§ MR. LEVY (Leicestershire, Loughborough)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the statement made by a firm of importers of Melbourne, to the effect that the new Commerce Act is being used by the Australian Customs authorities in such a manner as to give a preference to foreign goods; whether, as alleged, goods imported from England by that firm have been arbitrarily declared liable to duty on prices much in excess of those actually charged to the importer; and, if so, whether such action has been so far directed exclusively against goods of British manufacture; and, if an arrangement exists between the Australian Customs authorities and certain American firms by which the goods of the latter are admitted to the Colony under a secret schedule at prices mutually agreed upon to the disadvantage of British manufacturers, will he take steps to bring these concrete instances of Colonial preference to the notice of the Colonial Conference which is now sitting.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
I have not seen any statements of the kind referred to by the hon. Member, but I will communicate with the Australian Minister for Trade and Customs, who is now in this country.