§ MR. KILBRIDE (Kildare, S.)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will give a Return showing the quantity of duty-paid brandy, rum, geneva, medicated spirits, and other foreign spirits, removed from one part of the United Kingdom to another, similar to the Table 27 for Home-made Spirits on page 36 of the last published Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH
If the hon. Member will put down an unstarred Question I shall be happy to print an Answer showing the total quantities of duty-paid foreign spirits removed from one part of the United Kingdom to another in 1903–4. But it is not possible to distinguish between the different kinds of spirits named in the Question.
§ MR. KILBRIDE
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can state, with reference to Table 27 on page 36 of the last published Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, whether any Government officer ever checks, or is instructed to check, the bulk, quantity, or strength of the duty-paid spirits removed, accompanied by spirit certificates, from the stocks of spirit dealers; whether such certificates are usually filled in by lads employed by spirit dealers; and whether it is the custom of the spirit trade to give, on the face of such certificate, a strength greater by from 10 to 20 per cent. than is actually the case; and, if so, whether this table is taken into account in arriving at Ireland's contribution to the Imperial Revenue in Parliamentary Paper, No. 225.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH
The answer to the hon. Member's first Question is in the negative; the Inland Revenue officials check or test only those statements which affect payment or rate of duty. Inaccuracy in the particulars named in this part of the Question would not affect the Revenue, and the certifi- 186 cates of traders are therefore accepted without further test. As regards the second point, the Inland Revenue have no information which would tend to confirm the hon. Member's suggestions. The person who gives an inaccurate certificate renders himself liable to a fine of £100 and the forfeiture of the spirits; and, as such action would be a fraud upon the customer, the latter, I think, may be trusted to deal with the matter himself. To the third part of the Question, the answer is that the table is used in the preparation of the Return.