HC Deb 10 May 1883 vol 279 cc384-5

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, with a view to giving effect to the recommendation of the Select Committee on Hall-Marking (1878–9)— That the duties upon gold and silver plate should be abolished, as soon as the state of the revenue may admit, Her Majesty's Government will take such steps as may be necessary to ascertain the probable amount of a fair and reasonable drawback upon stocks of new and unused plate in the hands of licensed manufacturers and dealers?


In reply to the hon. Member, I have to state that although the Select Committee of 1878 and 1879 on Hall-Marking incidentally reported against the continuance of the duties on gold and silver plate, that question was not mentioned in the reference to them, and their Report contained no allusion to the drawbacks on stocks of unused plate, the only real difficulty in connection with the question of duty. I have already stated that I have no intention to propose to repeal the duty; and I may say that until some understanding is arrived at as to what would be a reasonable drawback it would be useless to endeavour to ascertain its amount. The claim of the majority of the trade is for the return of all the duty paid on unused plate, without limit of time, if the duty should be repealed.