Oral Answers to Questions — Safeguarding of Industries Act. – in the House of Commons on 17th July 1922.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has considered the fact that the Committee appointed by him in December last to investigate a complaint under the Safeguarding of Industries Act (Part II) as regards domestic, illuminating, and mounting glassware, was instructed to present a Report in regard to the import of these goods from Germany and Czecho-Slovakia, and that it did in fact present a Report showing its findings as to the combined effect of German and Czecho-Slovak imports upon employment in this country; whether the Committee in question presented any separate Reports as to German imports: and, if not, whether he will obtain a Report on the effect on employment in this country of imports from Germany alone before making an Order applying to Germany alone?
Having regard to the terms of the Committee's Report, and to such information as is available respecting imports, I am satisfied that the necessary conditions have been established for the making of an Order with regard to German-made glassware. The answer to the last part of the question is consequently in the negative.
Has there been any understanding with Czecho-Slovakia as regards this matter?
I have intimated on more than one occasion that I shall deal with that matter during the Debate on the Safeguarding of Industries Act.
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my question? Has there been an arrangement?
I am not prepared to answer that question at this moment. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether glass urns, commonly used for whisky or lemonade, are included under any of the items of glassware proposed for duty under the Safeguarding of Industries Act Draft Order now on the Table of the House; and, if so, under which heading they are so included?
Articles of the kind referred to are not included under any heading of the Schedule to the Draft Order.
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the statement in the Glassware Committee's Report to the effect that table and fancy glass manufactured in Czecho-Slovakia has been sold in this country at prices ranging from 6 per cent. below to 30 per cent. Above pre-War figures; and whether the Committee has forwarded to him the evidence on which this statement is based, having regard to the fact that the evidence tendered at the public hearings during the inquiry indicated that the advance in prices was over 100 per cent.?
I am aware of the statement to which the hon. Member refers. I understand that the evidence on which it was based consisted mainly of actual invoices, a large number of which were before the Committee.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the largest importers of tumblers into this country state that the term Belgian tumbler, referred to in Section 7 of the Safeguarding of Industries Act Committee's Report, covers a variety of shapes of blown tumblers and that less than 10 per cent. are tumblers made by pressing; and whether he will reconsider the terms of the present Draft Order in this connection?
If the hon. Member will read Section 7 of the Committee's Report, he will see that the term in question is used by them as applying only to one particular product used mainly in a particular trade, and consequently not to tumblers of all types such as are manufactured in Belgium.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the Committee's report on the Belgian type of tumbler, and that Belgian tumblers consist of 90 per cent. blown and 10 per cent. pressed?
The fact that the word "Belgian" is used does not mean that there are tumblers of any particular kind made in Belgium.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL:23.
asked the President of the Board of Trade why the recommendation of the Committee appointed by the Board of Trade in regard to domestic and illuminating glassware imported from Czecho-Slovakia had not been included in the draft of the Safeguarding of Industries (No. 1) Order, 1922, proposed to be made by the Board of Trade: and whether it is the intention of the Government to make a further Order affecting such glassware imported from Czecho-Slovakia?
As has already been stated, this is one of the matters with which I propose to deal when the Order comes before the House?
asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of unemployed in the glass bottle-making industry of this country at December last, and also at June of this year; and it he can say what proportion of these are machine workers as distinct from those who have been hitherto employed in hand processes of bottle-making?
On 5th June, the latest date for which figures are available, there were registered as unemployed in Great Britain 5,010 glass bottle-makers (including 1,336 labourers), compared with 4,357 (including 1,345 labourers) on 2nd December, 1921. Separate figures for machine workers are not available.