Sir Louis Smith: I think I am correct in saying that the hon. Lady who has just sat down has made her first speech in this House. In that case, I would wish to congratulate her on a most thoughtful, appealing and powerful speech, a speech tinged with humour and of the kind which, I feel sure, hon. Members will wish to hear again. I am only wondering whether, when I listened to the words of the hon. Lady, I...
Sir Louis Smith: I am glad of that interruption, because I would remind the hon. Member that though there may be cases in which a holiday with pay exceeding eight days is given by certain industries or by odd firms, there is little doubt that out of the 11,000,000 workers in the country there are still only 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 who receive a holiday for eight working days. Therefore, as a well-wisher in...
Sir Louis Smith: I do not think that that interruption is relevant to what I was saying. but I would like to reply to the hon. Member and say that if any industry vital to the welfare of this country is in difficult straits and unable to stand on its own feet, it is the duty of this House to come to its assistance.
Sir Louis Smith: I support the Amendment mainly for the reason that in my opinion the House should wait until we receive the report from the Committee. It might be that the report will recommend practically all that the promoters of the Bill are asking for. Would it not be folly, especially in the case of a private Member's Bill, to give the Bill a Second Reading and waste time in Committee upstairs when we...
Sir Louis Smith: I thank the hon. Member for giving way to me. He was referring to the point I made about compulsion; I would like to ask him whether there is any proposal or suggestion in the Bill for getting over all the difficulties in each individual trade? What machinery does he suggest setting up under the Bill to allow all the arrangements to be made before each trade can adopt the Bill? I submit that...
Sir Louis Smith: Does the Department propose to make a full statement to the House during the next few months as to the negotiations which have taken place with the Dominions by the Secretary of State since the last Debate on the subject?
Sir Louis Smith: Would the Minister consider asking the Import Duties Advisory Committee to report to him as to the advisability of still retaining the exemption duty for registered shipyards?
Sir Louis Smith: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of several authorities they are willing to shoulder some part of this burden, but they consider 30 per cent. an excessive amount?
Sir Louis Smith: Are the Board of Trade satisfied with the progress that has been made during the past 12 months?
Sir Louis Smith: asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the system upon which pensions are granted to widows of officers killed while flying, or grants made to dependent relatives; whether such awards are based upon any percentage of the salaries received during lifetime by the deceased; and, if so, what this percentage is?
Sir Louis Smith: Having regard to the much greater risk run by these flying officers, does not the hon. and gallant Member consider that pensions to widows should be on a higher scale than in other circumstances?
Sir Louis Smith: asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the number of fatal accidents which have occurred since the beginning of the year to officers of the Royal Air Force while on duty; in how many of these cases a pension has been awarded or a grant made to dependent relatives; and the average amount per annum awarded to each officer?
Sir Louis Smith: In thanking the hon. and gallant Member for his reply, may I ask whether he is satisfied that this apparently small amount of pension is in some cases adequate?
Sir Louis Smith: asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that, in the case of an officer killed while flying on duty, the widow does not immediately receive even a proportion of the salary actually earned by her husband before his death, since the whole sum is withheld to ascertain any contingent liabilities; and whether, in view of the frequent embarrassment thus caused to the bereaved...
Sir Louis Smith: Will the right hon. Gentleman consider using his observers to find out how many omnibuses are running half empty, and whether so many omnibuses are needed in the streets at the present time?
Sir Louis Smith: Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of the industrialists concerned hold the view that this acute shortage of steel has been grossly exaggerated, and will he and his Department exercise some caution, so that increased quantities of materials are not produced that might mean a surplus production?
Sir Louis Smith: Those who have studied this Amendment cannot, surely, agree with the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) in his statement that this Government will not look after the small trader, because in this instance the small business is not touched at all. We are discussing medium-sized businesses. What I think the Mover of the Amendment made perfectly clear to the Committee is that the...
Sir Louis Smith: Seeing that my right hon. Friend is well known as the friend of the farmers, will he next year consider seeing that the farmers have perhaps a somewhat better deal?
Sir Louis Smith: Seeing that in a majority of trades, when employment is found for one skilled man, one or more unskilled men also find employment, does not my hon. Friend consider that a matter of paramount importance?
Sir Louis Smith: Will my hon. Friend consider granting the same facilities now given to long-distance claimants to those living three miles or more from the exchange which they will now have to use?