HC Deb 30 September 1909 vol 11 cc1538-9

If at any time any deficiency beyond that which can be accounted for by natural waste or other legitimate cause is found in any package of imported goods warehoused, the occupier of the warehouse shall, on the written demand of an officer of Customs and Excise, be liable immediately to pay the duty on the quantity of goods originally warehoused, and if he fails to pay the duty shall forfeit double the amount of the duty.


This is a very important Clause, and I think we should have some explanation of the very wide words "natural waste or other legitimate cause." Such words may have a very injurious effect on the honest trader, who may be subjected to bullying unless some clear explanation is forthcoming.


I anticipate no difficulty whatever from the use of these words. They are used simply to enable the two Departments of Customs and Excise to work one with the other.


Do I understand that it assimilates the action of the two Departments. There is no extension of any general principles so far as trades are concerned.


That is so.