§ MR. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he assented to the promise given to the House on behalf of the Government by the President of the Board of Trade on the 14th July last, that the fees for the renewal of patents between the fourth and eighth years should be reduced; whether the President of the Board of Trade, in fulfilment of that promise, has submitted proposals to the Treasury for reducing patent fees; and whether effect will be given to those proposals before the completion of the present financial year?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
The hon. Member asks me whether I assented to a promise given to the House on behalf of the Government by the President of the Board of Trade that the fees for the renewal of patents between the fourth and eighth years should be reduced. No such promise was given, and, therefore, no assent on my part followed. The words of my right hon. Friend were as follows:—My view is that we should consider whether a reduction may not be made in the fees charged in the interval between four and eight years.The hon. Member will see that my right hon. Friend spoke of considering whether a reduction might not be made, and that he did not give a promise that such reduction should be made. Proposals have been submitted for reducing 755 patent fees, and our policy remains the same; but the question of giving effect to those proposals at once must depend upon financial considerations, with regard to which I cannot speak at present; but certainly nothing can be done within the present financial year.