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Irish Trade In Australia

Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 August 1907

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I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the Commercial Intelligence Committee requested its special commissioner, when inquiring into Australian trade conditions, to restrict his investigation to the trade of Great Britain with Australia, or was he instructed to inquire to what extent Irish trade was carried on with Australia; and, if so, can he explain why the Report is entitled Report upon the Conditions and Prospects of British Trade in Australia, in view of the fact that the term British does not include Irish.

The Commissioner's instructions were not confined to the trade of Great Britain, and I do not think that the term "British" in trade statistics is usually understood to exclude "Irish."

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in consequence of the small amount of information as to Irish trade with Australia given in the recently-issued Report of the Commercial Intelligence Committee, he will arrange that, in the event of similar inquiries being instituted as to the trade of Great Britain and Ireland with English Colonies or with foreign countries, the special commissioner shall be instructed to make special inquiries about the existence of an Irish trade, and to report thereon.

I have noted the point raised by my hon. friend in case of any similar inquiries which may be instituted in future.