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New Clause—(Duty On Spirits)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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In lieu of the Customs and Excise payable on spirits consumed in Great Britain there shall from the fifteenth day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-two, be charged, levied, and paid a duty of fifty-seven shillings and sixpence per proof gallon, and a duty of thirty shillings per proof gallon on spirits exported from Great Britain.—[Mr. Ford.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

On a point of Order. Is it not the case that this Clause seeks to impose a duty on spirits which does not at present exist, and that it is a charge on those exporting spirits, and therefore out of order?

On a point of Order. I beg to protest because this is a countervailing duty. I went very carefully into the figures and discovered that the Exchequer would be exactly as it was.

On a point of Order. It is not the same person necessarily who is exporting who is paying Excise Duty in this country. That is a new charge. Whatever the result to the Exchequer, the round sum should be the same. The charge is being imposed on people who are exporting spirits.

I have read this Clause. All the Members have asked for a reduction in the Spirit Duty, but this Clause proposes a new duty on export. I do not know whether the hon. Member can contest that point.

Unfortunately, as I understood this Clause was in order, I did not bring the exact precedent with me, but a similar case was moved from the Benches opposite, and I think it was your ruling that, as there was no difference to the Exchequer, it was not considered to be a new charge.

If the hon. Member cannot show that the exporter would not have to pay more, the Clause is ruled out.

I think the answer is that the exporter does not pay more, but the exportee does.