§ Mr. PETO
asked the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any statement as to the progress of or prospects of negotiations with the Government of Japan for the modification of the proposed increased Customs Duties, particularly on manufactured metal, woollen, and cotton goods; and whether he has formed any estimate of their effect on the exports of these goods from this country to Japan if no modification of the tariff proposed is made?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Sir E. Grey)
I am not in a position to make any statement at present.
§ Mr. PETO
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has reason to believe that Count Kommura was correctly reported in the "Japan Mail," dated 31st January last, as having said in the Budget Committee of the Japanese Diet: "England, for example, being a perfectly Free Trade country, had no means of purchasing tariff concessions from other nations"; and whether he agrees with the opinion of the distinguished Japanese statesman, and, if not, whether he can inform the House as to the nature of the concessions that this country can make "in order to purchase tariff concessions from other nations" on British manufactured goods?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It must be obvious to the hon. Member that the Secretary of State cannot answer a question of that sort without notice.