asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that in some ports toy tin trumpets and toy pianos costing 1s. 6d. each are being detained as liable for duty as musical instruments, whilst in other ports they are reckoned as toys and allowed to pass through; and can he give instructions to the examining officers that all toys, whether they omit sounds or not, shall be treated as toys and not as instruments of music?
The fact of an article being a toy does not necessarily prevent it from being also a musical instrument. As a matter of fact, however, there is a special exemption in the case of musical instruments when the value does not exceed 1s. I am not aware of any divergence in the practice of Customs officials at different ports in regard to this matter, but if the hon. Member will give me particulars of any specific instance, I will cause inquiry to be made.