HC Deb 13 June 1845 vol 81 c478
Mr. Labouchere

said, a rumour had prevailed recently in the city, respecting which he should wish to ask the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Treasury a question. The rumour was, that the Court of Spain had recently sent in a claim to the Government to have the sugars produced in its colonies of Cuba and Porto Rico admitted to consumption in this country at the same scale of duties as those imposed on the produce of the most favoured nations, founding their claim upon Treaties actually in existence. He would strictly guard himself against offering at that moment any opinion with respect to the validity of the claim; but he wished to know whether it had been made by the Spanish Government?

Sir R. Peel

said, that a communication had reached the Government from the Spanish Minister, claiming, under the Treaty of Utrecht, the right of admission at the most favoured rate of duty for the sugars grown at Cuba and Porto Rico. No answer had yet been given to that application; but he had no hesitation in saying that he should be prepared at the fitting opportunity to lay both the communication and the answer to it before the House. In the meantime, he must commend the prudence of the right hon. Gentleman opposite in abstaining from expressing any opinion upon the subject, as the demand and the reply made to it would both be placed before the House at the same time.