HC Deb 17 December 1906 vol 167 cc1027-8

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if paragraph VII., Sub-section 4, of the instructions under the Royal Sign Manual to the Governor of the Transvaal, dated 6th December, 1906, prohibiting his assent to any law imposing differential duties, implies that the 25 per cent. preferential rebate in the Customs duties of the Transvaal upon imports the product of British labour, now given in common with CapeColony, Natal, the Orange River Colony, and Rhodesia, is to be withdrawn, and that in the future no lighter duties may be levied upon British goods than upon foreign goods; and, in such case, will he say why this provision, which is prejudicial to the workers in the Mother Country and the British Empire, and destructive of British trade, has been inserted.


The provision in the instructions does not sustain the hon. and gallant Member's apprehensions. It has been inserted in accordance with custom to prevent the coming into operation before the Secretary of State has had the opportunity of considering its provisions of a law which may conflict with treaty obligations.