§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, Camlachie)
, asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he is aware that the total actual export trade from Trinidad to Venezuela showed a falling off for 1887 of nearly 50 per cent as compared with 1885, or nearly 70 per cent. as compared with 1884, declining from £102,145 sterling to £33,816 sterling; whether the value of goods "in transit" (not amenable to the 30 per cent. additional duty) was included in the amount recently stated; whether, in 1884, when the additional duty was temporarily taken off, food stuffs exported to Venezuela increased by nearly £30,000 value 1715 —namely, from £72,566 to £102,145 sterling; whether the Government have received the Returns for the first six months of the present year; and, if so, whether the amount is less than that of the previous six months; and, whether having regard to the disastrous results which must ensue to the West Indian Colonies from further delay in arriving at an arrangement with Venezuela in relation to the various questions now in dispute, Her Majesty's Government can hold out any hopes of a speedy settlement being arrived at?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.)
(who replied) said: From a Return furnished by the Government statist, the figures quoted in the first paragraph of the hon. Member's Question appear to be correct. The answer to the second and third paragraphs is in the affirmative. The Returns for the first six months of the present year have not been received. All negociations with Venezuela have been suspended, in consequence of the interruption of diplomatic relations by the late President Guzman Blanco; and no overtures for their resumption have been received from the new President.