HC Deb 14 March 1898 vol 54 c1532
MR. C. E. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it has now been decided by the Government of Tunis that only the minimum tariff of five per cent. is to be applied for the future by the custom house officials at Tunis to English cotton goods, other than those classes understood commonly as "cotonnades" in France?


The hon. Member is, I think, in some confusion. There is no minimum tariff of 5 per cent. nor is there a special tariff applied to English cotton goods other than "cotonnades." The contention of Her Majesty's Government is that all cotton goods are included in "cotonnades," and are entitled to the 5 per cent. fixed by the late Agreement, and they have made representations to the French Government in that sense. Upon goods other than cottons, the French cannot, until 1905, because of the Franco-Italian Agreement, charge more than the rates of the French minimum tariff, but, as a matter of fact, they are at present charging less—namely, the 8 per cent. leviable under the old Anglo-Tunisian Treaty.