sider a similar question to this later on in the Bill. As a matter of fact, this does not touch the question of employment at all. I would like the right hen. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to inform the House why he is giving this seeming preference to the Dominions while he is denying a similar preference which would be of real substance. I think we are entitled to some explanation why this discrimination is being made.

Photo of Captain Edward Bagley Captain Edward Bagley , Farnworth

Every speaker who has taken part in this Debate seems to have come to the conclusion that this affects the setting up of industries in outlying parts of the Empire only, but I cannot see why industries should not grow in Canada and in this country. I would point out to those hon. Gentlemen who are supporting the Amendment that at a later stage the President of the Board of Trade is introducing a new Clause under which it is specifically provided that if an industry is not set up in the United Kingdom within two years it ceases to obtain the benefits of this Bill, and becomes duty free, so far as that particular article is concerned.

Photo of Mr James Kiley Mr James Kiley , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

As I have achieved the object which I had in view—that of calling attention to the fact that while the Government desire people to put their money into various key industries, they are doing their best to permit the import of the product of such industries—I ask leave now to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

I am not anxious to move the next Amendment at this stage if I can have some assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that the very important principle contained in it will be discussed at a later stage. If he will give me that—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member had better formally move his Amendment.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (3), to insert a new Sub-section— (4) No duty shall be charged under this Section on goods which are shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioners to have been imported for the purpose of being used in shipbuilding or ship repairing. My object is to ask the Government what their intention is regarding the vital in- terests of shipbuilding and shipping in Great Britain. As the Committee knows, different countries which have tariffs make exemptions so far as their shipbuilding industries are concerned. I have had prepared the practice in force to-day in many countries. When this country is starting on a protective tariff and under a protective system to develop certain industries at the expense of other industries, it is very vital that our large shipbuilding industry should not be affected. Other countries which have protective tariffs, of course, make special exemptions so far as their shipbuilding industry is concerned. Take the case of America. Every article for use in the building of ships, the construction of machinery, and outfit or equipment—I direct the attention of my right hon. Friend to these words "outfit or equipment"—may be imported free of duty on proof that they are to be used for this particular purpose. In Japan the same system is in force to-day. That country has a highly protective system. Duties are levied at the ports, but according to a recent Act passed in May this year, iron and steel material and ships' equipment, or any part thereof, are not liable to duty. What is the policy of the Government contained in this Bill?

Photo of Mr Gerald France Mr Gerald France , Batley and Morley

Are we not dealing with Part 1 of the Bill, and are not the matters with which the hon. Gentleman is dealing included in the Schedule?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I do not think the hon. Gentleman is entirely out of order. Many of the articles to which he is referring may be used in the industry.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

Sextants and barometers are undoubtedly part of a ship's equipment. No ship could go to sea without them.

Photo of Mr George Terrell Mr George Terrell , Chippenham

This Amendment deals expressly with shipbuilding material and ships' equipment.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I have sufficient technical knowledge to say that some of the articles mentioned in the Schedule may be affixed to a ship.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

The point I am raising is a very important one affecting hundreds of thousands of workers, and although hon. Members may be anxious to stop the Debate, I want to point out that the action of the Government is calculated to curtail employment in every shipbuilding area in Great Britain. If we are going to be governed by the Guillotine, and if Bills passed through this House are going to be administered by special committees sitting at the Board of Trade, I hope at any rate hon. Members will, during the two or three minutes which remain to me, allow me to press this very important point. I have mentioned the system to-day in force in America and Japan. Germany also adopts a similar system to that in force in those countries, and articles of iron and other articles used in shipbuilding are admitted duty free in Germany. Even the Argentine adopts more scientific methods of protecting her industries than are embodied in the proposals contained in this Bill. In Belgium all materials required for building, or for the construction of ships, or which will enable ships to go to sea in a seaworthy condition, are admitted duty free. Denmark has much the same system. The system in Italy varies to a certain extent, but still the duties are not so heavy on those articles which are used for the construction of ships. There are many points I would like to bring forward in support of this Amendment. Unless the Government are going to alter their policy they are going to make Germany the greatest shipbuilding centre. Their policy will directly have that effect. To-day on the Clyde, and for many years past, our shipbuilders have been able to maintain their position as the greatest shipbuilding centre in the world, but that position will be in jeopardy if this Bill becomes law. Our shipbuilders on the Clyde have been able to purchase their requirements—

Photo of Sir William Raeburn Sir William Raeburn , Dunbartonshire

This is the first time I have ever heard that a barometer or a sextant entered into the building of a ship.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I think it is a matter of discussion, not of order.

Photo of Mr Godfrey Collins Mr Godfrey Collins , Greenock

Although barometers do not enter largely into the cost of a ship, yet they are a part of the equipment. As this is the only Parliamentary opportunity we shall have of bringing this matter before the attention of the Government, I have been very anxious to ascertain what are the intentions of the Government in relation to the shipbuilding industry. When I rose to move this Amendment I intimated that I was not anxious to do so at this stage if only the Government would give an assurance that the point would be considered at a later stage. I hope the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Sir W. Raeburn) will realise that his constituents on the north side of the Clyde are equally interested in this proposal, and I trust we may have him supporting us on this occasion. I repeat I am anxious to find out what is the intention of the Government on this point. Before the War the Clyde shipbuilders were able to purchase all the articles they required, and they often bought steel plates from the Continent. They were thereby enabled to build ships on the Clyde, and by that means maintain a large number of people on a high level of subsistence, and they sold their ships to other countries all the world over.

