§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether there has been at any time any inquiry into the work of the commercial agents in foreign countries; and, if so, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the Report of such inquiry.
§ MR. RUNCIMAN
The Departmental Committee on Commercial Intelligence, which reported in 1898, considered among other subjects the commercial work of consular officers in foreign countries. The Report was published in 1898 (C.8962.) A Departmental Committee on the Consular Service also reported in 1903 (C. D. 1634.) An examination of the system of commercial attachés and agents was made quite recently by a Committee consisting of Sir Eldon Gorst of the Foreign Office and Mr. Llewellyn Smith of the Board of Trade. I have no objection to laying the Report on the Table.
§ MR. HAROLD COX
Will the hon. Gentleman undertake to have it laid this session, and if possible, before any decision is taken?