Sir W. MITCHELL.THOMSON:
The answer to the brat part of the question is in the affirmative. Representations were made on behalf of the spinners of fine cotton yarns in this country, the general contention being that the imposition of a duty on fabric gloves would be adverse to their interests, since it would tend to restrict the exports of yarn to Germany.
Sir WILLIAM BARTON:22.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the table given on page 10 of the Fabric Glove Committee's Report can be amplified by a supplementary table showing the figures down to a more recent date than December last, seeing that such supplementary figures are already in possession of the Department, showing a different ratio between the internal purchasing power of the mark and the external purchasing power of the mark; and whether he can inform the House why the Fabric Glove Committee's Report, which is the earliest of the Safeguarding of Industries Acts, Part II Reports, is in the appendix rather than the latest Report at the date of which more recent figures could have been supplied?
I will have circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT additional figures, bringing the table referred to up to date as far as the information is available. With regard to the last part of Question 22, the Reports of the Committees are printed in the form in which they were received by the Board of Trade, and the Fabric Gloves Committee was the only one which appended the table in question to its Report.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Committee set up to inquire as to the importation of fabric gloves decided to disregard the evidence of the Bolton spinners on the ground that its terms of reference did not allow of consideration being given to any effect which a protective order might have upon employment in industries other than those handling the finished article against which the order was made; and whether he will consider an amendment of the Act in order to admit consideration of evidence so important to the issue?
I am aware that although the Committee took certain evidence of the kind to which the hon. Member refers, they ultimately decided to make no report upon it for the reason given. The purpose of the appointment of a Committee under Part II of the Safeguarding of Industries Act is to elicit specific facts as to the position of the industry to which the complaint relates, and to arrive at some conclusion as to the direct effect of the imposition of a duty. The consideration of indirect effects would involve the Committee in an indefinite inquiry, and is a matter rather for the Board of Trade and this House, if and when a draft order is laid before it, and my right hon. Friend is not prepared to propose any Amendment of the Act of the kind suggested.