HC Deb 14 February 1851 vol 114 cc628-9

wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, of which he had given him notice. Before doing so, it was necessary he should state the fact that a Barge of sugar was imported from the Havannah into Bristol, in a Belgian vessel, in December last, on which the regular duty of 17s. per cwt. was paid, and there was no objection to that. Subsequently a charge was made by the authorities in London; a surcharge of 20 per cent was claimed under an Older in Council, which issued under an order passed in 1826, which Act was repealed by the late Navigation Act; but though the Navigation Act gave the power to the Government to issue an Order in Council for the establishment of reciprocal duties between different Governments, no Order in Council had been issued. He first wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he intends to issue such an Order in Council, and whether there is any other nation besides Belgium with respect to which this sort of thing could happen? He also wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any information had reached the Government of the reduction of duty on refined sugar in Belgium, to the amount of 3s. 6d. a cwt.?


By the terms of an Order in Council, dated January 30, 1826, all goods imported into the united kingdom in Belgian vessels are subject to an additional duty of 20 per cent. This additional duty is only levied in the case of Belgium. It originally applied to the whole of the Netherlands. After the separation of Holland and Belgium, Holland concluded a commercial treaty with us (in October, 1837), and an Order in Council was issued in December, 1837, to relieve Dutch vessels from the additional duty. No convention having been entered into with Belgium, the extra duty still remains in force against her. Negotiations are now in progress with Belgium, and we have offered to repeal this duty if a satisfactory arrangement can be made. With respect to the second question, Her Majesty's Government have received a despatch from Lord Howard de Walden, Her Majesty's Minister at Brussels, dated Jan. 27, 1851, of which the following is an extract:— The Government has decided to reduce the drawback allowed on the export of refined sugar from 63f to 59f. 75c. per 100 kilogrammes, thus reducing the bounty now standing at about 3s. 4d. by about 1s.4d. per cwt.