§ MR. EDWARD HOLDEN
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether there is any prospect of a favourable alteration in the present French Tariff as respects English japanned leather used for coach 380 purposes, for which Walsall and Bermondsey are noted, as these goods are now paying more than double the duty when entering France than they did under the old Cobden Treaty, and that other classes of leather goods, especially the heavy and cheaper kinds, have, from increased duties now payable, nearly ceased to be exported to France, and that some English houses dealing in these goods are considering the desirability of retiring from that country?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER
The present French Tariff came into operation on the 1st February last. The duties on japanned leather and on other classes of leather goods were presumably fixed more in the interest of French trade than in that of Walsall and Bermondsey. As the tariff has only been four months in operation it is improbable that the French Government would be prepared, without a longer trial, to substantially modify its provisions.