HC Deb 15 June 1880 vol 253 cc64-5

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If it is the intention of the Government to follow the principle, adopted in the instance of wines in 1860, as well as with other articles of commerce at different periods, and allow to wholesale dealers a drawback equivalent to the reduction now proposed, on any stocks of Duty paid wines they may have on hand at the time when the new scale of Duties comes into operation?


In answer to the Question of my hon. Friend what I have to say is this. It is true that in the case of wines of 1860, and in regard to other articles of commerce at different periods, allowance has been made to wholesale dealers on the occasion of reductions of duty; but it is true with very great limitations indeed. In fact, it may almost be said that the system of drawback or allowance on duty-paid stocks of articles imported from abroad has for a great length of time been practically extinct. A certain amount of allowance was made in 1860 in regard to wines; but the reduction made on the duty of wines at that period was a large and heavy one, amounting to more than 60 per cent where the duty was lowest, and to between 80 and 90 per cent where it was highest. I, therefore, am not prepared to give any pledge at the present time whether any reduction will be made. Any reduction that may be made will be in a very limited amount in proportion to a small percentage of the value of the article. All I can say is, that it would be well if those interested in the matter would be good enough to lay before me all they can in the way of precedent and argument for and against these allowances or drawbacks on articles of this kind, and I can assure them the information will receive my most careful consideration. The matter will be open to discussion in this House when we come to deal with the Resolutions.