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Motor Chassis (Import Duty)

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any import duty is still being imposed on motor chassis to be used for taximeter cabs, chars-a-bane, hotel omnibuses, and funeral hearses; and, if so, why?

Motor cars are, by Section 13 (4) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, exempt from import duty if they are proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to be constructed and adapted for use, and intended to be used solely as motor omnibuses, or motor ambulances, or in connection with the conveyance of goods or burden in the course of trade or husbandry, or by a local authority as fire engines or otherwise for the purposes of their fire brigade services. Taxicabs do not fall within any head of the exemption but motor chars-à-bane and hotel omnibuses, if used solely as motor omnibuses, and motor hearses are exempt.

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman stated that there is no charge for industrial motor cars, but that the duty is placed solely on touring cars, and, if so, do taxicabs come under the category of touring cars or industrial vehicles, and if the latter, why do they pay the 33⅓ per cent. duty?

The other day I gave the hon. Member the precise words of the Statute which deals with the matter. I do not think I can elucidate the matter further.

The hon. Member will have an opportunity of raising the matter in the Committee on the Finance Bill.