It being Seven of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 13th June, to put forthwith the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Seven of the Clock at this day's Sitting.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 215; Noes, 73.

Edge, Captain WilliamKing, Captain Henry DouglasRoberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)
Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)Kinloch-Cooke, Sir ClementRoberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayLaw, Alfred J. (Rochdale)Rodger, A. K
Fildes, HenryLewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Flannery, Sir James FortescueLloyd, George ButlerRutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Ford, Patrick JohnstonLloyd-Greame, Sir P.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Foreman, Sir HenryLorden, John WilliamSanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur
Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotLowe, Sir Francis WilliamShaw, Capt. William T. (Forfar)
Fraser, Major Sir KeithMackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester)Simm, M. T.
Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)Macleod, J. MackintoshSmith, Sir Harold (Warrington)
Gee, Captain RobertMacnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T, J.Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
George, Rt. Hon. David LloydMcNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)Stanier, Captain Sir Beville
Gibbs, Colonel George AbrahamMacpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)
Gilbert, James DanielMaitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-Stewart, Gershom
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnMalone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Sturrock, J. Leng
Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)Marriott, John Arthur RansomeSueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y N.)Mason, RobertSugden, W. H.
Greenwood, Colonel Sir HamarMitchell, William LaneSurtees, Brigadier-General H. C.
Gregory, HolmanMond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred MoritzTaylor, J.
Gretton, Colonel JohnMontagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)
Gritten, W. G. HowardMorden, Col. W. GrantThomas-Stanford, Charles
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Moreing, Captain Algernon H.Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Gwynne, Rupert S.Munro, Rt. Hon. RobertThomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)
Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Tickler, Thomas George
Hambro, Angus ValdemarMurray, Hon. Gideon (St. Rollox)Townley, Maximilian G.
Hamilton, Major C. G. C.Murray, John (Leeds, West)Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers
Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedtord, Luton)Murray, Major William (Dumfries)Tryon, Major George Clement
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)Nail, Major JosephTurton, Edmund Russborough
Harris, Sir Henry PercyNeal, ArthurWalters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor
Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Hewart, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonNorton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir JohnWard, William Dudley (Southampton)
Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E.Oman, Sir Charles William C.Waring, Major Walter
Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel FrankOrmsby-Gore, Hon. WilliamWeston, Colonel John Wakefield
Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Hood, JosephPearce, Sir WilliamWhite, Col. G. D. (Southport)
Hope, Sir H.(Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn.W.)Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert PikeWilliams, C. (Tavistock)
Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)Pennefather, De FonblanqueWilloughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Hope, J. D. (Berwick & Haddington)Perkins, Walter FrankWills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Hopkins, John W. W.Perring, William GeorgeWinterton, Earl
Horne, Edgar (Surrey, Guildford)Philipps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)Wise, Frederick
Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel CharlesWolmer, Viscount
Hunter-Weston, Lieut.-Gen. Sir A. G.Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel AsshetonWood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.Pratt, John WilliamWood, Major S. Hill- (High Peak)
Inskip, Thomas Walker H.Rae, H. NormanWoolcock, William James U.
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Raeburn, Sir William H.Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertRawlinson, John Frederick PeelYoung, E. H. (Norwich)
Jephcott, A. R.Reid, D. D.Younger, Sir George
Jesson, C.Remer, J. R.
Jodrell, Neville PaulRemnant, Sir JamesTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)Renwick, Sir GeorgeColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. GeorgeRichardson, Alexander (Gravesend)McCurdy.
NOES.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis D.Halls, WalterO'Grady, James
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamHayday, ArthurRaffan, Peter Wilson
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert HenryHayward, EvanRees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)Rendall, Athelstan
Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)Hinds, JohnRichardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Barton, Sir William (Oldham)Hirst, G. H.Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)Hodge, Rt. Hon. JohnRobinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Holmes, J. StanleyRoyce, William Stapleton
Briant, FrankIrving, DanShaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)John, William (Rhondda, West)Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Cairns, JohnJohnstone, JosephSpoor, B. G.
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Kennedy, ThomasSwan, J. E.
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)
Davies, Sir David Sanders (Denbigh)Kenyon, BarnetThomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Kiley, James DanielTootill, Robert
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)Lambert, Rt. Hon. GeorgeWaterson, A. E.
France, Gerald AshburnerLawson, John JamesWignall, James
Galbraith, SamuelLunn, WilliamWilliams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Gillis, WilliamMaclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Glanville, Harold JamesMorgan, Major D. WattsWilson, James (Dudley)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Mosley, OswaldWilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Grundy, T. W.Myers, ThomasYoung, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)Newbould, Alfred Ernest
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)O'Connor, Thomas P.TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Hogge and Mr. G. Thorne.