§ MR. LAMONT (Buteshire)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that the existing import tariff of Jamaica expires on June 1st, 1906, he will suggest to the Governor of that Colony that it is desirable to encourage inter-Colonial free 70 trade among the British West Indian Possessions, and that this opportunity might therefore be taken of bringing the new Jamaican tariff, so far as the necessities of revenue permit, into uniformity with the lower scale of customs duties already prevailing in the Colony of Trinidad.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY FOR THE COLONIES (Mr CHURCHILL,) Manchester, N.W.
The Secretary of State would view with favour any measures tending to the establishment of inter-Colonial free trade in the British West Indies, though the possibilites of such trade are necessarily limited by the similarity of their products; he is also in favour of the establishment of uniform tariffs in the different Colonies, and of the reduction of customs duties wherever possible; but as these duties are imposed solely for revenue purposes, the possibility of effecting reductions depends upon the financial position. Jamaica has very recently abolished the surtax of 6 per cent. upon the customs tariff which was imposed last year.