§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, If his attention has been drawn to an Exchange Company's telegram of the 26th of April, dated Ottawa, April 26, to the following effect:—That the Republics of Central and South America, Hayti, San Domingo, and the Brazilian Empire have decided to send delegates to Washington next April to attend a Convention having for its object the promotion of an American Zollverein or Customs Union, to the exclusion of the goods of other countries;and, if there is any truth in the statement; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Representatives in the Southern and Central American States have been requested to point out to the Governments to which they are accredited that in joining such a Customs Union, to the exclusion of the competition of other manufacturing countries other than the United States, they would act detrimentally to the interests of the trade of this country?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Man- chester, N.E.)
Her Majesty's Government were informed in 1886 that such a!. scheme was spoken of, and inquiries were made in America about it. It assumed no definite shape, and we have received no recent information on the subject. Inquiries will now be made regarding it. I am afraid that if the scheme should be seriously contemplated, the Governments concerned will consider their national interests rather than those of British commerce.