§ 27. Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the action of the Portuguese Government in differentiating against British shipping; and whether he intends to make further representations in the matter?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
As I stated in my reply to the hon. Member for Fain-ham (Mr. A. M. Samuel) on 26th March, His Majesty's Ambassador at Lisbon was instructed in February last to address urgent representations to the Portuguese Government on the subject. The Portuguese Government have recently replied to the effect that they are considering the whole question of flag discrimination, and that they will give full consideration to the views of His Majesty's Government. His Majesty's Government will 785 not fail to continue to press the Portuguese Government to modify the present system, which is so detrimental to British interests.
§ Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of denouncing the commercial treaty which confers on Portugal the sole right of the sale of port wine in this country if the Portuguese Government do not see their way to give fair treatment to our shipping?
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that chambers of commerce have for some months past been protesting against this discrimination, and will he suggest to the Portuguese Government that it is within our power to double the duty on their wines?
I have stated that we are continuing to press the matter on the Portuguese Government.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
The matter has been going on for some five years. Is there any other pressure which we can bring, even if the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman opposite is not taken?