HC Deb 06 May 1886 vol 305 cc372-3

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If he is aware that the formerly important industry of the cultivation of chicory has been almost entirely destroyed by the Duty imposed on chicory, and by the manner of collecting the Excise; and, whether, having regard to the fact that in 1860, prior to the imposition of a Duty, there were in the neighbourhood of York alone more than 1,000 acres, and in 1884, throughout England, not more than 74 acres under the cultivation of this crop, and in 1860, for every ton grown in England, we imported one ton, and in 1884, 40½ tons from Abroad, he will consider the advisability of abolishing or reducing the English chicory Duty?


, in reply, said, that chicory being used as a substitute for coffee, it was necessary to impose a duty upon it, whether it was home-grown or not. The present duty upon imported chicory was 13s. 3d. per cwt., and the Excise duty upon homegrown chicory was 12s. 1d. per cwt. The difference in favour of the home-grown article was intended to be a compensation to the grower for his being placed under Excise regulations, although these were very slight, and did not in any way interfere with the cultivation. The Inland Revenue authorities were of opinion that the decrease in the growth of chicory was not in any way due to the duty. From 1865 to 1872, when the Excise duty was 24s. 2d. per cwt., the average amount charged with duty per annum was 13,600 cwt.; while since then, with a duty of 12s, 1d., or one-half the former duty, the quantity on which it was charged had fallen to 4,500 cwt. This showed that it was not the duty that discouraged the growth. The Inland Revenue authorities were of opinion that the decrease in the growth of chicory was due to the fact that chicory could not be grown in England to advantage in competition with foreign-grown chicory.