I want to draw the attention of the Minister to a possible difficulty surrounding the operations under Section 3. The direct effect of the section is that there will be a prohibitive duty on artificial silk which is not of United Kingdom origin. I do not want to be taken in any way as objecting to that, but the effect will be that the manufacturers and the makers of garments who have been using cheap foreign silks will in future have to use silk which is produced in the United Kingdom. That is part and parcel of this Agreement and it is not an unreasonable provision. It will make the goods a bit dearer, but my opinion is that it will be a better article and the public will not lose. But there is this possible danger: that artificial silk can be imported from countries outside the United Kingdom and the duty paid on it; but when that silk is re-exported the duty can be refunded. It is very important there should be no question that if Japanese silk, which is the cheapest type of artificial silk, is imported into Great Britain and there made into an article of clothing, it will not be possible to call that article an article of British origin. Because, if that could be done, it would be very serious indeed for certain of the manufacturers here. I know that in certain certificates of origin which we accepted in the past something varying from 25 per cent. to 75 per cent. of British material and workmanship was admitted as of British origin. I am connected with a company that is exporting to the Dominions and some of them insist on a certificate of 100 per cent. British origin.
I suggest to the Minister—and I do not think it would be in any way contrary to the Agreement—that it will be very important that the proof of United Kingdom origin should require a certificate of 100 per cent. I think if he looks into the matter he will find that, as far as certain British possessions and, I think, certain Dominions are concerned, that is required. I just draw attention to it here, not that I think that the Minister will overlook it, but that it is a thing in which a certain amount of publicity is desirable.