HC Deb 27 April 1899 vol 70 c710
MR. MACLEAN (Cardiff)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether it will be possible for bounty giving States, under the promised exemption of British goods from the Indian Sugar Duties Act, to render the Act inoperative by sending to this country goods intended for the Indian market, and trans-shipping them at London or Southampton into British vessels bound for Bombay?


My honourable Friend is mistaken in supposing that any exemption of British goods from the operation of the Indian Sugar Duties Act has been promised. That Act will be administered, necessarily, by the Government of India, who must deal with cases as they arise, by the light of experience and according to circumstances. I stated on the 18th, and again on 20th April, that, in view of the comparatively small amount of the export of confectionery from this country to India, and of the difficulty of estimating the quantity of sugar in a given quantity of confectionery, I did not think it likely that the Government of India would in this case insist upon their rights. But it is certain that they will grant no exemption which would have the effect described in my honourable Friend's Question, and it is equally certain that there would be no difficulty whatever in framing regulations which would effectively prevent any wholesale evasion of the duty as is suggested.


Can the noble Lord say how the Customs House authorities in India are to distinguish between goods sent in British ships in regard to the places where they come from?


Yes, sir. I believe it is the practice to state on the packages the original port of shipment.