HC Deb 30 April 1908 vol 187 cc1395-6

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, by the terms of the Sugar Convention, to the renewal of which His Majesty's Government has lately consented, the introduction of Russian sugar into Great Britain is to be limited.


The assent of His Majesty's Government is limited to the provisions of the protocol which enable Russia to adhere to the Convention. His Majesty's Government have not undertaken any obligation with regard to the arrangement between Russia and the other producing countries it is clearly one which could have been made independently of their consent. I may further point out with regard to the probable effect upon the import of sugar into the United Kingdom, that before the Convention the average import from Russia was probably less than 40,000 tons a year, and that under the arrangement between Russia and the other countries an annual average import up to 200,000 tons is possible. But, in any case, the freedom of His Majesty's Government to admit sugar sent to this country for import is not restricted.


Does the right hon. Gentleman maintain that in agreeing to the renewal of this Convention the Government was not a party to the limitation of exports of Russian sugar into Great Britain by that same Convention?


We undertook no obligation on regard to that particular provision. What we did obtain was freedom from all restriction as to our power to import.