The exports of domestic produce from the United Kingdom exceeded in value those of any other country in each of the years specified. In the year 1912 the exports from the United Kingdom and the United States approached each other so closely that the 1695 question which was the greater depends on the rate adopted for the conversion of the dollar. In the above answer this has been taken at the exact figure of 4s. 1 1-3d. If, however, the rougher equivalent of 4s. 2d. were taken, as is very usually done, the value of the United States exports would appear slightly the greater.
§ 40. Mr. CROFT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a tariff has had the effect of restricting the total value of imports into the United States, Germany, France, Belgian-1, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa; and whether the total value of imports into these countries have increased during the last thirty years to a greater proportional extent than imports into the United Kingdom during the same period?
Imports into the United Kingdom have increased between 1882 and 1912 by a greater amount than those of any of the other countries specified, except Germany, though the percentage increase to which the hon. Member appears to attach importance has been greater in the case of nearly all of them than in the case of the United Kingdom. The question to what extent the tariffs in force in the countries named have restricted the natural tendency of the foreign trade of these countries to expand is one which cannot be answered by references to these statistics, and I am afraid the hon. Member must form his own opinion.
This information -will take a little time to compile, but I will 1696 send the figures to the hon. Member In the course of a day or two.
Any comparison, including the year 1872 would, for reasons which have been often pointed out, be fallacious. I will, however, have a statement giving the information asked for, so far as regards the other years, printed in the Votes.