HC Deb 06 August 1912 vol 41 cc3135-7

The Commissioners of Customs and Excise may issue licences to responsible persons within the United Kingdom to grow tobacco for the purpose of the use of the extract for the manufacture of insecticides or sheep-dips or other purely agricultural or horticultural purposes, subject to regulations to be approved by the Commissioners, such regulations to deal with the area to be grown, the varieties of tobacco to be used, and the manner of growing and harvesting the crop.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."


The object of this Amendment, the Second Reading of which I move, is to require the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to issue a licence to grow tobacco for the extraction of ingredients for insecticides and sheep-dips without the payment of duty. All I would say by way of explanation is that what we desire to grow in this country is a coarse, unsmokable, tobacco, which has been denatured and which has been rendered impossible for anyone to stomach it, for the purpose of applying it as an insecticide, because it happens to be a most innocuous, non-poisonous spray. It is at the present time extremely expensive because Its manufacture is in the hands of four firms, to whom a licence is issued. There is a great and increasing demand amongst fruit-growers and hop-growers for this concession, and I have reason to believe the Government are prepared to accept it, although not in the exact form in which it is on the Paper. I desire, therefore, to move the Second Reading of this Clause, and then subsequently to move that it be accepted by the House in a somewhat different form as suggested to me from the other side of the House.


I beg to second the Motion.


I agree to the Clause, but I have an Amendment after the Second Reading.


As the right hon. Gentleman is accepting this, I should certainly like him to explain, when he is speaking with reference to his suggested alterations, how it is on this occasion he accepts the Amendment, seeing that he opposed it last year, and succeeded in convincing the House to reject it.


My hon. Friend is absolutely incorrect. Last year I promised consideration for the proposal, and I have given that consideration, and it is in consequence of the promise that I have accepted it.


I should like to say that the concession made by the right hon. Gentleman is satisfactory not only to Members on that side of the House but to the whole of us who are interested in getting this material used for the benefit of fruit growers throughout the country.


I beg to move to leave out all the words after "may" ["may issue licences"] in order to insert the words "authorise responsible persons, duly licensed to grow tobacco within the United Kingdom, to grow tobacco for the sole purpose of obtaining an extract therefrom to be used without payment of duty in the manufacture of insecticides or sheep-wash or for other purely agricultural or horticultural purposes. The authority shall be granted subject to such security and the observance of such regulations and conditions as the Commissioners may prescribe, and if any person so authorised acts in contravention or fails to comply with any of these regulations or conditions, the article in respect of which the offence is committed shall be forfeited, and the person committing the offence shall be liable in respect of each offence to an Excise penalty of fifty pounds."

Proposed Amendment made.

Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.

Bill to be read the third time to-morrow. (Wednesday).