HC Deb 23 May 1907 vol 174 cc1164-5
MR. FORSTER (Kent, Sevenoaks)

On behalf of the hon. Member for Darlington, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that among the concessions granted by the United States to Germany are the abandonment by the United States Government of its secret special agents' service so far as Germany is concerned, the continuance of the present policy of affording open hearings when requested by importers or consignees of German goods, and the acceptance of, as evidence, and the careful consideration of certificates of German Chambers of Commerce giving wholesale prices of German manufactures; and whether, in the event of the treaty including these concessions being ratified, the same concessions would be extended to this country by the operation of our most-favoured-nation treaty with the United States.


I do not understand that the special agents' service is to be abandoned, though changes are to be made in the conditions under which their work has hitherto been carried on. The policy of affording open hearings in reappraisement cases will be subject to this procedure being not detrimental to the public interest. Certificates of Chambers of Commerce will not be invariably recognised without other evidence. The concessions in respect of these matters will be for the benefit of all countries.