HC Deb 09 August 1898 vol 64 cc646-7

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, considering the great impetus given to British trade by the recent appointment of a Commercial Attaché for Bulgaria, he will consider the advisability of making a similar appointment for Roumania; whether hr is aware that, whilst a port tax of one-half per cent, is charged on all goods shipped to Bucharest from this country, all goods despatched by train from Italy, Germany, or Switzerland are free from such tax; and whether he is aware that such tax is no longer used for the purpose for which it was imposed; and, if not, will he make inquiries with a view to representations being made to the Roumanian Government in order that same may be removed?


A special Commercial Attaché has not been appointed for Bulgaria; but Bulgaria has been included in the sphere of the Commercial Attaché recently appointed to Constantinople. Roumania is similarly included in the sphere of the Commercial Attaché for Austria; and this post, which has recently been vacated by Sir E. Law, will before long be filled by another appointment. The half per cent, tax mentioned in the second paragraph is not imposed solely on British sea-borne goods as would appear to be suggested in the Question; but is equally paid on all goods imported by the Danube, much of which are of Austrian or German origin. I cannot say to what purposes this tax is now being applied. But an influential Roumanian Commission is now sitting to inquire into the matter, and it has for some time received the close attention of Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires at Bucharest.

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