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Commercial Agents In Self-Governing Colonies

Volume 180: debated on Thursday 8 August 1907

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I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade how many consular or commercial agents it is proposed to appoint to the self-governing Colonies; what salary it is proposed to pay to them; and on what Vote that salary will be placed.

These questions are still under consideration. The cost will, I presume, be a charge on the Vote for the Board of Trade.

They will be appointed by the Board of Trade in consultation with the Colonial Office.

asked whether it was intended that the information obtained would be confined to British manufacturers.

I think it will be treated exactly as the information we are getting at the present moment from our Consuls abroad. A good deal of that is confidential and is only given to our own manufacturers, but a good deal that is embodied in the Reports is open to the whole world.

How can you expect to obtain information from foreign countries if your own information is not available to them?

asked whether commercial agents were to be appointed for the Crown Colonies.

I think that will be considered later on if these appointments prove successful.

Are we to understand that these Consuls will be under the Board of Trade and not the Foreign Office?

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that ex-military men are not given these posts?