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to see now where we are getting to and I am no longer a Free Trader in the sense in which the word is used to-day." He holds the same opinion as I do, that what is called Free Trade in Britain is not Free Trade in the proper sense of the term. There are many such people. I have met them repeatedly. I have come across them at public meetings and in places of public resort; and I believe when the opportunity arrives that you will find a tremendous vote in favour of the principle which it is proposed to affirm in connection with these resolutions.

The Empire should support British Industries.

Let me emphasise the point I referred to just now. I do hope that the different countries of the Empire will do all they possibly can to place orders in the British markets for metal manufactures, or for any other form of manufactured goods, and as soon as possible, so as to employ some of these million and a quarter men who it is estimated are out of work. We can do a great deal of good by encouraging each other. I have not the slightest doubt that there is sufficient capital in Great Britain to employ the whole of these people if they were only satisfied that the country was going to get over its financial and commercial difficulties. I believe it will.

At a crisis like this we must have confidence in each other as British citizens. I am not speaking for the people of any other country. We must have confidence not only in the country where we happen to be located, but also in the Empire. If we can adopt that principle and continue in it I do not think it will be very long before we find the depression lifting. I think it is lifting now. I have heard many evil predictions during the last six weeks, but I hope they are not going to be verified. We can look round the Dominions and there is not one of them now suffering from depression. We have that to start with. Our neighbour, Australia, is prosperous; so also is Canada. I think South Africa is prosperous, and I know my own country is particularly prosperous, much more so than it was a year or eighteen months ago. The outlook is good, but we do not forget that Britain is our market; if anything went wrong with the British market and the purchasing capacity of the British people was thereby reduced, then we are going to be affected, and, even looking at it from that point of view-and that is a selfish point of view, I admit-it is our duty to assist in lifting the depression.

Possibilities of a Self-Supporting Empire.

There is another point I have often emphasised, that anything in this way provides another tie of Empire. I look upon it that what we are doing now is only a commencement. There are tremendous possibilities in the way of a self-supporting Empire. I hope every public man will look at the question from the point of view of the Empire rather than from a strictly local aspect. We have got past that stage.



Amendment of Merchandise Marks Act.

There is this one other point, which I am not going to elaborate, because I understand it is going to be provided for by legislation; I refer to the necessity, at least the desirability, of an amendment of the Merchandise Marks Act, which would allow the public here, the consuming public, to know whether the goods they were purchasing are produced within the Empire or outside the Empire. That is practically all I am asking for.

The Chairman: Sir Robert Sanders says he has a statement to make in answer to that and I think it would be convenient to take it after your speech.

The 1917 Resolution on Imperial Preference.

Mr. Massey: I am going to take a little credit for what is happening. When I came here to the Imperial Conference of 1917, Mr. Bonar Law, who has passed away and whose death we all regret, was Leader of the House. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Empire Preference, and, after consulting with him and one or two others, I drafted a motion and submitted it to the Conference, affirming the principle of Empire Preference. It was referred to a Committee, representative of the different parties in the Government at that time (because do not let us forget it was what was called a Coalition Government or a National Government formed for the purpose of carrying on the war), and they gave it a great deal of attention. I can remember Lord Milner taking a very prominent part in connection with it as well as Mr. Bonar Law, but at all events it came back from the Committee to the Conference, where it was unanimously agreed to. I mentioned it the other day when taking part in the opening of a big sale of Empire produce which is going on this week in London at the Army and Navy Stores, and the point I made then, and which I want to repeat now is, if it was the proper thing for all parties to support Empire Preference at that time, with the lessons of the war before their eyes, it is absolutely right now.

Improved Outlook for a Self-Supporting Empire.

I am not so pessimistic as to believe we are going to have war next year, or in ten years, or anything of that sort, but I hope when it does come and it may not come in this generation-I hope when it does come that the Empire will be better prepared in the way of foodstuffs and raw materials necessary for its citizens than it was at the commencement of the last war; and this is the way to do it. I know this is only comparatively a small thing, but it is an earnest of what is to follow, and I am glad to think, whether the idea was mine or not, the germ was there; it was laid up; it has been one of the reasons at all events leading up to the position to-day, and from the point of view of a self-supporting Empire I have no hesitation in saying the outlook is better than ever it was before. That is all I have to say.

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The Chairman: I think it would be convenient, Sir Robert, if you were to make your statement.

Merchandise Marks Bill and "Empire Produce."

Sir Robert Sanders: My statement is in regard to the Merchandise Marks Bill. I may say that that Bill was introduced by a private Member in the House of Commons early in the session which is at present going on and it has passed through the Committee stage. It has now been arranged that the Government is to take up the Bill for the remaining stages, and it will come on in the session which begins next week. At the suggestion of the Prime Minister of New Zealand it was agreed that this question should be placed on the agenda of the Imperial Economic Conference, and I wish to announce that in deference to the wishes of the Dominions. it has been agreed that the words "Empire produce" and "Foreign produce" should be used in the Bill instead of "Imported produce in order to distinguish between articles coming from the Dominions and articles coming from foreign countries. It has also been decided to insert in the Bill a general provision as to indication of origin applying to all the cases falling within the scope of the Bill. This general indication would be either an indication (whether by means of a direct statement or some recognised mark) of the country in which the articles are produced, or a statement that the articles are Empire produce or foreign produce. This decision has already been communicated to the various Dominion Prime Ministers, and, as I believe it will meet the principal criticism of the Bill on the part of the Dominions, I presume it will not now be necessary to discuss this. question at this Conference.

