asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that at the time. the Safeguarding of Industries Act, 1921, Part I, was being considered by Parliament a definite promise was given that any case that went before the Referee would be decided in principle and that, once a decision had been arrived at, similar substances would be dealt with accordingly, and that on this clear understanding the trade organisations concerned lodged complaints against the inclusion of a small number of type products scheduled in the key list; that the Board of Trade have only applied the Referee's rulings on points of principle to the small number of type products against which complaints have been formally lodged during the period allowed under the Act, and that some hundreds of other products equally affected are still retained in the key list; and, if so, whether he will either carry out the undertaking to apply the decisions of the Referee to the whole of the key list or allow further time for complaints to be lodged?
I am unable to accept the statements made, in the first part of the question as a correct representation of the position, or the intertation put in the second part upon the decisions of the referee. The remainder of the question consequently does not arise.
Does the hon. Gentleman say that the referee's rulings with reference to the question of principle are not to be applied to individual articles unless previous complaint has been made, in respect of those articles?
But if the reference related to a question of principle, would the Board of Trade extend that principle so as to include articles in respect of which no complaint has been made?
I think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman is under a. misapprehension. It is not a question of principle in this matter, but a question of practice, and if the referee's ruling refers to a particular article, or several articles, of course, the decision would be carried out.
I am not asking about the referee's ruling. I am asking about the undertaking given by the Board of Trade that they would apply the question of principle so as to cover all the articles which came under it.