HC Deb 21 February 1912 vol 34 cc595-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can lay Papers giving particulars of the imports into the British West Indies of Canadian produce, and the exports to Canada of West Indian produce, during the years 1909, 1910, and 1911, respectively; and whether any means exist, or can be provided, by which the trade passing between Canada and the British West Indies by way of the United States can be identified?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)

The desired particulars in the case of the larger West Indian Colonies are already given annually in the Statistical Abstract issued by the Board of Trade, but the figures for 1911 are not yet available. The figures are also given for each Colony in the annual Blue Book Reports which are presented to Parliament, and full particulars are contained in the Annual Customs Reports published by the Canadian Government. Steps are being taken to secure that in the statistical statements issued for the West Indian Colonies imports may be classified according to the country of consignment, and exports according to the countries of ultimate destination. Some Canadian produce, however, reaches the West Indies through middlemen in New York and other American ports, and cannot be distinguished on arrival from produce of the United States. The Royal Commission on Trade Relations between Canada and the West Indies, who considered this point, doubted whether it was possible to estimate, with any approach to accuracy, the amount of the trade which passes in this manner.