HC Deb 05 July 1920 vol 131 cc1113-21

Section 4 of the Finance Act, 1918 (which provides for the reduction and allowance of duty in respect of spirits used in medical preparations or for scientific purposes),shall apply to the duties on spirits imposed by this Act as it applies to duties on spirits imposed by that Act as though it were herein set out and expressly made applicable thereto, with the substitution for the sums specified in that Section as the amount of reduction of duty or repayment of duty, of such sums as will reduce the amount of duty payable under this Act to the amount of duty which was payable immediately before the increase of duties on spirits provided for by the Finance Act. 1918.


I beg to move, after the word "shall," to insert the words "after making similar provision in respect of spirits used in hospitals on prescription."

In moving this Amendment, in contrast with certain hon. Members who have spoken previously, I will try and make my remarks as short as possible instead of making them as long as possible. The object of the Amendment is to save the voluntary hospitals from having to pay this very big duty on spirits which are used purely as medicines in hospitals. During the War the military hospitals were allowed to get spirits free of duty, and all we ask for here is merely that the voluntary hospitals be allowed to continue that principle.

Colonel BURN

I beg to support the Amendment. I think everybody here knows the position of the hospitals at the present time, and this is a very small concession to the hospitals.


I desire to support the proposal on the ground that any assistance we can give to the hospitals, especially those in London which are passing through trying times, it is only our duty to do. I should like to call the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what exists at the present time. If the spirit is mixed with drugs and is bought from a drug dealer, then the duty is partially remitted, but if the spirit is mixed with water instead of with drugs, then the present duty has to be paid. I am sure it is not the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to penalise the hospitals, or to induce them to mix the spirit with other substances to evade the duty During the War these hospitals received military patients, and therefore all the spirits necessary for the patients were supplied duty free. So that we are not asking for some new principle to be established, but only for a continuance of the practice of the past. I do think in this very small matter the right hon. Gentleman might make a small concession which would be much appreciated by the hospitals.


I am not surprised that this Amendment has been moved, and it is quite true that, in some ways, it is a small matter; but in cases of duties, such as the duty on spirits and the duty on wine, where they have now got to so high a point, we have to take the greatest possible care in not leaving open any holes by which evasion of the duty is possible. I would remind the Committee that we have met the case of the hospitals to a considerable degree in past Finance Bills, and we continue the relief in this by allowing them spirits at the pre-War rate where spirits are used in medicinal preparations; but when you come to allow the enormous difference there is between the pre-War duties on potable spirits which, I take it, is what is meant by this Amendment, you are opening a door that might be difficult to close. I would remind the Committee that statutory grants are given by the Ministry of Health to certain hospitals in relief of the duty on alcohol used in connection with certain medicinal preparations, but it Us always been ruled administratively that this relief is not to be given in the case of potable spirits. If such a concession were made, the Board of Customs would be entirely in the hands of the staffs of hospitals throughout the Kingdom, and it would be a very great responsibility to throw on them that spirit was only administered in cases where a prescription was made for it. I say nothing of the possibility of that prescription being made more frequently. But the spirits would be administered in small quantities. A bottle would be bought relieved from the major part of the tax. It would be opened for the purpose of use, and there is very great difficulty, as hon. Members know, in preserving the contents of a bottle that has once been opened.


I have had a bottle open for months, and it is in the same condition.


A similar concession is being asked for with regard to wine at a later stage of this Bill, and there you have exactly the same administrative difficulty. A bottle of champagne, for example, might be bought at a very much reduced duty, and opened, and it would be impossible to maintain any satisfactory check from the revenue point of view in cases of this kind. For these reasons, I regret that we cannot possibly accept these Amendments, and I hope very much that my hon. Friend, having ventilated this subject, and being assured, much to our regret, that we are not able to meet it, will not press the matter further.


I am sorry to hear the decision to which the Secretary to the Treasury has come, because I think the Amendment is one which has the support of this Committee, and ought to have been accepted by the Government. I do not think there is much in the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman. In all well-regulated hospitals the quantity of spirits which a patient gets is registered in a book, and I do not think it would add much to the expense of the Excise Department if these books were occasionally examined, and, if a leakage such as the right hon. Gentleman has suggested has taken place, it could be easily detected, and the hospital found guilty could be punished. When the right hon. Gentleman remembers that it is only doctors and nurses who have access to the spirits, I think he might feel quite sure that the days of Sairey Gamp are over. I think brandy is looked after more carefully nowadays, and I think the suggestion that it would he open to abuse is not sufficient. In view of the difficulties in which hospitals find themselves, and that the account for stimulants is now a very serious item in hospitals, the Government would be doing a very great service to the cause of the hospitals, and not losing much revenue, if they accepted this Amendment.


