§ MR. J. K. WINGFIELD-DIGBY (Dorset, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in view of the unequal competition to which the British and Irish farmers are subject through the importation of large quantities of bounty-assisted cheese and butter, he will try and induce the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consider the propriety of neutralising these bounty systems by imposing Import Duties on such goods equivalent to the amount of the bounty?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (MR. HERBERT GARDNER, Essex, Saffron)
No Sir, with the experience of other countries before our eyes, I cannot undertake to propose to my right hon. Friend that we should embark upon a policy of retaliatory tariffs. I may perhaps add, that the interesting report by Sir Joseph Crowe on the Agriculture, Bounties, and General Trade, of France, which was delivered this morning, is an instructive Commentary on the cost and results of a protective system, and I hope that it may receive consideration at the hands of those agriculturists who look for assistance in the direction indicated by the hon. Member.
§ MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)
Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that a duty designed to countervail bounties is in the nature of a protective duty?