20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 2

The Dyestuffs Act On Monday the House of Lords passed

an amendment to the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill which had the effect of continuing the Dyestuffs Act for a year. Either the Government or the Lords must yield if there is not to be a troublesome Constitutional clash and also the great incidental inconvenience of bringing to a sudden end several Acts which ought to be prolonged. Notable among the Acts which must certainly remain in force for a while if there is not to be confusion is the Rent Restrictions Act. The Government would have been wise to accept the Lords' amendment on Wednesday when they had an opportunity of doing so in the House of Commons, but they decided to stand firm. They squeezed through the division with a majority of only six. It seems likely that after we have gone to press the Lords will insist upon their amendment. In that event the Government will have another opportunity to yield " under protest " and we hope that they will take it. We trust that anyhow they will patch up a compromise which will keep the Dyestuffs Act alive long enough—say, six months—for an adequate inquiry. We can hardly doubt that it is one of those measures which should be exempt from the rigid application of Free Trade doctrine. An exceptional amount of scientific research has clustered round the dye industry.

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