§ 71. Mr. ALBERY
asked the President of the Board of Trade what reductions in 1862 foreign tariffs have been made in favour of British goods as a result of representations made by the present Government?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
As the House is aware, His Majesty's Government recently addressed requests for reductions of duties to a number of foreign Governments who had expressed their willingness to receive them. Sufficient time has not, however, elapsed to permit of any concrete results being obtained. Apart from this general action, I may perhaps mention that duties on artificial silk goods have been reduced in both Estonia and Argentina following on representations by His Majesty's Government, while in Rumania we were able to secure a general revision in the downward direction of the so-called ½ per cent. port tax which is levied on all goods imported by sea. Diplomatic representations are, of course, more frequently concerned with actual or threatened increases of duty on particular articles, and there have been many cases in which as a result of representations of this character proposals for increases have been suspended or abandoned.
§ Mr. ALBERY
Is it not a fact that during the course of these negotiations far more increases than decreases have taken place?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
There have been certain increases undoubtedly, but I should hesitate to say that they were in excess of decreases in the sense suggested by the hon. Member.
Sir H. SAMUEL
Have not these increases applied equally to the trade of Protectionist countries, which are armed with the weapon of retaliation?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
Certainly. I speak from memory, but I am sure that generally these increases apply all round.