§ MR. YOUNG (Christchurch)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether complaints have reached him that it is the practice of Her Majesty's Officers of Customs and Excise to open bottles taken from cases containing spirits, and to withdraw there from a considerable portion of liquor, in order to test the strength of the spirit contained therein, and then to replace the bottles so opened in the case from which they were taken without any notification of the fact to those to whom such cases are consigned, thus entailing a considerable loss to the consignees on the cases so opened; and, whether he will take steps to remedy this grievance by having the cases so opened specially marked and charged with a lower duty?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE-QUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I have received no complaints on this subject, nor have the Board of Inland Revenue, and I understand that the Board of Customs seldom receive any. The process of sampling and testing the strength of spirits is too long for me to explain in answer to a Question; but if the hon. Gentleman will speak co me I shall be happy to put him in communication with the Boards of Customs and Inland Revenue, who will give him every information, I may, however, say that no bottle is sampled without being labelled as such.