MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
To ask the President of the Board of Trade, can he state or give a Return stating for the years 1902 and 1903 respectively the total value of imports into the United Kingdom of manufactured articles, and the total value of imports into the United Kingdom of partly-manufactured articles.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
To ask the President of the Board of Trade, can he explain why the table on page 5 of the Fiscal Blue-book, Cd. 1761, of 1903, which is declared on page 3 to be a continuation of the classification of Paper No. 102, of 1885 (in continuation of Paper No. 362, of 1882) fails to separate, as Paper No. 102 separates, the imports of manufactured from the imports of partly-manufactured goods, and gives only the total of both together; and will he give as a Return a Paper in continuation of Paper No. 102, of 1885, separating the two in the same manner for the years 1884 to 1903 inclusive.
(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) The Memorandum referred to was intended to compare the growth of the foreign trade in manufactures of the United Kingdom and certain foreign countries. These foreign countries make no distinction in their trade accounts between "manufactured" and "partly-manufactured articles," both being included under the category "manufactures." Hence, for the purpose of the Memorandum, 1555 no separation of these classes was required in the case of the United Kingdom figures. The categories of manufactured articles in the official trade accounts of the United Kingdom have recently been carefully revised and improved, and it is not expedient that any fresh Return should follow precisely the old and imperfect classification used in the Return of 1885. A Memorandum, however, dealing with the whole subject of the statistics of our imports and exports of manufactured and partly manufactured articles, with comparative figures over a period of years, is being prepared for publication, and I trust that this will give my hon. friend the information he desires.