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the work of the Committee would be, to some extent, in the nature of giving effect to the work of the Dominions Royal Commission. He thought the Conference had done good work, but necessarily quite a number of proposals were being left simply in their initial stages and would have to be taken up at the next Conference, It would be the business of the Committee to carry on and continue the work as far as possible. He thought that the whole question of the beef trade should be gone into, since it was a very serious state of affairs if this country were to be allowed to drift into the position of being dependent upon a foreign market for its beef supplies. The Committee should be able to take this matter up and investigate the position and let the public know how things stand. The question of the proportion of British labour and material required in imported goods as a condition of their having the benefit of Imperial preference was another matter which should be looked into. There was also the question of inter-Imperial Exchanges, which ought not to be lost sight of. As regards marketing, what was wanted was to see that producers got a fair price for their products, while not being guilty of even the suggestion of exploitation as against the consumers. As Prime Minister of New Zealand he had had a certain amount of experience in this direction. About two years ago, at the time of the serious slump, it had been decided to set up an organisation to look after the marketing of New Zealand products, particularly meat products. It was only an experiment, but at the time it gave rise to much adverse criticism. If a Committee such as that now proposed had been in existence, he would have been very glad to have referred this matter to the Committee, in order to satisfy people that the New Zealand producers were not out for exploitation. They simply went in for an improved system of co-operative marketing, and he was glad to think that it had been a success. If the Committee was to be constituted he would be very glad to refer the work of the New Zealand Meat Control Board to the Committee to report upon. Mr. Massey also referred to proposals for similar boards in connection with dairy produce and fruit, and said he would like some organisation to exist to which their system of working might be referred so as to reassure the public.


The Chairman suggested, in order to meet the points which had · been raised, that the following words should be added to the resolution provided that no question which has any reference to another part of the Empire may be referred to the Committee. without the consent of that other part of the Empire.'


Modified Resolution Receives General Support.

Mr. Burton thought the Committee might prove a useful body if its functions were restricted to what he understood Mr. Bruce meant and as defined by the Chairman, viz., a voluntary organisation of a certain number of gentlemen of expert knowledge and capacity who would investigate and report upon any question

of an economic or commercial character when asked to do so by any Government in the British Empire.

If the functions of the Committee went beyond those, and into the regions of tariffs and things of that kind, the Committee would kill itself at once.

In view of the good work which had been done by the Shipping Committee, and provided they steered clear of the multiplication of organisations outside of the sphere of the Governments of the Dominions and of the United Kingdom, and of setting up too elaborate machinery, he agreed that it was possible that the Committee might do good work, and he had no objection.

Mr. Riordan raised no objection to the appointment of the Committee, provided the position were clearly understood to be as described by the Chairman, namely, that in a matter with which two Governments were concerned they would consult in advance before it was referred to the Committee. If they did not both agree the matter would not go to the Committee; if they both agreed it would go.

Sir Patrick McGrath said that he thought a good case had been made out for the establishment of the Committee, which in his. view ought to be regarded as an experiment.

Mr. Innes said that he had come to the meeting with an open mind. He had wanted particularly to be reassured on the point that no question affecting India should be referred to the Committee without the consent or at the instance of India itself. In view of the addition suggested by the Chairman to the resolution, India would be very happy to accept the proposal. He agreed, however, with Sir Patrick McGrath that the Committee should definitely be on an experimental basis, for he thought it was possible to make too much of the analogy of the Imperial Shipping Committee: the proposed Committee would have to deal with a very much wider range of subjects, and he rather doubted whether it would be practicable to get in a Committee of that kind so authoritative a body as we had got in the Imperial Shipping Committee.

Need for Separate Representation of Colonies.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore thought a Committee of this sort could be of great value to the Colonies and Protectorates; for instance, in marketing, the Colonies could not afford agents in this country, and this Committee could be of great assistance to them in the many difficulties they were up against in marketing their produce. He hoped the Conference would agree to a separate representation of the Colonies and Protectorates apart from the British Government. This was the opinion of the unofficial commercial community; and if the Colonies were to play their part in the development of the Empire, they must have the assistance of the unofficial world, and their opinion must be allowed more weight.

