asked the President of the Board of Trade if the British Cellulose Company, Limited, made an application for an Order to impose a duty of 33⅓ per cent, on imported carbide of calcium, at the same time requesting that their name might not be disclosed; whether he has acceded to this request for secrecy and, if so, on what grounds; whether he is aware that this company, the Board of Trade, and various firms interested in carbide of calcium each briefed leading and junior counsel to represent them at the hearing; can he state the period of time occupied in dealing with this case and the number of sittings held by the Referee; and can he give any idea of the total cost of this inquiry, including Referee's fees, solicitor's charges, shorthand notes, fees for chemistry experts, etc.?
The Board of Trade were not requested to withhold the name of the applicants in the case to which the hon. Member refers, and in fact the name was published in an official notice issued to the Press on the 9th November and appearing in the "Board of Trade Journal" of the 10th November. The Board of Trade briefed only one junior counsel, though complainants and others interested briefed leading and junior counsel; no solicitor's charges were incurred by the Board of Trade, and no expert witnesses were called or paid by them. There were 10 sittings of the Referee in all. I am unable to state the total cost of the inquiry, as I have no information as to the expenses incurred by the complainants or the other interested parties who appeared by permission of the Referee.