HC Deb 06 May 1858 vol 150 cc179-80

said, he would beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether (under 14th protocol, page 59, of Conferences of the Plenipotentiaries at Paris, 1856, relative to the Treaty of Peace) there has been a revision of the stipulations which regulate the commercial relations of the Porte with other Powers, or in the position of foreigners resident in Turkey, and whether (agreeably to the recorded wish of the Plenipotentiaries) a deliberation had been opened at Constantinople since the conclusion of peace between the Porte and other Powers, with the view of attaining the twofold object in such a manner as to afford satisfaction to all legitimate interests; and, if there have been no such revision and deliberation, whether this country, in its commercial relations with the Porte, ranks among the most favoured nations as to fiscal and other duties in all commercial transactions, and the residence of British subjects in Turkey, and whether any beneficial change had taken place since the war; and are negotiations in progress to facilitate the commerce of this country with Turkey.


Sir, in answer to the first question which the hon. Gentleman has put to me, I have to state that there has been no revision of the stipulations which regulate the commercial relations of the Porte with other Powers. Deliberation on the subject, however, will probably be soon commenced. The hon. Gentleman also asks what the position of the inhabitants of this country is in regard to the Porte as contrasted with that which is occupied by other nations, and I may inform him that I believe we stand at present in the same line with respect to commerce and civil privileges as the most favoured nations. As to the stipulations which regulate our commerce with the Porte, the hon. Gentleman will permit me to say that he is, perhaps, unaware that by the Treaty of 1834 Commissioners were appointed who were invested with the functions of periodically revising the Turkish tariff. The power of doing that still exists, has been acted upon, and will be acted upon again. The Russian war, of course, precluded the regular and accustomed exercise of the right. I may add, in answer to the question whether any beneficial change in our commercial relations with the Porte has taken place since the war, that there has been no revision of the stipulations of the Treaty of 1834 since that period.