HC Deb 01 July 1907 vol 177 cc327-8
MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that according to the Annual Trade Returns of the United Kingdom the imports of sugar from Australia are 20 cwts. in 1898, 36,504 cwts. in 1899, and nil in subsequent years, whereas, according to the Colonial Statistical Abstract, 43 rd number, pages 316–7, the exports to the United Kingdom from the Australian Commonwealth were nil from 1897 to 1903 inclusive. 27 cwts. in 1904, and 4,000 cwts. in 1905; and if he can explain these discrepancies.

(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) The apparent discrepancies are probably due to the fact that imports are recorded in the official Trade Returns as received from the countries whence they were shipped direct to the United Kingdom. Since 1904, however, additional information has been separately recorded and published in a supplementary volume to the Annual Returns, giving the details according to the countries from which the goods were first consigned to the United Kingdom. A reference to the supplementary volume for 1905 will show the hon. Member that 3,969 cwts. of our imports of sugar in that year were recorded as consigned from Australia, a figure which closely corresponds with the 4,000 cwts. of exports which he quotes.