HC Deb 26 March 1908 vol 186 cc1574-5
MR. COCHRANE (Ayrshire, N.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, under what statute has the Treasury authority to issue permits for the growth of tobacco in Scotland; how much land might any individual cultivate with tobacco under such a permit; would the permit authorise the selling of the produce; and what amount of Excise Duty would be chargeable.


In the form which the hon. Member has given to this Question I can only make him the same reply as on Monday last. I understand, however, that he intends to refer to the permission which had been given by successive Governments for several years previously to the passing of the Irish Tobacco Act, 1907, to grow tobacco for experimental purposes in Ireland. For these purposes the area under cultivation was limited to 109 acres and as a matter of fact no individual cultivated more than twenty acres. In these circumstances it was unnecessary to prohibit the sale of the produce. No Excise Duty was charged, but the growers agreed to make a payment equal to the Customs Duty on the amount of tobacco grown with a promise of refund of one third subsequently. His Majesty's Government are prepared to allow similar facilities for experimentation in Scotland under similar conditions.


The point is under what statute the sanction is given?


I believe the action taken by our predecessors was executive action.