HC Deb 17 June 1904 vol 136 cc358-9
MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the increases about to be made in the Canadian duties on British woollen goods and on British cordage; and whether he proposes to make any protest against these increases, similar to the protest which was made by Australia when the wine duty in this country was last increased, and to the protests made by India and Ceylon when the tea duty was increased.

(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) My attention has been called to the proposal of the Canadian Government to diminish the existing preferences on British cloths, tweeds, etc., and British twine and cordage. His Majesty's Government do not intend to protest against this proposal; first, because it forms only part of scheme of tariff revision which appears to have been framed in a spirit of consideration for British industries and which includes increased preferences in certain other directions; and, secondly, because, in the absence of any reciprocal arrangement, the precise nature and amount of the preference to be given to British imports are matters which must be left entirely to the discretion of the Canadian Government.