asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the case of a Ford car, now owned by Mrs. Whittaker, of Brassington, near Ashbourne, and formerly owned by Mr. Spencer, of Brassington, on which the local Excise Office at. Ashbourne first made cash repayment of the import duty paid on its importation and then prosecuted the present owner for using it fraudulently, resulting in a fine of £23; whether it is customary for Excise officers to pursue this course; and, if so, has it the sanction of the Treasury?
The duty on this car was repaid to Mr. Spencer on 3rd December, 1920, on an undertaking that the car would be used only for exempt purposes under Section 13 (4) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915. In the same month the car was transferred to Mrs. Whittaker, who was warned by the local Officer of Customs and Excise, both orally before the transfer and by notice in writing on 21st February, 1921, of the restrictions on its use. In spite of the warning, the car was used for dutiable purposes, and accordingly, after Mrs. Whittaker bad been given the opportunity of settling the case out of Court by repayment of the duty, proceedings were taken against her which resulted in the recovery of the amount. The course taken by the Customs and Excise authorities is that normally followed in similar circumstances, and is essential for the protection of the Revenue.