HC Deb 30 March 1909 vol 3 cc301-2W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why the British delegate, at the last meeting of the Permanent Commission under the Sugar Convention, did not vote against the resolution which included Brazil among the bounty-giving countries; and how the fact that Brazil increased its surtax could be regarded as tantamount to giving a bounty, in view of previous decisions of the Commission?


Under the Additional Act to the Sugar Convention this country has been entirely freed from any obligation to penalise bounty-fed sugar on importation, and decisions of the Permanent Commission declaring any particular State to give a bounty on the production or exportation of sugar must, therefore, affect this country in a far lesser degree than it affects the other countries represented on the Commission, because this country is no longer prevented from importing Brazilian or other sugar, whatever the decision of the Commission may be. For that reason the British delegate, while not assenting, refrained from voting, in accordance with his instructions. At the same time, he stated that, "As the British delegation has contended on several occasions, the mere existence of an excessive surtax should not be considered as giving rise to a bounty." I would refer the hon. Member to page 2 of the British delegate's report.