HC Deb 16 March 1899 vol 68 cc986-7

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has observed the statement made by a member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris that for the last 25 years French exports to England have been regularly increasing, while British exports to France have been decreasing, and that not only has the trade between the two countries ceased to increase, but is on the downward grade; and whether, in consideration of the commercial attitude of France to Great Britain, he will consider the advisability of meeting the anticipated deficit in the revenue of this country by bringing under taxation for revenue purposes luxuries imported from France, such as wines, silks, and millinery?


I do not think that the statement referred to in the first paragraph of the Question is entirely accurate; but it is the fact that there has been some falling off in recent years in the value of British exports to Francs, mainly in the re-exports. With regard to the second paragraph of the Question, I must remind the honourable Member that our tariff is drawn up with a view of obtaining revenue and not with the object of reprisals.