HC Deb 29 July 1903 vol 126 cc688-9

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the letter of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Herr Boff in November last, in which, replying to a letter from that gentleman stating that Germany is prepared to negotiate a commercial treaty between her and Canada in 1903, he says that if Germany is prepared at once to negotiate such a treaty the Dominion Government would be happy to discuss its terms; and to the letter of the same month to Herr Boff from the Finance Minister of the Dominion, in which he says that the Dominion Government would at a convenient moment be prepared to consider with Germany the general question of trade relations between the two countries, but that the making of a formal treaty would require the appointment of plenipotentiaries by His Majesty the German Emperor and by His Majesty the King of Great Britain, on behalf of Canada; and whether, should the Dominion Government entertain the same opinion at present, His Majesty's Government would be prepared to advise His Majesty to appoint plenipotentiaries on behalf of Canada with the concurrence of the Dominion Government; and whether the Dominion Government has at any time suggested to His Majesty's Government that retaliatory duties should be either imposed or threatened to be imposed on German goods entering the United Kingdom should Germany refuse to admit Canadian imports on the most-favoured-nation terms.


I understand that the Colonial Office has not received, officially or unofficially, any request from Canada for the appointment of a plenipotentiary to negotiate a commercial treaty with Germany on behalf of the Dominion. The only communications that we have had from Canada have already been published.