HC Deb 25 March 1886 vol 303 cc1806-7
MR. HUTTON (Manchester, N.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, The nature of the instructions given to Her Majesty's Diplomatic and Consular Agents abroad with respect to Reports on the Trade and Industries of the place where they reside, and as to the course pursued by the Foreign Office with respect to these instructions, and to Parliament receiving periodical and early publication of these Reports?


Her Majesty's Consuls abroad are required to furnish, as soon as possible after the termination of each year, a General Report on the commerce and navigation of their districts. It is directed that such Reports shall show the amount and character of the trade carried on, and the special circumstances which may have caused fluctuations; that means of developing trade shall be suggested, and notice taken of all public works undertaken for advancing the interests of the port at which the Consul is stationed; that Consuls will enumerate the various articles of British and Colonial produce or manufacture for which the market seems to be favourable or unfavourable, together with opportunities for return freights, industrial institutions, new patents, inventions, or appliances which may affect manufactures and industry, harbour improvements and dues, landing and embarking facilities, public announcements for tenders for works, and so forth. These Reports are sent immediately to the printer, and issued in parts from time to time as soon as possible. It will be seen, on reference to Blue Books No. 20, 21, and 22, Commercial of last year, that three of these parts were issued in the month of August alone. I may add that, in addition to the Annual Trade Reports to which I have already referred, both Her Majesty's Diplomatic and Consular officers are instructed to furnish Reports on subjects of commercial and general interest when and as occasions arise, and it has hitherto been the practice to publish these as a separate series. Secretaries of Embassy and Legations are also required to furnish Reports from time to time on the trade and finances of the country to which the Head of their Mission is accredited, and the same course is followed with regard to their publication as that described in regard to the Consular Reports.


asked what was the usual course of procedure if the Consuls did not carry out these instructions?

[No reply.]