Mr. Massey: I would like to thank Sir Robert Sanders for the information he has given us with regard to what appears to me to be a very important matter. I will not discuss it now, but my object in bringing it up was that I wanted to give the consumers in this country the opportunity of discriminating-because they are just as patriotic as other people-between foreign produce, in which they have no interest, and produce and commodities from within the Empire-the goods of their own fellow citizens. I think I know what most of them will do.

The Chairman: We are all very grateful to you for bringing it up, in the interests of all the Dominions as well as of your own.

South Africa agrees with Findings of Food and Materials Committee. Mr. Burton: I agree entirely with the finding of the Committee on Food and Materials. Mr. Bruce has said that the Committee could not possibly have had time to examine the matter fully. I do not see how any fuller examination could have led them to a different result. I am glad to hear that he disclaims responsibility himself for these proposals.


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South Africa's Experiences of Trade Controls.

We have had plenty of experience of these attempts to put matters right by subsidies and restrictions and control and licences and things of that sort, and I am perfectly certain that no solution of our difficulties is to be found along those lines. In South Africa we had quite a recent experience in regard to the control of imports of boots and shoes. It was a most highly unsatisfactory proceeding from beginning to end, but I am glad to say we have given it up now and meet our difficulties there by the imposition of a tariff.

Protection by Tariffs the only Real Solution.

I am inclined to think that there really is no alternative to protection by tariffs, if we except these arrangements being made amongst ourselves now by way of helping on trade. But Mr. Bruce seems to think that if these proposals were turned down-and I think it was inevitable that they should be turned down-there may be some other way of doing it. What other way of doing it is there? The tariff idea I understand, but the other thing I confess I do not understand. However, I entirely agree with the findings of that Committee, and, as I say, I do not see how they could have come to any other conclusion.

The South African Position: No interference with British Fisca!

Now, Mr. Chairman, I just want to say with regard to Preference generally, that my attitude on behalf of South Africa remains what it was at first. We welcome what you propose to do in respect of the matters you have mentioned. As to going any further, the principle of reciprocity, as I told you, was advocated in South Africa many years ago, and is perfectly sound in itself. But while we welcome what you propose to do, we do stand upon this basis, that we claim the right in our Dominion to settle our own fiscal policy, and therefore we do not claim any right, whether by actual motion or even by "methods of education," to interfere with the right of the British people here to settle their own fiscal policy for themselves. That is our position in broad outline.

Appreciation of Great Britain's further Preference Proposals.

Now, as to the details of your statement to-day, Mr. Chairman, I am very glad to hear your proposals with regard to fresh apples. That, I think, will be of material assistance to South Africa, where both in the Transvaal, and in certain parts of the Cape Province, there is a great deal of apple-growing going on, and which can undoubtedly be extended considerably. This proposed preference of yours will mean about 2s. 6d. preference on a bushel, I think, and it should go a long way to assist the South African producer to pay his freight and enable him to compete in respect of this article in your markets. That is quite a good thing from our point of view. I welcome also the proposal with regard to fruit juices and honey. The honey may be a comparatively small

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matter now, but is capable of being expanded. With regard to wine, I shall have something to say about that to-morrow.

Now, I just want to mention one further point. Mr. Bruce expresses appreciation of the proposals you make of your volition. I am afraid, Mr. Chairman, that that attributes to us in the Dominions a shy modesty and backwardness that we are not exactly entitled to-I am afraid not even Australia and New Zealand. In view of the speeches we have heard to-day we cannot make that claim. As a matter of fact we have brought representations to the notice of your Government in various matters, and what I want to say is once more to express our appreciation of the fair and liberal way in which you have met the representations that have been made.

Appeal for Preference on Canned Cray Fish.

There is one point of detail, and that is canned salmon. I have nothing to say against that. On the contrary, I welcome it, but may I point out to you that, whereas in South Africa we do not can salmon, we do carry on a very large and increasing business in the canning of cray fish. I think, last year, if I am not mistaken, we exported about a quarter of a million pounds' worth of this commodity. It used to be more appreciated in France than here, but now the market is shifting and there is a good deal of it coming here. If excellent salmon from Canada and elsewhere are entitled to have this preference, it seems only fair that preserved cray fish from South Africa should be included in the same category.

Principles on which proposed Preferences based.

The Chairman: Let me take that point up with you now. I have gone into that. The tests we were inclined to lay down for ourselves in considering any of these propositions were: (1) Is there a reasonable chance of the Dominions being able to provide a large volume of trade? (2) Is it a trade which they have not already exclusively enjoyed? Because, obviously, if there is no risk of competition a duty would merely put up the price. Conversely, if they are doing the whole trade at present, and there are not competitors, we should only put up the price by putting on a duty.

Question of Preference on Cray Fish will be considered.

Cray fish I certainly will consider. They come under "Other sorts of fish, including shellfish," as we describe them. There you do about 33,000 cwts., while the foreign countries do about 41,000. You have not put the case forward. I rather anticipated you would.

Mr. Burton: Yes, I am doing it now.

The Chairman: I will take it now.

Mr. Burton: As long as you see that it seems a fair thing, and as you say that cray fish shall come in too, I think that is all I have to say for the present.


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