§ MR. FORSTER (Kent, Sevenoaks)
On behalf of the hon. Member for West Marylebone, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the publication of Consular Report, No. 3592, on Santos for 1905–6, and Report No. 3954, on Cuba for 1906, has been delayed until January, 1908; and whether he will endeavour to secure the more prompt preparation, transmission, and publication of Consular Reports, in view of the great inconvenience caused by the delay to those trading with foreign countries.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
With regard to the two Reports mentioned, the delay in their issue was due to the absence of the necessary statistical information and 1076 other valid reasons. No effort is spared to effect the issue of these Reports as quickly as possible. It is to be observed however, that it is often impossible for consular officers to obtain in good time the statistics necessary for their compilation. Consular officers have instructions to report by a special despatch any information of importance to British trade, for the use of the Commercial Intelligence Branch of the Board of Trade, and this is constantly done.