MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has any reply been received from the United States Government to the representations which had been made by His Majesty's Government in February,1903, as to the injurious effect upon British trade and upon the sugar industries in the West Indies, of the Reciprocity Treaty between the 14 United States and the Government of Cuba; if so, can he say what was the nature of that reply; and when will the correspondence be laid upon the Table of the House.
§ *THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOE FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Earl PERCY, Kensington, S.)
Representations were made to the Government of the United States in 1903 with regard to the injury that might result to British trade from the operation of the Reciprocity Treaty, but not with regard to its effect upon the trade of the West Indies, as these colonies cannot claim the benefits of the Commercial Treaty of 1815. The representations made by His Majesty's Government were unsuccessful owing to the view which, as my hon. friend is aware, the Government of the United States has frequently expressed that a treaty right to the most-favoured-nation treatment does not entitle its possessor to participate in special privileges granted to others in return for reciprocal concessions.
§ *EARL PERCY
I am not sure that this correspondence is very important, but in regard to the question generally I will consider what can be done. There was a Paper containing the views of the United States Government on the subject laid in 1885.