§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE () Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Hull, I beg to ask the 1060 President of the Board of Trade whether his Department has statistics to show the probable effect of the ratification of the Sugar Bounties Convention on the shipping trade carried on with bounty-fed sugar in entire or part cargoes from the near Continental ports, and what portion of the sugar imported into the United Kingdom is at present in receipt of bounties; also what is the comparison of the short sea route freights from the Continental ports as against the long sea routed from the West Indies.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds Central
If the Brussels Convention is ratified, all the principal Continental countries from which we import sugar will cease to grant bounties, so that no sudden diminution is to be expected in the shipping normally employed in carrying such sugar. Should the Convention result in our eventually drawing a larger proportion of our supply of sugar from more distant sources, the total employment of shipping will be increased. About nine-tenths of our imports of sugar at present come from bounty-giving countries. I am informed that the rates of freight for raw sugar to this country from Hamburg and the West Indies are from about 5s. to 7s. 6d. a ton, and from 20s. to 25s. a ton respectively.