HC Deb 13 July 1915 vol 73 cc764-5

(1) The Commissioners of Customs and Excise may authorise a person to receive spirits without payment of duty for use in the preparation in a public hospital of tinctures and other articles to be used for medical purposes in the hospital in the like manner and subject to the like conditions as they may authorise the receipt of spirits for use in art or manufacture, and Section eight of the Finance Act, 1902, shall have effect accordingly.

(2) The like allowance shall be paid in respect of spirits received for use in a public hospital as aforesaid as is payable under Section one of the Revenue Act, 1906, in respect of spirits received for use in art or manufacture, and the provisions of that Section with respect to the payment of such allowance shall have effect accordingly.

(3) If the treasurer or other responsible officer of a public hospital shows, to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, that any tinctures or other articles which contain spirits or in the preparation or manufacture of which spirits were used have within the preceding six months been used for medical purposes in the hospital he shall be entitled to obtain from the Commissioners repayment of such amount as he shows to their satisfaction to have been paid by way of duty in respect of the spirits contained in or used in the preparation or manufacture of the said tinctures or other articles.

If any person, for the purpose of obtaining any repayment under the foregoing provision, knowingly makes any false statement or false representation he shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months with hard labour.

(4) For the purpose of the foregoing provision the expression "public hospital" means a hospital supported by any public authority, or wholly or partly out of any public or charitable funds or by voluntary subscriptions, but does not include any institution carried on for the purposes of gain.

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move. "That the Clause be read a second time."

As the hon. Gentleman knows, this Clause was in his own name in Committee. The object of pitting it down, which I have done in a slightly different form to meet certain difficulties raised in the old Clause, is to obtain an understanding from the right hon. Gentleman as to the form of words arrived at with regard to hospitals by his predecessor. I have no doubt he is prepared to give us an undertaking that some concession in that direction will be given. In that case I would be prepared to withdraw the Clause.


I sincerely trust that my right hon. Friend will not accept this Amendment until it is very seriously considered. I have received strong representations from many in hospitals, and I trust he will not accept the Amendment.


I have already answered a question, in the course of questions, which I believe thoroughly satisfies all parties, opponents as well as supporters of the Clause. I repeat, it is subject to general agreement that the undertaking is given.


In these circumstances I will not press the Clause.


I do not think my right hon. Friend must take it that the principle of the Clause is accepted by all parties I have received representations from many quarters that there are strong objections to the principle of the Clause, and I am not sure that those objections can be met by any form of words that can be brought forward. I have found it is not considered altogether a wise policy to cheapen alcohol in hospitals. I only want to say that the Clause requires most careful scrutiny, and my right hon. Friend must not take it for granted there will be general agreement until he is told so by all the parties.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


had the following on the Paper: