HC Deb 13 March 1905 vol 142 cc1200-1
MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, under the new Russo-German Treaty, Russian sugar can be imported into Germany on paying a surtax of six francs the 100 kilos., and that surtax is sufficiently high to countervail the Russian bounty; that, under the same treaty, Russian sugar may be ground, coloured, repacked, and exported from Germany so long as the word Russia is placed on the packages; and, if so, whether it is necessary to put the word Russia on original packages, not repacked, on export from Germany; and, if not, what steps do the Government propose to take to prevent the importation of Russian sugar into the United Kingdom by way of Germany; whether the arrangements made between Russia and Germany have been agreed to by the British Government and by the Permanent Sugar Commission at Brussels; and, if not, whether they amount to a breach of the International Sugar Convention, which would justify the exclusion of German as well as Russian sugar from the United Kingdom.


The statement in the first part of the Question is without foundation. As regards the second part of the Question, the treaty provision to which I suppose allusion is made is that whereby Germany agrees to adopt no restrictive measures with regard to the importation of Russian sugar destined for re-exportation or the operations to which such sugar is allowed to be subjected in German ports. All sugar imported into this country has to be accompanied by a certificate of origin showing inter alia the country of production and origin, and signed by the fiscal authority having jurisdiction at the place of production, despatch, or transformation of the sugar. I am not in a position to give an interpretation of the effect of the treaty arrangements between Russia and Germany. Should the Permanent Commission consider that any steps taken by one of the contracting States infringe the Convention they would no doubt report accordingly.


Is the import of Russian sugar for the purpose of re-exportation allowed into this country as well as Germany?


No, Sir, it is not.