HC Deb 06 April 1908 vol 187 cc939-40

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the average prices of imported articles, given on page 228 of the Statistical Abstract of the United Kingdom, are arrived at by reference to the prices at which the articles are actually sold, or by a calculation based on returns made by importers of their opinion of the value of the article at the time of its importation; if the latter, is he aware that there is often a difference between the opinion of the value entertained by the importer at the time of import and the actual price realised at the time of sale; will he in future refrain altogether from giving returns of opinions as returns of prices; and will he take steps to ascertain whether it is possible to substitute for them returns of the actual prices at which the articles in question change hands.


The average values in question are calculated from the total quantities imported and the total values declared by importers. The values which importers are required to give on Customs entries are, in the case of goods invoiced at a quoted price, the prime cost with the freight and insurance added; in the case of goods consigned for sale, the latest sale value of such goods. I am not prepared to take any steps to alter these requirements.