HC Deb 25 July 1844 vol 76 cc1429-30
Mr. Labouchere

begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade a question. It had been stated that difficulties had been created by the Dutch Government in the way of appointing Consuls in the ports of Java, to furnish certificates of origin to sugar-growers who shipped their produce to this country. He asked whether the fact were so, and whether any means had been devised for obviating the difficulty.

Mr. W. Gladstone

said, that persons resident in Java, not bearing the title of Consuls, had been authorized by Her Majesty to grant certificates of origin of sugars shipped from the ports of that island for England, and the persons thus selected were such as the Government could fully depend upon. He would take that opportunity of stating that a gentleman had been appointed to fill the situation of Consul at Manilla, who had formerly been Consul at Damascus, and who would receive a salary of 1,000l. a year, with an allowance for a clerk. The foreign commerce with Java was principally carried on at the ports of Batavia, Samarang, and Sourabaya. The name of the gentleman who would act at Batavia was Bonhose; Mr. M'Neil was to act at Samarang; and a gentleman named Fraser was to officiate in the capacity of certificate granter at Sourabaya. The amount of remuneration which these gentlemen would receive for performing their duties was not yet fixed; but he understood from the Foreign Office that 300l. a year would be the maximum allowance in each case.

Mr. Labouchere

begged to know whether the gentlemen in question were merely private merchants resident at the different ports, or whether they would be invested with any civil functions?

Mr. Gladstone

said, that the persons appointed to grant certificates of origin would not hold any consular appointment. Their duty would be confined to the mere inspection of sugar shipped for British ports. As to the question which related to their being engaged in mercantile affairs, his impression was, that Mr. Fraser was not in business, though he had been engaged in commerce, and that Mr. Bonhose and Mr. M'Neil were both merchants.