HC Deb 16 June 1890 vol 345 c1002
MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the Treaties, of Commerce concluded in 1862 and 1865 with Belgium and the German Zollverein preclude the conclusion of any preferential commercial arrangement for mutual advantage between the United Kingdom and Her Majesty's. Colonial or Indian possessions, and if these foreign restrictions upon domestic commerce are extended by the most favoured nation agreement to every other foreign State; and in such case if, having regard to the well-known Report of the Privy Council of Canada that trade should be as free as practicable between the various portions of the Empire, having regard solely to their own interests, and unfettered by any obligation to treat others with equal favour, as also to repeated expressions of opinion to like effect in the Dominion Parliament, and in Australasia, an undertaking can be given that advantage shall be taken of the opportunity afforded by the forthcoming expiration upon due notice of several foreign Treaties of Commerce to denounce and determine such inter-British commercial disability?


I am not prepared to admit that the Treaties to which the hon. Member refers would have, in all cases, the effect suggested in the first part of his question, but he will find the clauses referred to in the Paper presented to the House of Commons, dated 17th April, 1888. (C 5369.) This Paper also includes a Memorandum by Sir E. Hertslet, on the subject. No doubt this important matter will be considered when new Commercial Treaties are about to be concluded with foreign States.

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