§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool Exchange)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the importance of ascertaining the extent and value of the shipping trade of the United Kingdom in its bearing upon questions of fiscal reform now under consideration, and having regard to the inadequacy of the statistics now available, he will endeavour to obtain further information as to the aggregate tonnage of, and the value of the trade carried on by, British ships trading between foreign countries.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. BONAR LAW,) Glasgow, Blackfriars
I am aware of the importance of this matter, and the Board of Trade have endeavoured for some years to collect information on the subject, but with only partial success. I fear that the difficulties are almost insuperable, but the Board of Trade are considering whether anything further can be done.