HC Deb 24 February 1904 vol 130 cc838-40
SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any official information showing that the conditions of maritime war have produced any material alterations in commercial and shipping transactions between the United Kingdom, British Colonies or Possessions abroad, with either Japan or Russia; and, if so, can he state generally their main features.


To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any branch of his Department is charged with the duty of observing and recording any important current changes in commercial and shipping operations of Russia and Japan under the varying conditions of maritime war; and, if so, whether current information so obtained, if of importance to British merchants and shippers, is communicated promptly to the trade and shipping centres of the Empire.

(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) The time that has elapsed since the beginning of the war is too short to enable me to make any general statement as to its effect on British commercial and shipping transactions. In reply, however, to this and the following Question of the hon. Member I may assure him that the position is being carefully watched by the Commercial and Marine Departments

Years. Value of Exports of British and Irish Produce from the United Kingdom.
Dominion of Canada. Newfoundland. Total to North American Colonies.
£ £ £
1897 5,171,850 304,341 5,476,191
1898 5,838,000 316,773 6,154,773
1899 6,969,535 377,607 7,347,142
1900 7,605,257 521,453 8,126,710
1901 7,785,472 358,223 8,143,695
1902 10,345,256 375,069 10,720,325
1903 11,105,011 392,119 11,497,130

of the Board of Trade, in consultation with other Government Offices, and that all information received which is of importance to British traders and which can properly be made public will be promptly communicated to those interested by publication or otherwise.