§ MR. HOULT (Cheshire, Wirrall)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has been advised by the British Minister at Bukarest that the German Government is about to make a new treaty of commerce with Roumania; whether he is aware that German trade has secured substantial advantages at the expense of British trade; that in five years the imports of British manufactured cotton goods have fallen from 75 per cent. of the whole to 49 per cent., and that British machinery, tin plates, jute tissues, bags, cast iron, and other articles are being ousted from the market; and, if so, will he say what steps are being taken to safeguard British trade interests.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (for Lord CRANBORNE)
I understand the Roumanian Government are engaged in reconsidering their Customs tariff, but we have no reason to suppose that a special treaty with Germany is being negotiated, or that there is any intention of granting German trade substantial advantages at our expense. I am aware that there 867 has been a falling off in certain branches of British trade in Roumania, including the commodities mentioned by the hon. Member. Communications have passed between His Majesty's Minister at Bukarest and the Roumanian Government with a view to safeguard British trade interests.