§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the dates of the treaties by which the United States, Portugal, and other countries levy increased duties on certain classes of British imports; what articles are the subject of such treatment; to what extent has British trade been affected; and whether the Government have admitted it is in accordance with the most-favoured-nation treatment that British goods should be thus penalised.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
The dates of the reciprocal agreements under which the United States levy lower rates of duty on certain articles from certain foreign countries than on similar articles from the United Kingdom are:—Agreement with France, May, 1898; agreement with Germany, July, 1900; agreement with Italy, July, 1900. The dates of the Portuguese treaties according lower rates of import duty to foreign countries on certain articles than on similar imports from the United Kingdom are:—Treaty with Russia, July, 1895; treaty with Norway, December, 1894; treaty with Holland, July, 1894. The articles of the United Kingdom production affected are, in the case of the United States, paintings, statuary, and spirits; and, in the case of Portugal, certain classes of leather and of jute manufactures, tin manufactures, candles, and a few other articles of minor importance. It is not possible to state exactly the extent to which British trade has been affected by this differential 1176 treatment. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Is there in existence at present a commercial treaty with Portugal containing a most-favoured nation clause?
§ MR. LAMBERT
Can the hon. Member give an approximate estimate of the British trade affected by the preferential duties?
§ MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)
Cannot the hon. Member give the exports of British products before and after these treaties?
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomery)
Are these treaties printed in any Government publication, or are they accessible in any way in the library of the House?