HC Deb 06 May 1890 vol 344 c264

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if it is true that the new Tariff Bill submitted by the Committee of Ways and Means to the House of Representatives of the United States of America provides for the practical prohibition of importations of Sheffield cutlery and edge tools by an increase in the Import Duties of from 50 to 100 per cent.; and in the event of the adoption by a friendly Power, whose productions are admitted to a free market in the United Kingdom, of proposals so serious to British industry, if Her Majesty's Government will consider the desirability of extending the doctrine of commercial reciprocity adopted by this country in the case of Greece?


It appears to be intended in the Bill on the whole to increase these duties, though in some classes of edged tools a decrease seems to be intended. Her Majesty's Government are not in a position to judge what the amount or value will be, and the proposals are subject to alterations during the progress of the Bill. It would be impossible to object to such proposals, because they are founded upon a fiscal policy different to our own; and there is no opportunity of procuring reciprocal reductions unless we are imposing duties upon staple articles of production from the country in question, as was the case in regard to Greek currants.