HC Deb 16 March 1904 vol 131 cc1261-2

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer at what date and by what authority the Customs ceased to collect statistics of the exports and imports between Ireland and Great Britain; and whether, seeing that the chief import from Ireland consists of great articles of food which have to compete with similar imports from foreign countries and the Colonies, will he consider the desirability of enabling Ireland to furnish herself with the same information as to the value of her export products as is available for the other parts of the Empire and all civilised countries.


The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's Question, is that the trade between Great Britain and Ireland was declared to be a coasting trade by Treasury Warrant of the 4th November. 1823, issued under the authority contained in Section 6 of the Act 4, Geo. IV., cap. 72, which assimilated the Customs tariffs of the two countries. As to the second part, I may repeat what I said in answer to a similar Question from the hon. Member—that no machinery exists for collecting complete statistics of goods removed from port to port within the United Kingdom; and any attempt to set up machinery for the purpose of these records would, I think, subject the shipping trade to restrictions quite out of proportion to the advantage that might result from them.