§ MR. H. CAMPBELL (Fermanagh, S.)
said, he wished to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer a Question of which he had given him private Notice—What was the nature and extent of certain frauds which had occurred in a Customs bonded warehouse recently in Belfast; what number of casks of bonded spirits was removed without payment of duty; how many casks were found in the warehouse of which no account had been taken in the Departmental books; what number of casks were found to contain water only; and, whether the Government intended to take steps to prevent these occurrences in Belfast bonded warehouses in future?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.)
(who replied) said: On recently taking stock at one of the Customs bonded warehouses in Belfast it was found that certain casks of spirits containing together upwards of 2,000 gallons proof, and a cask of wine containing 58 liquid gallons, had been delivered without payment of duty by means of fraudulent alterations in the delivery orders. These frauds were the work of a defaulting servant of the proprietors of the warehouse; and the duty on the wine and spirits thus improperly removed from the bonded warehouse had since been recovered. Seven casks of spirits, of which no account existed in the official books, as well as five casks of water, were also found in the warehouse. There is, besides, some evidence of malpractices in regard to eight other casks, as to which further inquiries are being prosecuted. The Board of Customs are taking steps with the view of preventing the recurrence of these practices.