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Motor Car Duties (Limitation Of Period)

Volume 235: debated on Tuesday 11 February 1930

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I beg to move,

"That leave be given to bring in a Bill to limit the period of time during which the duties on motor cars, etc., under Section three of the Finance Act, 1925, as amended by the Finance Act, 1926, shall remain."
The House will be aware that at the present time duties, which are known as the McKenna, Duties and Safeguarding Duties, more or less run on automatically from year to year, and that a great deal of dissatisfaction has been created throughout the country, both among people who believe in the removal of these duties and among those who do not believe in their removal. I suggest that this Bill would deal with a, very important point in the finances of this country. To my mind, it is a monstrous thing that to-day large trades, which are employing considerable numbers of men, should be put in the position of not knowing whether the duties under which their employment is being given are to go on during the next 12 months, and we find all over the country that even people who disagree with the principle of duties upon any goods imported into this country are maintaining that the present state of uncertainty with regard to these duties is having a very bad effect on trade and employment in this country.

Hon. Members belonging to the Liberal party may disagree with these duties, but one of their greatest exponents and one of the finest economists in this country, Professor Keynes, has already expressed quite definitely the fact that he considers that the removal of these duties would be a very bad thing for the trade of this country. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken, if I may say so, a positively disastrous stand upon this matter and has said quite definitely that he will not tell the trades in the country which are protected by these duties what he proposes to do in the matter. In the ordinary way he is probably quite right, but he must be aware that the first consideration of his Government and of any Government to-day, should be the trade and employment of the people of this country; and whether or not he believes in ultimately keeping these duties on, it does not alter the fact that he has it to-day in his power to remove a tremendous amount of despair among the people employed in these industries. He said, in reply to a question in this House the other day, that it did not matter to him about the manufacturers at all. If I misunderstood him, I will withdraw, but I understood him to say that the manufacturers had had the benefit of these duties, and it is up to them to make the best of their being taken off.

The trade of this country to-day is so terribly important to the people of the country that it is up to the right hon. Gentleman to make a generous gesture. The silk trade, the motor car trade, the Sheffield cutlery trade, every trade which is under one of these duties, has definitely applied to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a continuance of these duties, and they have had no reply. I do not ask him to say what the Lord Privy Seal has said to him, but I do not mind saying that I think the Lord Privy Seal has made representations to him to keep these duties on. But I know quite well that the right hon. Gentleman is such a theoretical Free Trader that he would not part with one iota of his principles even to benefit thousands of people in this country.

This Bill is a Bill of two paragraphs. The first is to secure the limitation of these duties to an actual 12 months, and in the second paragraph three months' notice must be given before these duties are determined. If this Bill is adopted the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), who, I know, has a paternal interest in the origination of these duties—and if there is one good thing the right hon. Gentleman ever did, it was his agreeing to pass these duties—must agree that it is far better for trade to-day to know that those duties will be taken off rather than to undergo the present uncertainty. I am a keen Safeguarder and a keen Protectionist, but I would rather hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer announce to-day that these duties will be taken off than see the present position of the trades concerned in which they do not know where they stand. I appeal to the Liberal party. I see the right hon. Member for North Cornwall (Sir D. Maclean) in his seat, and he laughs, because the Liberal party care nothing for employment.

Every big person concerned in these trades, which are the only prosperous trades in the country to-day, will tell you that this uncertainty and the threats of the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to these duties have caused the utmost distress and unemployment in these trades. I should like to say what I think of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but unfortunately the rules of this House—[An HON. MEMBER: "No one will think of you!"]. I do not care what you may think of me, and, after all, that does not matter. [Laughter.] The Socialist party always laughs when the question of legitimate work for the workless comes up. They are always talking about work and employment, but when we bring forward legislation to give employment, they always laugh at it. Before I sit down, I would appeal to my own party to support this Bill, and I would appeal to the Liberal party, who stand for safety and security in industry, or say they do, to join with us and intimate to an autocratic Chancellor of the Exchequer the fact that we are going to have some verdict on this question.

