§ MR. W. PRIESTLEY (Bradford, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Spanish Government propose from July 1st next to increase by 75 to 100 per cent. the import duties on woollen and worsted manufactures imported from this country, mainly from Bradford, and that it will be difficult for British merchants and manufacturers to complete existing orders by that date; that the new duties will be payable in gold instead of in silver as heretofore, involving a further increase of duty of from 15 to 30 per cent., according to the rate of exchange; and whether, in view of the effect on the textile manufacturing centres, and especially Bradford, he will state whether he proposes to take any steps to secure a modification or remission of the new tariff.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE,) Carnarvon Boroughs
I am aware of the proposed new Spanish tariff which has been carefully examined by the Board of Trade in consultation with their Commercial Intelligence Committee and the Chambers of Commerce. Steps have been taken to bring to the notice of the Spanish Government the views of the British trading community as to the effect likely to be produced by the proposed tariff on British trade.
§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the French newspapers are protesting that the new Spanish tariff will have the effect of excluding French goods?
§ MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, the total value of imports of food and drink into the United Kingdom, from Foreign countries and British Colonies respectively, during 1905.† See (4) Debates, cliii., 74.‡ See (4) Debates, clv., 170–1.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
The value of the imports of food and drink (excluding tobacco) from Foreign countries in 1905 was £169,274,128 and from British Possessions £59,121,711.