HC Deb 13 February 1911 vol 21 cc685-6

asked if any representations have been made to the Government of the United States since His Majesty's present advisers took office as to the incidence on the import duty on mackerel, an Irish industry, as compared with the import duty on herrings, which are principally imported from Scotland; if the Government can ascertain what reason was assigned for the difference in the duty on mackerel and herring; whether mackerel is a fish caught in any greater quantity than herring by United States fishermen; whether the Government are in possession of any statistics of the catch in America; what are the respective imposts per ton on mackerel and herring; and will the Government request His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington to make representations on the subject of the effect of the mackerel duty on Irish trade?


I have no knowledge of the reason for the difference between the duties imposed in the United States on mackerel and herring respectively, unless it is the higher average value of the former fish. The latest statistics at present available here of the United States catch relate to 1908, in which year the total catch of mackerel was approximately 12,000,000 pounds, whilst the total catch of herring was approximately 125,000,000 pounds. The duties leviable in the United States on herring and mackerel imported from the United Kingdom remain as stated to the hon. Member last year—namely, on herrings (pickled, salted, smoked, or kippered) half a cent. per pound, on "fresh herrings" a quarter of a cent. per pound, and on mackerel 1 cent. per pound. The matter is not being lost sight of, in case a favourable opportunity should arise for obtaining a reduction in the duty on mackerel.