HC Deb 14 November 1912 vol 43 cc2079-80
58 and 59. Mr. FELL

asked (1) if the Customs Duty on British motor-cycles entering Portugal is £11 5s. per machine and on German motor-cycles £3 per machine; why there is this difference; and does the Board of Trade propose to take any steps in the matter; and (2) if the duty on British bicycles entering Portugal is 27 per cent, ad valorem, and on French bicycles entering Portugal only 10 per cent, ad valorem; if this country enjoys the benefit of the Most-Favoured-Nation Clause with Portugal; and, if so, why this preference is given to France?


I understand that French cycles other than motor-cycles are dutiable on importation into Portugal at the same rate as cycles manufactured in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The duty levied on French motor-cycles is governed by the Franco-Portuguese modus vivendi of February, 1911, and amounts to £3 7s. 6d. each. The reduced rate of duty is applicable to German motor-cycles by virtue of the Most-Favoured-Nation Clause in the German-Portuguese Commercial Treaty. The United Kingdom has at present no Most-Favoured-Nation arrangement with Portugal, but negotiations for the conclusion of a commercial treaty between Portugal and the United Kingdom have been for some time in progress.