§ MR. KING (Hull, Central)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the attention of the Secretary of State was called in December last to the fact that the Russian Government had made regulations imposing a duty on jute bags used by British steamers in packing grain at Odessa and other Russian ports for English ports; whether every British vessel having bags on board for such purpose, as provided under our Merchant Shipping Laws, is compelled, before using them at Russian ports, to discharge them, to pay cartage on them to and from the Custom House, and to pay the Russian duty as on imported goods, involving delay and the payment of duty over and over again on the same bags; and, whether any correspondence has taken place with the Russian Government on the subject of this impost, and with what result?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. BEYCE) (Aberdeen, S.)
The attention of the Secretary of State was called in July last to the regulations complained of, which, however, are stated by the Russian Government not to be new. Their result is in the main correctly stated in the second paragraph of the Question. Representations have 312 been made to the Russian Government on the subject, and it is still the subject of active correspondence between Her Majesty's Ambassador at St. Petersburg and the Russian Government.
§ MR. SAUNDERS (Hull, E.)
asked whether the hon. Gentleman could produce the correspondence to which he referred for the advantage of the merchants interested?