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Motor Vehicles (Import Duty)

Volume 159: debated on Friday 15 December 1922

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider placing the same embargo on commercial lorries imported from abroad as is now placed upon motor cars used for pleasure; and whether he is aware that the free importation of these motor lorries has checked their manufacture in this country and thrown out of employment a large number of our workmen?

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend refers to the 33½ per cent. ad valorem duty imposed on imported motor cars other than commercial vehicles, and I understand him to suggest that the duty should be extended to this class. On this I can only say that all relevant considerations affecting the varying taxes will be taken into account in framing next year's Budget. As regards the second part of the question, I am aware that statements to the effect suggested have been made.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the tax on motor cars is being avoided by the Ford Motor Company, who are sending their cars to this country in parts, which are assembled at their factory at Manchester, and thus avoiding the import tax; is he aware that very few men are consequently employed by them in this country, whereas if these cars were wholly manufactured here employment would be given on a much larger scale; and if he will consider imposing taxation to meet such cases?

My hon. and gallant Friend is under a misapprehension. Under Section 12 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, duty is imposed on component parts of motor cars as well as on complete cars.