MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has His Majesty's Government observed that Sir H. Bergne, in his despatch of 13th July, 1903, states the decision of the Permanent Sugar Commission at Brussels to be that, pending further consideration, the contracting States might apply to Russian sugars and sugared products the rate of countervailing duty fixed by the United States; is he aware that the decision of the Commission was not that the rate in question might, but that it shall, be applied to the Russian sugars; and, if so, can he explain Sir H. Bergne's statement to the effect that the Commission left its application optional; and do His Majesty's Government intend to apply to Russian sugars and sugared products the United States rates, or do they intend to prohibit their importation altogether.
§ LORD CRANBORNE
I am informed that the word "might" was employed because the contracting States have the option of applying either prohibition or countervailing duties. As my hon. friend is aware, in the Sugar Convention Bill power is not taken to impose countervailing duties, but to prohibit bounty-fed sugar and sugared products.