§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT
I beg to ask the Under-secretary of State for the Colonies if Lord Elgin is aware that dissatisfaction prevails among the colonial statesmen attending the Imperial Conference concerning the abridgements of their speeches issued by the Colonial Office to the Press; and if, having regard to the importance of no misunderstanding arising hereafter concerning their utterances or the statements of members of the Government of the United Kingdom and the statistics produced, he will undertake that a verbatim report of the whole proceedings shall be laid before Parliament by 1st July.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. CHURCHILL,) Manchester, N. W.
No, Sir. The Secretary of State is not aware of the existence 212 of the dissatisfaction referred to by the hon. and gallant Member. As has been repeatedly pointed out, it is for the Conference itself to decide the question of the publication of its proceedings, and no decision has yet been taken. If it is decided to publish, the Papers will be laid as soon as is found practicable, but no definite date can be given.
§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT
asked whether a verbatim report of the proceedings in the Conference had been taken by a person experienced in taking verbatim reports and whether, if the members of the Conference so desired, the proceedings could be published in extenso.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
Yes, Sir. The most full and careful and, I think, excellent record has been kept of every word spoken at the Conference, and is now being corrected by the members who took part in the discussion. I have every reason to believe that publication will be made of the discussion.
§ MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether any representations have been made by any of those taking part in the proceedings of the Imperial Conference respecting the inadequacy or inaccuracy of the official reports of those proceedings issued to the Press; and whether he will submit to the Conference the desirability of their sanctioning the issue of a verbatim report of the proceedings as early as possible.
THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
I am not aware that any such representations have been made and, as I have repeatedly explained, all steps with regard to a report of the proceedings are entirely for the discretion of the Conference.
§ MR. PIKE PEASE
May I ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that one of the most important speeches made at the Imperial Conference was incorrectly summarised, and that no statement to that effect was sent to the Press for several days?
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister if he will state who is the official responsible for preparing the published précis of the proceedings of the Colonial Conference; and whether the précis are in all cases submitted for the approval of the members of the Conference before being issued to the Press.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The précis are prepared by the officials of the Colonial Office who are acting as Secretaries to the Conference. I am informed that it has not been found practicable in most cases, for want of time, to obtain the approval of members of the Conference to the précis of their speeches.
§ MR. PIKE PEASE
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the official report of his address to the Imperial Conference, how the figures relating to the incidence of the Canadian tariff on United Kingdom and United States produce, respectively, were obtained; and whether the method employed is the same as that adopted by the Board of Trade for the calculations published in the Memorandum X. of the Second Fiscal Blue-book.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fifeshire, E.
The figures which I used represent in each case the percentage proportion of duty actually collected to value of all goods imported into Canada from the two countries respectively. The method adopted by the Board of Trade in the Memorandum referred to was a different one, and was selected (as is there explained) for a particular purpose—viz., the comparison of the incidence of the tariffs of different countries upon the principal articles of British export trade, having regard to the relative importance of those articles to that trade as a whole.
§ MR. ARKWRIGHT
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the official Report of his address to the Imperial Conference, if he can state what was the value of United Kingdom goods imported into the 214 Australian Commonwealth in 1906; and what would be the approximate value of these goods affected by the proposed scheme of Australian preference