§ MR. W. F. LAWRENCE (Liverpool, Abercromby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state how soon the West India Commissioners are likely to issue their Report, and whether, in view of the 1599 precarious condition of the sugar industry by reason of the new bounties and the new American tariff, he will invite them to report within this month, or before the discussion on the Budget closes?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN, Birmingham, W.)
The West India Commissioners, who have just returned from visiting all the West Indian Colonies, have brought with them a mass of oral and documentary evidence, and are still awaiting further returns and documents from the Colonies and the United States. They are fully alive to the importance of Dispatch, but in view of the wide scope of the Inquiry, and the variety of important subjects which it embraces and the great amount of evidence to be dealt with, they cannot hope to submit their Report for at least eight or ten weeks from the present time.