I rise to oppose this Motion, and I shall state my views in a couple of sentences. I venture to submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that a Motion of this kind is an abuse of the Ten Minutes Rule, which gives Members the right to introduce Measures, but I am sure it was never contemplated that a Bill like this should be—and I do not believe that upon any previous occasion has such a Measure as this been—submitted to the House under the provisions of that Rule. In the second place, this, I submit, is an anticipation of the Budget. It is an attempt to amend the Finance Act, and I would submit that, under the rule in regard to anticipation, this Motion would be out of order. The duties with which this Motion deals were imposed by the right hon. Gentleman purely as revenue duties. He disclaimed all Protectionist intentions in submitting that proposal to the House of Commons; and, therefore, I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that it is altogether out of order on a Private Member's Motion under the Ten Minutes Rule to try to amend the financial provisions of the land.

Hon. Members will observe, if they look at the Standing Orders, that under Standing Order No. 11 the Speaker is given the power of two alternatives, either, after the speech in

Division No. 152.]

AYES.

[4.1 p.m.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)Dallas, GeorgeHenderson, Thomas (Glasgow)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Dalton, HughHenderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherDavies, E. C. (Montgomery)Herriotts, J.
Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')Denman, Hon. R. D.Hoffman, P. C.
Alpass, J. H.Dickson, T.Hopkin, Daniel
Ammon, Charles GeorgeDudgeon, Major C. R.Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Arnott, JohnEde, James ChuterHudson, James H. (Huddersfield)
Attlee, Clement RichardEdmunds, J. E.Hunter, Dr. Joseph
Ayles, WalterEdwards, E. (Morpeth)Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Elmley, ViscountIsaacs, George
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)England, Colonel A.John, William (Rhondda, West)
Barnes, Alfred JohnEvans, Capt. Ennest (Welsh Univer.)Jones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)
Batey, JosephFoot, IsaacJones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)Freeman, PeterJones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodGardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Benson, G.George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Bentham, Dr. EthelGeorge. Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Kedward. R. M. (Kent. Ashford)
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)Kelly, W. T.
Blindell, JamesGibbins, JosephKennedy, Thomas
Bowen, J. W.Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)Kinley, J.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Glassey, A. E.Kirkwood, D.
Brooke, W.Gossling, A. G.Knight, Holford
Brothers. M.Gould, F.Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Lang, Gordon
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Buchanan, G.Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)Law, A. (Rosendale)
Burgess, F. G.Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Lawson, John James
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel (Norfolk. N.)Grundy, Thomas W.Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)
Caine, Derwent Hall.Hall, F. (York, W. R. Normanton)Leach, W.
Cameron, A. G.Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)
Cape, ThomasHall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth. C.)Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Lees, J.
Charleton, H. C.Hardie, George D.Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Chater, DanielHartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonLogan, David Gilbert
Cluse, W. S.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleLongbottom, A. W.
Cocks. Frederick SeymourHaycock, A. W.Longden, F.
Compton, JosephHayday, ArthurLovat-Fraser, J. A.
Cove, William G.Hayes, John HenryLowth, Thomas
Cowan, D. M.Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)Lunn, William
Daggar, GeorgeHenderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)

opposition to the Motion has been made, to put the Question thereon, or to put the Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned." That power has not been very often—certainly not in recent years—made use of by the Speaker, and in fact the last occasion upon which that power was made use of by the Speaker was in 1905. But, in considering these Motions, I think it is the duty of the Speaker to take into consideration what was the intention of the Standing Order which enables Members to have the privilege of introducing Bills under what is known as the Ten Minutes Rule, and I have come to the conclusion, after considerable thought, that this particular Bill is not the kind of Bill which the House had in their mind when they passed that Standing Order. Therefore, I shall make use of the powers which the Standing Orders give me, and put the Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

The House divided: Ayes, 262; Noes, 113.

MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)Phillips, Dr. MarionSnell, Harry
MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)Picton-Turbervill, EdithSnowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
McElwee, A.Pole, Major D. G.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
McEntee, V. L.Potts, John S.Sorensen, R.
McKinlay, A.Price, M. P.Stamford, Thomas W.
MacLaren, AndrewPybus, Percy JohnStephen, Campbell
Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)Quibell, D. J. K.Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Ramsay, T. B. WilsonSullivan, J.
MacNeill-Weir, L.Rathbone, EleanorSutton, J. E.
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Raynes, W. R.Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)
McShane, John JamesRichards, R.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Thurtle, Ernest
Mander, Geoffrey le M.Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)Tinker, John Joseph
Mansfield, W.Romeril, H. G.Tinne, J. A.
March, S.Rosbotham, D. S. T.Tout, W. J.
Marcus, M.Rothschild, J. deTrevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Marley, J.Runciman, Rt. Hon. WalterTurner, B.
Marshall, F.Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Vaughan, D. J.
Mathers, GeorgeSalter, Dr. AlfredViant, S. P.
Matters, L. W.Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)Walker, J.
Maxton, JamesSamuel, H. W. (Swansea, West)Wallace, H. W.
Messer, FredSanders, W. S.Wallhead, Richard C.
Millar, J. D.Sandham, E.Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor
Mills, J. E.Sawyer, G. F.Watkins, F. C.
Milner, J.Scott, JamesWatson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Montague, FrederickScrymgeour, E.Wellock, Wilfred
Morgan, Dr. H. B.Scurr, JohnWelsh, James (Paisley)
Morley, RalphShaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Shepherd, Arthur LewisWest, F. R.
Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Sherwood, G. H.Westwood, Joseph
Mort, D. L.Shield, George WilliamWhite, H. G.
Mosley, Lady C. (Stoke-on-Trent)Shiels, Dr. DrummondWhiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Mosley, Sir Oswald (Smethwick)Shillaker, J. F.Whiteley, William (Blaydon)
Muff, G.Shinwell, E.Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Murnin, HughShort, Alfred (Wednesbury)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Nathan, Major H. L.Simmons, C. J.Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Naylor, T. E.Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield. Attercliffe)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)Wilson, J. (Oldham)
Noel Baker, P. J.Sinkinson, GeorgeWilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Oldfield, J. R.Sitch, Charles H.Winterton, G. E.(Leicester, Loughb'gh)
Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)Smith, Alfred (Sunderland)Wise, E. F.
Palin, John Henry.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)Wright, W. (Rutherglen)
Paling, WilfridSmith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Palmer, E. T.Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)

TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—

Perry, S. F.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.
Peters, Dr. Sidney JohnSmith, Tom (Pontefract)
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)

NOES.

Atkinson, C.Fermoy, LordMerriman, Sir F. Boyd
Baillie-Hamilton, Hon. Charles W.Fielden, E. B.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.
Balniel, LordFison, F. G. ClaveringMuirhead, A. J.
Beaumont, M. W.Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Berry, Sir GeorgeGanzoni, Sir JohnO'Neill. Sir H.
Bird, Ernest RoyGault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonPeake, Capt. Osbert
Bowater, Col. Sir T. VansittartGibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)Penny, Sir George
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Glyn, Major R. G. C.Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Boyce, H. L.Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Bracken, B.Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnPower, Sir John Cecil
Briscoe, Richard GeorgeGunston, Captain D. W.Ramsbotham, H.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Rawson, Sir Cooper
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)Remer, John R.
Buckingham, Sir H.Hanbury, C.Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Butler, R. A.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryRoss, Major Ronald D.
Castle Stewart, Earl ofHartington, Marquess ofRuggles-Brise, Lieut. Colonel E. A.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S)Haslam, Henry C.Salmon, Major I.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A.Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.Savery, S. S.
Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)Hurd, Percy A.Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. CuthbertSinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfst)
Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyKindersley, Major G. M.Skelton, A. N.
Davies, Dr. VernonKing, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)Lamb, Sir J. Q.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Dixey, A. C.Leighton, Major B. E. P.Somerville. A. A. (Windsor)
Duckworth, G. A. V.Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Dugdale, Capt. T. L.Llewellin, Major J. J.Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Edmondson, Major A. J.Lymington, ViscountSueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Everard, W. LindsayMakins, Brigadier-General E.Thomson, Sir F.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Margesson, Captain H. D.Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Ferguson, Sir JohnMarjoribanks, E. C.Todd, Capt. A. J.

Train, J.Wayland, Sir William A.Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton
Tryon, Rt. Hon. George ClementWells, Sydney R.
Turton, Robert HughWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George

TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—

Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. LambertWomersley, W. J.Mr. D. G. Somerville and Sir W. Davison.
Wardlaw-Milne, J. S.Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley

Debate to be resumed To-morrow.