The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 60
In last quarter's report it was stated that the consideration of this important question would be deferred until it had been developed into such a form that the bearing of the commercial aspect could be judged with greater certainty than at that time.page 15
Since then your Committee have received several printed sheets of a petition of the London Chamber of Commerce addressed to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies Briefly summarised, the petition evidences the importance of the commercial relations between the colonies and the mother country, by appending reports of imports, exports, and navigation for the year 1883.
The return discloses that the exports to the United Kingdom from the dependencies of the British Empire amounted to £95,777,800, whilst the imports from the United Kingdom amount to £108,618,000. Of this vast volume of trade the Australasian colonies contributed as imports from the United Kingdom £32,234,000, and exports to United Kingdom, £27,413,000, making a grand total of £59,647,000; whilst the British shipping entered into and cleared from the colonies represent a tonnage amounting to 10,527,000 tons.
The petition also enumerates the various causes which would make a federal union desirable, and it will now be for the Chamber to give some expression of their opinion upon this important subject.
The Committee recommend that a reply be sent to the London Chamber expressing approval of the objects of the Imperial Federation League.