HC Deb 14 February 1845 vol 77 cc454-5
Dr. Bowring,

seeing the right hon. Baronet in his place, would put the question of which he had given notice on a former evening, in reference to the Commercial Treaty with the Ottoman Empire. When that commercial Treaty was entered into with the Porte duties had been imposed on the import and export of goods by Her Britannic Majesty's subjects, throughout the Ottoman Empire, and the equivalent which was given them was the abolition of the monopolies of goods which left open the interior of the Turkish Empire. Under that Treaty British merchants were empowered to import at 3l. per cent. ad valorem. Since then there had been an additional impost levied to the extent of 9 per cent., which was not authorised by the Treaty, making, in all, 12 per cent. upon our imports. Other parties trading thither stood in a different situation, and rested their exemption from so high a rate of duties upon other considerations, and they imported or exported at a rate of 3l. per cent. inwards and outwards. The question which he wished to put to the right hon. Baronet was, whether any effective measures had been taken to place British subjects of Her Majesty trading to the Levant on a level with other subjects trading to that part of the world?

Sir Robert Peel

said, the Government were not satisfied with the manner in which the Commercial Treaty had been carried into execution. There were subjects of some countries which were entiled to privileges that British subjects did not possess, and with which we could not meddle, although there was an article in the Treaty which provided that subjects of Her Majesty in the Turkish Empire should be upon the footing of the most favoured nations. There were now pending negociations upon this subject by the Porte and the British Minister, and, as of course, this was a step towards a better understanding upon the subject of these duties with the Porte, the hon. Member would be, perhaps, gratified to learn, that the subject of these duties had not been overlooked by the British Government.

Dr. Bowring

wished to ask the right hon. Baronet if it was his intention to place the Papers on this subject before the House?

Sir R. Peel

said, when the negociation was concluded he should have no objection to do so.

Subject at an end.

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