HC Deb 15 June 1880 vol 253 cc66-7

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If the French Government, in the course of the present negotiations for the reduction of the Wine Duties, has agreed to meet the complaints of British sugar refiners; and if the proposal now before the French House of Assembly for reducing (in October next) the fiscal Duty on sugar in France from 70 to 40 francs per 100 kilos, is the one which is to be substituted for the present system?


Sir, formal negotiations between the two Governments can hardly be said to have commenced. The proposal now before the French.

House Assembly for reducing in October the fiscal duty on sugar in France was made by the French Government on its own responsibility, and without any previous communication with us. We have to judge it upon its merits and see what becomes of it. There is no engagement bearing upon it in any way. The material object of the Question of my hon. Friend I suppose is to obtain an assurance that the subject will be borne in mind when negotiations come on between the British and French Governments, and that assurance I can freely give him.