§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether he is in a position to give any information as to the decision arrived at by the Sugar Bounties Conference; whether an opportunity for discussion will be afforded to Parliament before definite action is taken; what is the total estimated amount of the bounty on foreign sugar imported into this country; and, whether it is proposed to 823 impose countervailing duties for the protection of sugar coming from British Colonies?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxtet)
I am not in a position to give any further information as to the progress of the negotiations concerning the abolition of sugar bounties, which are still the subject of diplomatic correspondence. With regard to the second Question, if legislation should be necessary ample time will be given for considering and discussing the Convention before such legislation is introduced. As to the amount of bounty on sugar imported into this country there is a great difference of opinion on that point, the bounties mainly arising from the payment of drawback on sugar which has paid no duty. The figures could not accurately be stated without making a special Report on the subject. It would not be expedient to make such a Report now, as it necessarily involves questions still under the consideration of the Powers. The understanding arrived at by the Powers at the last meeting of the Conference prevents my making any statement, in reply to the fourth Question, from which any inference can be drawn.