§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that in nearly every foreign country a British commercial traveller has to obtain a costly licence before he can solicit a single order for British goods; if any corresponding duty is levied upon the agents of foreign firms for the privilege of soliciting orders in the United Kingdom for foreign goods; and, in the contrary case, if he will endeavour to bring about free interchange of practice.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE, Carnarvon) Boroughs
I would refer the hon. Member to the memorandum entitled "Commercial Travellers" issued last year as a Command Paper (Cd. 3241), from which he will see that the licences required to be taken out can only be described as "costly" in the case of comparatively few of the more important countries. The charge for licences is in all cases the same for travellers of all foreign nationalities, and there is no differentiation against British travellers. No licence is required to be taken out by foreign commercial travellers in the United Kingdom. The attention of the Board of Trade has on various occasions been directed to this matter, and such steps as seemed possible have already been taken with a view to the reduction of the charges in the case of certain countries, but without any satisfactory result at present. The matter, however, will continue to receive attention.