asked the President of the. Board of Trade (1) whether ho is aware that among the witnesses appearing in opposition to the application of the British fabric glove manufacturers for a protective duty under the Safeguarding of Industries Act, Part II, were representatives of the Bolton spinners, employing upwards of 3,000,000 spindles in the manufacture of yarns for export to Germany for the manufacture of Saxony fabric gloves; and whether he will give due weight to this opposition in considering any recommendation which the committee of inquiry may have made;
(2) whether his attention has been drawn to the proceedings recently conducted under the Safeguarding of Industries Act, Part II, in respect of an application for a duty to be imposed upon gold leaf imported from Germany, and especially as to the extent to which the particular type of gold leaf purchased from abroad is a primal necessity for decorative purposes in such important British industries as printing, bookbinding, etc.; and whether he can assure the House that due consideration will be given to the evidence of these very important home industries;
(3) whether he is aware that in connection with the glass-ware inquiry recently conducted at the instigation of his Department under the Safeguarding of Industries Act, Part II, the British manufacturers' application for a duty was strongly opposed in the mounting glassware section by silversmith and electroplating manufacturing interests in Sheffield, London, and Birmingham, in whose industries the imported glass-ware constitutes a very important raw material; and whether he is taking steps to satisfy himself that these important British manufacturing interests will be adequately safeguarded in any action which he may decide to take as a result of the inquiry?
I am aware of the representations made to the Committees with regard to the matters referred to, and the hon. Member may rest assured that full weight will be given to all relevant considerations in deciding what action, if any, should be taken by the Board of Trade. I do not understand what the hon. Member means by saying that the glassware inquiry was conducted "at the instigation" of my Department.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the recent declaration by the Lord Privy Seal on this matter, these inquiries will not be held up and the duties will not be put on until the Government has decided what its policy is?