HC Deb 28 February 1906 vol 152 cc1117-8

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the result of the representations made to the German Government with reference to the new tariff which comes into force to-morrow against British goods, and particularly if the enhanced duty of 20s. per cwt. upon a certain class of files made in Sheffield will be withdrawn in favour of the present duty of 7s. 6d. per cwt., or a less duty.

(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) Since the representations referred to were made to the German Government a number of reductions in the German tariff have been made. It is not possible to say how far the German Government may have been influenced by the British representations, but several of the reductions conceded affect articles included in these representations; and, although there is at present no commercial treaty between the United Kingdom and Germany, British traders will benefit by those reductions. For example, the duty imposed under the general tariff on the class of files referred to in the Question has been reduced from about 20s. to about 14s per cwt. It is true that this concession was made in negotiation with Switzerland, but it will apply also to similar files from Sheffield.