HC Deb 31 October 1911 vol 30 cc839-40W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if any of the countries, other than Austria-Hungary and Italy, with whom we have Most-Favoured-Nation Treaties affecting the Australian Commonwealth, or Canada, or any other of the Dominions of the Crown, have been approached with a view to the re-negotiation of those treaties?


His Majesty's Government are approaching the Governments of Argentina, Colombia, Denmark, France, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela, in regard to the position of the Self-Governing Dominions under commercial treaties with those countries. It is not, however, proposed to re-negotiate our treaties with these Powers; but merely to secure, if possible, for the Self-Governing Dominions the right to withdraw from them, should they wish to do so, apart from the United Kingdom.

Colonel WARDE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, whether, in the re-negotiation of commercial treaties with Foreign nations to which His Majesty's Government is now pledged, it is proposed to adopt the precedent of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of 1911, and agree to a further restriction of the fiscal autonomy of the United Kingdom?


There is no present intention of re-negotiating any of our commercial treaties. The hon. and gallant Member probably has in mind action in pursuance of one of the resolutions adopted by the recent Imperial Conference; but this has reference solely to procuring for the self-governing dominions the right of separate withdrawal (should they wish to exercise it) from certain old treaties by which they are now bound.