12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 1

A Deal With the Dominions The decision on a quota

for Dominion wheat is a triumph for the Canadian Prime Minister. But the subject bristles with difficulties, and the prospect of a period of hard bargaining between this country and indi- vidual Dominions, and between the Dominions • them- selves, is not quite as encouraging as some of the more zealous advocates of Imperial Preference suggest. Is there to be a guaranteed price ? If so, is it to be the world price, or something higher ? How will the guarantee of a quota affect the operations of the Canadian Wheat Pool and vice versa? How will the claims of wheat from Australia, Canada and other parts of the Empire to a fair share in the quota be adjusted ? And what will be the quid pro quo ? Mr. Bennett's offer at the last Imperial Conference to build his tariff walls against other countries a little higher still, leaving them at their present height against Great Britain, was described by Mr. J. H. Thomas, then as now Dominions Secretary, as humbug. Is there a better offer in prospect to-day ? The Canadian Prime Minister is perfectly frank in putting the interests of Canada first, and he is perfectly right to do that. But it is the business of British Ministers to safe- guard equally the interests of British consumers in the coming negotiations. As Mr. S. M. Bruce has very wisely said, an arrangement that gave to Britain dearer food and the Dominions dearer manufactures would be bad business all round. * * * *