HC Deb 14 March 1907 vol 171 cc218-9

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of †See (4) Debates, clxix., 830. State for the Colonies whether his attention has been drawn to the statements of Canadian Ministers pointing to an understanding with Germany, whereby the Canadian surtax would be removed; if he is aware what are the nature and scope of the direct negotiations between Canada and Germany implied in these statements; and what means are taken to keep the British Government advised of negotiations between self-governing Colonies and foreign countries.


I have seen Mr. Fielding's speech of 29th November last, to which I presume the hon. Member refers, but I do not gather that Mr. Fielding indicated in that speech that any understanding with Germany had been arrived at, or that any negotiations had taken place between Canada and Germany. If any such negotiations had taken place, the Governor-General would have informed the Secretary of State. I would remind the hon. Member that so far as the surtax is concerned, this would be removed automatically under the Canadian law which imposed it as soon as Germany admits Canadian goods to the benefit of most favoured nation treatment.