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House of Commons Hansard
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Export Goods (Purchase Tax)
11 November 1947
Volume 444

57.

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make clear to retail traders that Purchase Tax is not chargeable upon goods bought for export.

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Goods in retail stock have already borne tax on purchase from the registered supplier; and I do not think the extent to which they are resold for export is such as to justify the elaborate machinery which would be necessary to enable the tax to be refunded in those cases. But retailers can usually arrange for an overseas buyer to obtain goods for export free of tax if he is willing to forgo their use while in this country.

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Does that not snow that the Government really do not understand this export drive? Is it not extremely important that we should persuade Americans and others to buy goods in this country and to use them, or in other words to do everything we can to get dollars?

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I am not sure that the hon. Member understood the latter part of the answer. Any person normally resident outside this country can buy goods inside this country, and if they are subject to Purchase Tax, can get exemption of the tax, provided it is clear that the goods are despatched by post to an address outside this country, or to a ship. It is quite impossible to administer a scheme whereby a person walks into a shop and says, "I am shortly going to the United States. Please sell me this and the other thing; but do not put on the Purchase Tax."