§ MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether the Russian import duties on Indian tea have been raised in the past few years; if so, when were they raised; whether any reason was assigned by the Russian Government for raising them; and whether any negotiations have taken place on the subject.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Earl PERCY,) Kensington, S.
My right hon. friend has asked me to answer this. The duties were raised in September, 1903, so far as the European frontiers and Black Sea ports were concerned, but not as regards imports through Dalny and Vladivostock, through which route the trade immediately showed a considerable expansion. It was understood that the step was a protest against the action taken by His Majesty's Government to give effect to the Brussels Sugar Convention. As regards the last part of the Question, the Answer is in the negative.