§ 9. Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
asked the President of the Board of Trade the alterations which have been made in the Portuguese navigation laws; and whether British shipping has now been placed on as favourable a footing as Portuguese shipping?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
The Portuguese Government issued a Decree on 30th January last establishing equality of treatment in regard to maritime and port dues as between Portuguese and foreign, including British, shipping. The necessary Regulations to give effect to this Decree must be issued before the 30th June next. So far as I am aware they have not yet been issued. The rebate is unfortunately still allowed on Customs import and export duties in respect of goods carried on Portuguese vessels.
§ Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
May we take it that after the 30th June, if the Portuguese Government implement the understanding that has been arrived at, there will no longer be any difference of treatment of Portuguese and British vessels?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I cannot commit myself as to that. A later question to-day deals with that; certain representations have been made, and I prefer to answer on that question.
Sir NAIRNE STEWART SANDE-MAN
Has discrimination been made against British shipping because the Liberal party has been called after the Portuguese?
§ 15. Sir N. GRATTAN-DOYLE
asked the President of the Board of Trade what countries of the world discriminate against goods carried in British vessels; and what steps are being taken by his Department to mitigate the effects of such discrimination?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
The only country which discriminates against goods carried in British vessels as against goods carried in national vessels is Portugal. I received a deputation on 8th May which was widely representative of British shipping, commerce and industry and which urged the necessity of taking strong action to secure the removal of the discrimination. I am giving most careful consideration to these representations, and I fully appreciate the importance of the issue involved.
§ Sir N. GRATTAN-DOYLE
Will the right hon. Gentleman continue his efforts to remove this discrimination by Portugal?
§ Sir ASSHETON POWNALL
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the danger there would be if this Government were to fall out with the Portuguese?