§ COLONEL SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield Central)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if, having regard to the duty levied in the United Kingdom upon pure alcohol, and in consequence upon British medicines in which alcohol is used in the process of manufacture, he will lake steps to levy an equal countervailing duty (as in the case of transparent soap, etc.) upon the importation of German and other foreign medicines made with pure alcohol?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS-BEACH,) Bristol,
Foreign medicines imported into this country, if containing alcohol, are charged duty on the alcohol they contain. The hon. Member, however, probably refers to medicines in the preparation of which pure alcohol must be used, but which, in their finished state, do not retain all the alcohol so used. Under the existing Tariff Law, power is given to charge such articles—in respect of such quantity of spirit as shall appear to the satisfaction of the Treasury to be used in their manufacture,with a duty—equivalent to that which would be chargeable on the like quantity of spirit on its importation into the United Kingdom.Under this provision it is necessary to consider each article separately, and to assign to each its appropriate duty. The Treasury will be prepared to consider any evidence that may be submitted to them in support of demands for assignment of rates of duty on particular medicines or compounds, which are held to be of necessity prepared with pure alcohol that disappears wholly or in part in the process of manufacture.