HC Deb 16 February 1905 vol 141 c310

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the United States Treasury, by decree of May 2, 1904, ruled that British brandies are not entitled to the most-favoured-nation treatment; if so, will he state the grounds of such decision; is it to be applied to all other British imports; and whether any remonstrances have been addressed on the subject to the United States Government.


By the degree referred to, it was announced that British brandy is not entitled to the treatment accorded to French and German brandy. A Treasury decision of May 2, 1904, lays down that the most-favoured-nation Article in the Treaty of 1815 does not apply, inasmuch as the rates enjoyed by German and French spirits were granted in consideration of concessions by Germany and France. The reply to the third Question is in the negative. The hon. Baronet will find fuller information on the subject if he will refer to the Return of July 2, 1903, headed "Preferential Trade." His Majesty's Government have frequently expressed their dissent from the views of the United States Government in regard to the meaning of the most-favoured-nation Article in the Treaty of 1815.


Does the Government acquiesce in this unconventional treatment? Are they going to take it lying down?


I have said we do not hold the same view as the United States Government of our rights.