§ MR. NOLAN (Louth, N.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he is aware that a firm of tobacco manufacturers in the North of Ireland have supplied some of their customers with tobacco containing over 35 per cent of moisture, contrary to the new Customs and Inland Revenue Act, and that influence is being brought to bear to prevent a prosecution; and, whether, if the law is not enforced in this case, other manufacturers will be similarly treated under similar circumstances?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I am not aware that a firm of tobacco manufacturers in the North of Ireland have supplied some of their customers with tobacco containing over 35 pel1 cent of moisture. I may say, however, that 12 tobacco manufacturers in Ireland have been found to have such tobacco in their possession. All these cases have been treated alike, as have similar cases in England. The 1651 manufacturers in question have all received a warning; but it has not been thought necessary as yet to proceed to a prosecution in any case. When laws are passed enacting changes in manufacturing processes, a certain discretion is always exercised in the first month or two before severe measures are adopted. In no case has any influence been brought to bear to prevent prosecution.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many of these cases there are in England?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
The Question referred to Ireland; and, therefore, I made particular inquiries as regards Ireland. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to know how many cases are in England, I will make the necessary inquiries?