§ SIR EDWARD GOURLEY
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Government have denounced the Treaty of Commerce of 30th May 1865, between the German Customs Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; if so, will he state whether this denunciation will apply to all supplementary agreements regulating its extension to the various German States which subsequently joined the Customs Union, and also to Alsace-Lorraine; and will this denunciation enable the Government of the German Customs Union to impose duties upon shipping now extensively built and sold in this country to German owners, and which are admitted duty free?
§ MR. LAMBERT
asked how it was that the publication of this Treaty had appeared in the German papers and had not been officially published in the British papers.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I am not aware whether the statements embodied in the last Question are well founded or not. It is the fact that Her Majesty's Government have given notice for the determination of the Treaty in question, which, together with all supplementary agreements extending to the various German States, will cease to be in force on July 30, 1898. Her Majesty's Government have intimated to the German Government their desire to negotiate a new Commercial Treaty with Germany, and until these negotiations have made some advance it would be premature to express any opinion as to the effect which the determination of the Treaty of 1865 will have as regards the Customs Union in Germany. ["Hear, hear!"]