(2) if he will now indicate the position of the Empire Marketing Board; whether it is to cease; and what amounts have been paid towards its maintenance by this country and by Dominion countries, respectively, during the last three years?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas):
The Empire Marketing Board is one of the inter-Imperial agencies whose position was reviewed by the recent Imperial Committee on Economic Consultation and Co-operation. It will be seen from the Committee's Report (Cmd. 4335) that it contains no recommendation for the continuance of the Board in its existing form. It was, however, recommended that certain of the activities of the Board should be transferred to other bodies. Arrangements are being made to discuss the position arising out of the report of the Committee with the Heads of the Dominion delegations now in London. The Empire Marketing Board has been financed entirely by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, the amounts paid during the last three years being: 1930–1, £612,500; 1931–2, £549,000; 1932–3, £320,000.
Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that, if there is any further arrangement for the continuance of this or some similar idea, this country will not be called upon to pay the whole cost of the establishment?