asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give the total number of millions of tons of foreign steel imported into this country in the first six months of 1923 and the first six months of 1924?
The imports into the United Kingdom of iron and steel and manufactures thereof, registered during the first six months of 1923 and 1924, amounted to 665,237 and 1,171,621 tons respectively. It is not possible to state the precise quantities of steel goods included in these totals, but they may be estimated at about 430,000 tons in the first six months of 1923 and 760,000 tons in the first six months of 1924. I ought to add that the figures include imports from His Majesty's Dominions and India.
In view of this great increase, is it not the fact that if we lend £40,000,000 to Germany there will be a still greater increase of these imports into this country, unless we change our fiscal policy in regard to the steel trade?
If these foreign steamers are waiting to come to this country, is it not a fact that they will bring steel for the purpose of the British workers working up that steel, and making money out of it? Is the steel for them to eat?