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Safeguarding Of Industries Act

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 29 June 1922

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that a sharp division of opinion exists in commercial circles regarding the benefits or otherwise derived from Part I of the Safeguarding of Industries Act, he will consider the desirability of appointing a Commission to inquire into the results of the working of Part I before deciding to put Part II in operation?

I have been asked to reply. Inasmuch as Part I of the Act deals with an entirely different problem from that with which Part II is intended to deal, it does not appear that an inquiry into the operation of Part I would throw any light on the expediency or otherwise of the proposed order under Part II, which relates to industries of quite a different character. I am unable, therefore, to accept my hon. Friend's suggestion.

In view of the fact that the object of both parts is to foster British industry, is it not desirable to find out, whether the operations of Part I have been effective or otherwise before putting Part II into operation, virtually for the same purpose?

That is not a view which I think is a sound view. The problems are quite different. The proper opportunity for my hon. Friend to put that contention forward is when the Order which proposes to apply Part II is brought before the House.