HC Deb 10 February 1843 vol 66 cc384-5
Mr. F. T. Baring

rose to put a question to the noble Lord opposite respecting the treaty of Washington. By one of the articles of that treaty certain privileges were granted to a district which is now given up to the United States. These privileges related to timber, as well as to corn and other agricultural produce, and they consisted in allowing goods of that description to be brought into British ports at the same rates of duty as if they were the produce of British possessions. What he wanted to know was, whether the corn and timber specified in that treaty could be introduced into England at the same duties as if they had been the produce of New Brunswick; and, assuming that he should receive an answer in the affirmative, he then desired to know whether it would be necessary that an act of Parliament should be passed for the purpose of giving full effect to that part of the treaty in which this matter was referred to.

Lord Stanley

said he should have no difficulty in answering the question which had just been put. The intention and meaning of the treaty were correctly stated by the right hon. Gentleman, and the arrangement proposed to be made by that compact had for some time past been practically acted on. The district to which reference had been made did not produce any corn. It produced timber; but timber was felled at both sides of the river—it was laid on the ice in the winter, and when the ice melted the logs floated down the stream without its being possible for any one to know whether they had been cut within the territory of the United States or in that of Great Britain. Although it was unimportant whether the trees were felled upon the right or on the left bank of the river Aroostook or the river St. John, yet that circumstance did not necessarily involve a concession on our part of the free navigation of the St. John; but timber having once entered, it was treated as British timber. As to the necessity of bringing in an act of Parliament on the subject, her Majesty's Government would feel it their duty to do so if the necessity became apparent.

Mr. F. Baring

asked whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have any objection to produce any instructions which had been given to the Customhouse authorities in connection with the subject.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

replied that no instructions had yet been issued.

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