§ MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham, W.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is his intention to remove the anomaly of our fiscal regulations in respect to the duty and drawback on exported cigars; and, whether he will take into consideration the serious and increasing amount of loss of employment to the workmen caused by a law which, while restricting the consumption of British made cigars at home, renders their exportation impossible?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The hon. Member's Question involves several assumptions. He assumes that there is an anomaly in our fiscal regulations in respect of the duty and drawback on exported cigars, which the Revenue Authorities do not admit. Then he assumes a consequence, loss of employment, as due to a cause which, if his first assumption is incorrect, is not the real cause. I presume, from the quarter in which the hon. Member sits, that he is a Freetrader, and only desires the drawback to be so adjusted as to represent equality, not protection. That is also my desire. I desire absolute fair play. If it could be proved to me that the drawback is insufficient to establish equality I should 1316 immediately propose an alteration of the law; but such proof has thus far not been forthcoming, or, at, least, has not been conclusive. If the hon. Member and his clients in this case can bring any additional facts to my knowledge to prove that they are really handicapped, and that re-adjustment is necessary for equality, I will gladly examine such facts.