With so many Colonies there would be a difficulty in representing them on a Committee. He suggested that there should be a panel,

on the lines of his unofficial Advisory Committee, who would appoint the member most concerned to attend each separate discussion.

After further discussion, the resolution was adopted by the Conference, the Canadian representative, however, dissenting.

The Constitution of the Committee.

The question of the constitution of the Committee and the representation upon it of the various Governments concerned was brought up at the Twenty-second Meeting of the Conference on Thursday, the 8th November, 1923, when it was agreed that the Dominions and India should each be represented by two members, no rule being laid down as to whether the members should be Government officials or non-official persons. It was further agreed that Great Britain should be represented by four members, one of whom, the Chairman explained, would be a Government official, and the others representative persons of outside knowledge and experience (e.g., agricultural, manufacturing, or mercantile and financial). The Colonies and Protectorates, it was agreed, should be represented by one official and one non-official, who should change in accordance with the subject under discussion.

As regards the expenses of the Committee, it was agreed that it was not necessary for the Conference to come to any decision, at any rate, for the present. The Chairman said that it was not proposed to make the setting up of the Committee in any way conditional upon contributions being forthcoming from the various constituent Governments. It might, no doubt, be better in the long run that it should happen that the various Governments interested in the Committee should be prepared to contribute towards it; but he was not going to make the appointment of the Committee, or ask the Conference to make the appointment of the Committee, in any way contingent upon there being pro rata contributions towards it.

Adoption of Resolution.

The decisions of the Conference on this subject were accordingly as follows. It was decided to adopt the following Resolution :

"That in the opinion of this Imperial Economic Conference (Canada dissenting)——

"1. It is desirable to establish an Imperial Economic Committee, comprising representatives of the Governments represented in the Imperial Conference, and responsible to those Governments.

"2. The function of the Committee should be to consider and advise upon any matters of an economic or commercial character, not being matters appropriate to be dealt with by the Imperial Shipping Committee, which are referred to it by any of the constituent Governments, provided that no question which has any reference to another part of the Empire may be referred to the Committee without the consent of that other part of the Empire."



It was further decided that in the constitution of the proposed Imperial Economic Committee representation should be allotted to the various constituent Governments as follows:

Great Britain

Colonies and Protectorates








4 members.

2 members each.

2 members.

2 members.


Appreciation of Assistance rendered by Officials.

Mr. Massey: Before the Conference comes to an end, Mr. President, I would just like to say that I think the representatives of the different Governments should express their appreciation of the courtesy and consideration which have been extended to the individual members of the Conference by the members of the different Departments who have assisted in connection with the discussions that have been going on. I feel very strongly that the least we can do in connection with what has taken place is that we should say thank you for all the assistance that has been given, and I know that every member of the Conference very much appreciates what has been done by the different officials who have attended here during the many sittings of the Conference.

Thanks to Chairman and Secretariat.

Mr. Bruce: I should like very much to associate myself with what Mr. Massey, as the oldest and senior member of the Conference, has said, and particularly I should like to say to you, Sir Philip, how very appreciative we all are of the tact you have shown in handling this Conference throughout its sittings, and of the very great ability which you have displayed. I think we have all greatly appreciated the courtesy that you and all your colleagues who have attended here have shown to us, and I am quite certain that any good results that may come from the Conference will be due to the spirit in which the British Government have approached this Conference and have invited us to express our views with the utmost frankness.

I should also like, if I may, to express our appreciation to the Secretariat for the work they have done, and for the invaluable assistance they have given, particularly to the Dominion Prime Ministers and to India I am sure, and I think probably that the British Government have also derived a very great deal of assistance from their services. I certainly think that we should put on record our appreciation of all they have done to assist the deliberations of the Conference.

Mr. Massey: I think we all endorse that.

Mr. Graham: Mr. President, I endorse every word that has been said by Mr. Massey and Mr. Bruce. I think a great deal of the success of any gathering depends upon the man who presides over the gathering, and I am not sure that on this occsaion he had such an easy task in connection with some of the other members! I do not know what others would have done in very trying times. We certainly owe a great deal to you, Sir, for the manner in which you have presided over this Conference, which has had before it questions which, to my mind, were as difficult and as delicate to handle as could come before any body of men with different view points, all aiming at the one goal but from a different angle. The U 2


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