asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he proposes to take advantage of the presence in London of the Dutch delegates to the World Economic Conference to discuss the possibility of working out a restriction scheme which will ensure a continuously remunerative price for rubber?
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will take advantage of the presence in London of the Dutch delegates to the World Economic Conference to discuss the possibility of arranging for a scheme of rubber restriction which will lead to a remunerative price for that commodity
My hon. Friends are aware that, as was stated in this House on the 21st of March, 1932, the conclusion was reached after prolonged consideration by representatives of the United Kingdom and Dutch Governments and the rubber producing industries in British Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, that it was impossible under the conditions then subsisting to frame and operate an international scheme which would guarantee the effective regulation of the production or export of rubber. Since that date no further proposals on this subject have been made to His Majesty's Government. My hon. Friends are aware that a committee of the World Conference has already given careful consideration to the general conditions which are requisite if a. scheme for the co-ordination of production is to be successful. These conditions include the important factors that any scheme must be comprehensive as regards producers, that is that it should command a general measure of assent among exporting countries and within these countries of a substantial majority of the producers themselves, and further, that the scheme must be administratively practicable. I think it will be generally agreed that no scheme of rubber restriction could succeed unless it fulfilled these essential conditions.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that an adequate world supply of rubber can be profitably produced at current prices, and will he therefore leave the industry alone.?