§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can inform the House which of the Treaties of Commerce now existing with foreign nations expire in 1892, upon 12 months' notice on either side; whether any of the existing Treaties lapse without notice being given; if the Departmental Committee now examining the Treaties at the Board of Trade, is taking evidence upon the wishes of the commercial communities of the United Kingdom and of the colonies; and if their Report will be laid before Parliament, and opportunity be afforded for discussing it prior to any action being taken, and before the time at which notice to terminate, either wholly or in part, must be given?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The Commercial Treaties with Bulgaria, France, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, and Spain, are terminable at various dates in 1892, upon 12 months' notice on either side, and if no such notices are given, will thereafter be terminable at 12 months' notice at any time. None of the existing Treaties lapse without notice. The Treaties Committee will, doubtless, consult the commercial bodies of this country respecting the wishes of British trade, but it is not proposed to extend their inquiries over the whole British Empire. It is not intended to depart from the course heretofore adopted in regard to the Executive having the charge and responsibility of commercial negotiations.