HC Deb 23 February 1888 vol 322 cc1247-8
MR. BURT (Morpeth)

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the International Conference relating to State Sugar Bounties will meet on the 5th of April next; when the Papers which have been already promised relating to this subject will be presented to Parliament, and whether those Papers will include the communications from Foreign Governments received by the British Government subsequent to the adjournment of the Conference; whether he can give the House any information as to the views of the bounty-giving Governments which he has lately visited—namely, France, Belgium, Germany, and Holland; and, whether there is ground to believe that this State bounty system, which has proved so injurious to many industries of this country, is likely to be brought to a termination?


The next meeting of the International Congress on State Sugar Bounties is fixed for the 5th of April, and I have every reason to think it will re-assemble in London on that day. Papers relating to the subject are in the hands of the printer, and will be circulated very shortly. They do not include communications received from Foreign Governments since the adjournment of the Conference, as those communications are not complete. The Minutes of the Conference, together with the Protocol and Draft Convention, were published in a special Gazette of the 23rd of December, and will be laid on the Table of the House forthwith. The hon. Member will, I am sure, see that it would not be advisable, in view of the fact that communications are now passing between the various Governments named on the subject of the bounties, and that the Conference is to re-assemble at so early a date, for me to enter into a detailed statement of the personal communications that have taken place between myself and the Ministers of the various Powers referred to, further than to say that the views I conveyed to them have been most fairly received and fully considered, and encourage the hope that a satisfactory settlement of the question may be arrived at when the Conference re-assembles.