HC Deb 10 August 1904 vol 140 c10

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the recent Report made to the Board of Agriculture on the cultivation and drying of chicory in Great Britain and Belgium, showing that chicory, at one time largely grown in this country, especially in the districts adjoining the city of York, has almost ceased to be grown, and that tins result is largely due to the incidence of the Excise duty on home-grown chicory as compared with the Customs duty on the foreign-grown article, constituting a disadvantage estimated at 28s. 4d. per ton; and whether he will take steps so to re-adjust the Excise and Customs duties on chicory as to place homegrown chicory in at least as good a position as the foreign-grown product.

(Answered by Mr. Austen Chamberlain.) My attention has been directed to the Report referred to by the hon. Member. It is quite true that home-grown chicory is at a disadvantage as compared with imported chicory, owing to the incidence, of the existing Excise duty. But any alteration in the rates of duty would require legislation, which I am not prepared to introduce at this period of the session.