§ SIR ARTHUR FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether Her Britannic Majesty's Consuls at the port of Morocco are demanding from British ships visiting these ports a fee of 10s. for attesting the 1363 signature of the agents on the manifests of the British vessels: under what authority such demand is made: whether he is aware that the Consuls of other nations make no such charge for the same duty as regards vessels under their respective flags; and, if he will give instructions that the same course be adopted by our Consuls?
The fee of 10s. on the manifests of British vessels is only charged on exports from the ports of Morocco, and is levied under the Consular Fees Order in Council of 1892. The consent of the Treasury was obtained to the waiver of a similar fee on the manifests of imports in March of last year, but the same commission was not extended to exports. I will, however, consult Sir Arthur Nicolson as to the working of the present system.