§ BARON DIMSDALE (on behalf of Mr. SEAGER HUNT,) Marylebone, W.
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the event of the Spanish Treaty not being renewed, and the unfortunate contingency of reprisals being necessary by taxing more highly the wines consumed in the United Kingdom at a moment 555 when many foreign wines, already in Her Majesty's bonded warehouses, have been shipped specially to meet the present scale of duties, which, for the most part, would only be suited for exportation if the duty were changed, he would minimise the disturbance to trade by at least conceding to such wines, landed in England previous to 30th June instant, the same advantage that Spain proposes in regard to British goods imported into Spain prior to that date, and allow them to pay the same rate of duty imposed at the period of their importation, thus avoiding the thorough disorganisation of the wine trade, and leaving the merchant free in future to ship such wines only as would be suited to the changed scale of duty?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
My right hon. Friend has desired me to answer this question. No change in the duties can be made without legislation, and it does not appear probable that any such legislation could be passed during the course of the present Session.