HC Deb 21 March 1904 vol 132 cc231-2
MR. CHARLES McARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether at the Brussels International Conference of 1903 His Majesty's Government signified its adhesion, on behalf of the Crown Colonies, to the Convention then arranged; and whether it is consistent with the provisions of Article 11 (A) of the said Convention that bounty-fed sugar from the United States should be admitted into Bermuda on terms of fiscal equality with British and German sugars which are free of bounty.


At the same time may I ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in view of the declaration in Protocol A 3 of the Brussels Sugar Convention that His Majesty's Government had power to adhere to the Convention on behalf of the Crown Colonies and that it did so adhere, will he explain on what grounds His Majesty's Government have arrived at the conclusion that they are not bound by the Convention to require the Crown Colony of Bermuda to impose countervailing duties on or to prohibit the importation of bounty-fed sugars from the United States; have His Majesty's Government communicated to the Brussels Permanent Commission as required by the Convention the laws, orders, and regulations on the taxation of sugar in force in Bermuda, and has the Commission pronounced thereon; and in what way do His Majesty's Government now propose to carry out their engagements under the Convention with respect to Bermuda.


In answer to the hon. Member's Question, I may state in the first place that His Majesty's Government have not adhered to the Brussels Convention on behalf of the Crown Colonies, including Bermuda, and that those colonies are therefore under no obligation to penalise bounty-fed sugar; and secondly, that full information as to the legislation of Bermuda regarding sugar has been duly laid before the Permanent Commission, and that the engagements entered into under the Con- vention on behalf of the colony are being scrupulously observed.