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Messrs Carless, Capel And Leonard And Customs And Excise

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 14 December 1965

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that the proposed legislation to establish a Parliamentary Commissioner or Ombudsman is framed so that the class of matters such as the case of Messrs. Carless, Capel and Leonard against the Customs and Excise can be referred to that body.

This legislation will be framed in accordance with the terms of the White Paper Cmnd. 2767.

Why, for the sake of administrative convenience, is the Treasury compelling this small firm to make a forced loan of £350,000? It has taken a year to try to find a solution. Why cannot the Treasury find a solution to this problem?

In the first place, I do not accept what the hon. Member has said. Secondly, there has been very full correspondence and my hon. and learned Friend the Financial Secretary has seen the hon. Member. Thirdly, it has nothing whatever to do with the Question.

May I ask the Chief Secretary to look personally into this case again? It seems clear from the information which has been made public—I am thinking of the City page of The Times a few days ago, which the right hon. Gentleman will have seen—that this is a matter which the Treasury and the Customs and Excise together could settle. Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this and see that this is done?

Of course, I will look into anything that the right hon. Gentleman asks me to look at. I repeat, however, that my hon. and learned Friend the Financial Secretary has himself looked into the matter fully and carefully and that the report is not accurate.

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Chief Secretary's reply, I propose to raise this matter on the Adjournment.