French And American Goons
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the principal commodities imported from France upon which £28,830 was collected under the Safeguarding of Industries Act during the period October to March; and can he give similar information concerning commodities imported from the United States on which £38,000 was collected for the same period?
The figures referred to relate to the period from October to May inclusive, and not from October to March, as stated in the question. In the case of the amount of £28,830 collected in respect of goods consigned from France, the principal articles were optical glass and elements, optical instruments and fine chemicals. Of the amount of £38,177 collected in respect of goods consigned from the United States of America, the principal articles were fine chemicals, scientific instruments, optical glass and elements, optical instruments, wireless valves and similar rectifiers, and vacuum tubes.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that at Paris resolutions were come to pledging the Allies to economic solidarity after the War?
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pianos imported during the year 1921, upon which a duty of 33⅓ per cent. was levied, consisted of toy pianos of the value of 1s. and upwards; and what proportion of the duty collected on musical instruments was on musical toys, such as trumpets, squeakers, bagpipes, and hurdy-gurdies?
I regret that the information required is not available.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the position which is being created by the fact that importers of naphthalene in flakes are now to have their importations admitted free of duty, while importers of naphthalene in the shape of round balls will have to pay duty; and does he see his way clear to propose arrangements to amend the Safeguarding of Industries Act, so as either to exclude naphthalene altogether or include it in whatever form it arrives?
I have been asked to reply. The hon. Member is in error. I am sending him a copy of a. notice which appeared in the Board of Trade Journal on 6th April last, from which he will see that naphthalene in all forms may now be imported free of duty.
Did the hon. Member hear the reply given by the Department the other day, which stated that if naphthalene was imported in flakes it would be admitted free of duty, but if it was imported in the shape of round balls it would have to pay duty?
I heard the question put and the answer given to it the other day, but I am afraid the hon. Member did not fully appreciate the effect of the answer.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the chaos now existing in the gas mantle industry by the uncertainty prevailing as to what tax is payable; seeing that the taxable material is assumed to be about 5 per cent. of the value of the mantle, can he say why he is demanding that 25 per cent. shall be deposited; and, if he is not yet in a position to announce what the duty is to be, will he reduce this percentage of 25 per cent. immediately?
The hon. Member is, I think, under a misapprehension. As stated by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his reply to the hon. Member for Whitechapel on the 15th instant, the 25 per cent. refers not to the duty, but to the value on which the duty is calculated. The deposit of duty is therefore at the rate of only 8⅓ per cent. of the value of the mantle, and my right hon. Friend does not see his way to reduce this amount further pending the determination of the exact rates appropriate to the various types of mantle, which is expected within the next few days.
Will the, hon. and gallant Member consider the advisability, in view of the prevalence of unemployment in the gas mantle trade, of taking steps to increase the duty on gas mantles?
That question does not arise.
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is possible for him, in conjunction with the Board of Customs, to take some action to exempt small consignments from duties under the Safeguarding of Industries Act when the amount of duty does not reach, say 10s., seeing that in a recent case, in order to obtain the sum of 11d., being the amount of duty payable on certain articles of glassware, the Post Office charged 15s. for opening the parcels, and in consignments which do not arrive by post the charge for opening one packing: case is 3s. 6d., the cost for rent, breaking-in, and breaking-out often amounts to as much as 20s. in addition to other charges?
It would not be possible to take any action of the kind suggested by the hon. and gallant Member without legislation, which at present is not contemplated.
Is the matter being considered in view of the actual inconvenience which has arisen?
No legislation is contemplated at the present moment.