HC Deb 15 April 1902 vol 106 cc279-80
MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state what is the amount of export duty paid on manila fibre or hemp from the Philippines to America and England respectively, also the duty charged on the same goods entering the United States, and what proportion is remitted by reason of such goods coming from an American colony, and what advantage in first cost the American manufacturer would have over his British competitor.


Manila fibre and hemp are not the same thing, and are differently treated. Under the United States Tariff Act, hemp is subject to an import duty of 20 dollars per ton, but grasses and fibres, including manila, are duty free. The export duty under the act of the Philippine Tariff Commission is the same in both cases, viz., 7.50 dollars per ton. But all articles, the growth and product of the Philippines, admitted into United States ports free of duty, will, if they come direct and are for use and consumption in the United States, be exempt from export duties imposed in the Archipelago. It appears therefore that no export duty will be levied on manila fibre exported to the United States and that the American manufacturer has in this case, in his own market, an advantage of 7.50 dollars per ton over his British competitor.


Arising out of that answer, as the noble lord has stated that the Government have sought an assurance from the United States Government that no preferential tariff shall be established, will he make a friendly communication to the United States Government in order to remedy this state of things under which there is a preferential tariff.


I stated that representations had been made the last time the hon. Gentleman put a Question on this subject. I must ask him to give me notice of any further Question.