§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether in view of the high tariffs of Foreign countries, and the importance of encouraging inventors so that British manufacturers may maintain their preeminence in the markets of the world, he will consider the propriety of apply- 200 ing the surplus of £93,534, received by the Patent Office in excess of its expenditure, to a large reduction of the present heavy renewal fees?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
I am not sure that British manufacturers generally would admit that the application of the surplus from fees on patents which the hon. Member suggests would largely benefit them. There is much to be said in favour of the present scale if it operates in the later years to cause useless and unsuccessful patents to fall out, and some people believe that this is an advantage and not a disadvantage to British trade. The hon. Member is perhaps not aware that recently sanction has been given to a large expenditure for building a new Patent Office, and providing additional facilities to the public who have business there, an object with which I am sure he will sympathise and which the public; will appreciate.