HC Deb 04 August 1905 vol 151 cc309-11

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. GRANT LAWSON, (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk) in the Chair.]

Clause 1:—

MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)

said he wished to move the omission of this clause. It would be remembered that when the differentiation between stripped and unshipped tobacco was under discussion last year, it was pointed out that that constituted a protective tax in favour of the unstripped tobacco. The Isle of Man House of Keys had not adopted this protective tax. As a matter of fact the Isle of Man, like the Isle of Wight, was against any protective taxation. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had said that there was no protection in the differentiation between stripped and unstripped tobacco, but his contention was that there was; and that being so, an undue disadvantage was being placed on the manufacturers in this country compared with manufacturers elsewhere. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman to explain why, if this protective tax was good for England, it should not also be good for the Isle of Man.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, to leave out Clause 1."—(Major Seely.)

Question proposed, "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill."


said that he would not argue the question as to what took place last year when the differentiation took place, but he could assure the hon. Member that the duty on strips was imposed with no protective intention. It had been the practice of the Tynwald Court in the Isle of Man to assimulate the duties to those in this country, but they had certain variations. For instance, they had not increased the tea duty in 1904, and they had nit put on the sugar duty in the same year that it was imposed in the United Kingdom. When duties were imposed by the Isle of Man Legislature they were devoted to local purposes and were not paid into the Exchequer. The Isle of Man was entitled to impose what duties it pleased, subject to ratification by Parliament here, and this House was not accustomed to interfere—[Loud cries from the IRISH Benches of "Home Rule"]— with its discretion, unless the Tynwald passed such legislation as would lead to smuggling or to a serious interference with the revenue of this country. All that was asked for in this Bill was to confirm the taxes imposed by the Tynwald.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said he understood that the Customs authorities of the Isle of Man were under the control of the Customs authorities here, and that the latter were entirely controlled by the Treasury. He wanted to know whether the Customs authorities would give statistics in regard to the additional duties in the Isle of Man on tobacco, tea, spirits, ale, and beer.

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

said that the Committee ought to have a full explanation as to the necessity for this clause. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had justified the charging of different duties in different portions of the United Kingdom, but they had a repudiation of that doctrine by the right hon. Gentleman himself. In Ireland they had for many years urged on this reform, and they had always been met with the statement from the Treasury that it could not be introduced because of the insuperable Customs difficulties, yet it could be done in the case of the Isle of Man. He hoped when the time came to discuss this question with regard to wider issues and a larger area that they would not find the Government advancing one argument at one time and another at another.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time upon Monday next.

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