HC Deb 10 July 1903 vol 125 cc1134-5
MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will explain the difference in the methods adopted by ourselves and Germany of arriving at the value of the trade between the two countries, whereby the statistics given in the Annual Statement show the yearly exports from the United Kingdom to Germany to generally exceed the imports therefrom, whereas the figures in the Foreign Statistical Abstract, derived from German sources, show the exports from that country to us as largely exceeding the imports from us; and can he say whether the principal foreign countries adopt out system of valuing imports c.i.f. or inclusive of freigh and insurance, or the American system of valuing them at the place of shipment abroad.

(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) The values of imports and exports in the United Kingdom Trade Accounts are based on declarations of importers and exporters as to the value at the port of arrival or departure, respectively. The values in the German Accounts are based on official valuations revised annually by a Commission. In both cases sea freight is included in the value of imports, but not in that of exports, and this is also true of the principal foreign countries, except the United States. The differences between the value of trade between the United Kingdom and Germany, as shown in the United Kingdom and German Trade Accounts respectively, are due to several causes, among which are the magnitude of the transit trade through Belgium and Holland, which causes part of Anglo - German trade to be recorded as carried on with those countries, and the omission of the free port of Hamburg from the Imperial German Accounts.