HC Deb 16 March 1863 vol 169 c1468

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is his intention to subject Tobacco to an examination of quality, with reference to the imposition of Differential Duties in the same manner as Wine?


said, in reply, that some persons connected with the Tobacco trade were labouring under the apprehension that there was an intention to adopt a system analagous to that which was adopted in the case of Wine three years ago. That was a system impracticable to be administered, and entailed such additional difficulty and responsibility on the Revenue Department that they and the Government were as much opposed to it as the trade. The object of imposing a special increase of duty on Tobacco with less than a certain degree of moisture was simply to meet certain cases, where special processes were used for producing an artificial degree of dryness, and thereby evading the law. It was to such special cases that the increased duty was meant to apply. He was not aware of such special cases occurring except in the traffic between the Channel Islands and this country. It existed there to a very limited degree, but its amount might very much increase if precautions were not taken. With respect to the general importation of Tobacco, there was no intention whatever to apply a system of the kind.