I have the honour to represent a constituency in which is situated the largest hospital in London. It is going through very hard times, and I rise to support the Amendment, and very much regret that the Government is not able to meet it.

Question put, "That those words be t here inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 61; Noes, 195.

Division No. 180.] AYES [7.20 p.m.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S. Breese, Major Charles E. Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Bridgeman, William Clive Coote, William (Tyrone, South)
Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James Briggs, Harold Courthope, Major George L.
Bagley, Captain E. Ashton Brown, Captain D. C. Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid)
Baird, John Lawrence Bruton, Sir James Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H. Croft, Brigadier-General Henry Page
Balfour, Sir R. (Glasgow, Partick) Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G. Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Dawes, Commander
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood- Burn, Col. C. R. (Devon, Torquay) Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend)
Barnes Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals) Butcher, Sir John George Denniss, Edmund R. B. (Oldham)
Barnston, Major Harry Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R. Dockrell, Sir Maurice
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington) Doyle, N. Grattan
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Casey, T. W. Edge, Captain William
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston) Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)
Bennett, Thomas Jewell Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin) Elveden, Viscount
Betterton, Henry B. Chadwick, Sir Robert Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.
Bigland, Alfred Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.) Falcon, Captain Michael
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood) Falle, Major Sir Bertram G.
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West) Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill Farquharson, Major A. C.
Blades, Capt. Sir George Rowland Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Fell, Sir Arthur
Blair, Reginald Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.
Blane, T. A. Clough, Robert FitzRoy, Captain Hon. E. A.
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel D. F. Coats, Sir Stuart Flannery, Sir James Fortescue
Borwick, Major G. O. Cobb, Sir Cyril Foreman, Henry
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith Cohen, Major J. Brunel Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot
Bowles, Colonel H. F. Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale Fraser, Major Sir Keith
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster) Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C. Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.) Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund
Gardiner, James Lane-Fox, G. R. Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)
Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge) Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale) Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Goff, Sir R. Park Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)
Gould, James C. Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P. Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.
Grant, James A. Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)
Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.) Locker-Lampoon, Com. O. (H'tingd'n) Shaw, William T. (Forfar)
Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Lonsdale, James Rolston Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)
Greenwood, William (Stockport) Lorden, John William Simm, M. T.
Greer, Harry Lyle, C. E. Leonard Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Gregory, Holman Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Greig, Colonel James William McLaren, Hon. H. D. (Leicester) Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander
Gretton, Colonel John M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W. Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)
Gritten, W. G. Howard McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury) Starkey, Captain John R.
Guest, Major O. (Leic., Loughboro') Macquisten, F. A. Stewart, Gershom
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. Marriott, John Arthur Ransome Strauss, Edward Anthony
Gwynne, Rupert S. Martin, Captain A. E. Sturrock, J. Lang
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B. Sugden, W. H.
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Mitchell, William Lane Sutherland, Sir William
Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l,W.D'by) Molson, Major John Elsdale Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)
Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S. Talbot, G. A. (Hemel Hempstead)
Hanna, George Boyle Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J. Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham)
Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin Moreing, Captain Algernon H. Terrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Harris, Sir Henry Percy Morrison, Hugh Thomas-Stanford, Charles
Haslam, Lewis Mosley, Oswald Tickler, Thomas George
Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston) Mount, William Arthur Tryon, Major George Clement
Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Murchison, C. K. Turton, E. R.
Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil) Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh) Vickers, Douglas
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Murray, Major William (Dumfries) Waddington, R.
Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E. Neal, Arthur Ward-Jackson, Major C. L.
Hinds, John Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley) Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.
Hohier, Gerald Fitzroy Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Nield, Sir Herbert Whitla, Sir William
Hood, Joseph Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John Wild, Sir Ernest Edward
Hope, Sir H. Stirling&Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.) Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L. Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock)
Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central) Parker, James Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Hopkins, John W. W. Pearce, Sir William Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert
Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead) Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike Wilson, Capt. A. S. (Holderness)
Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster) Peel, Col. Hon. S. (Uxbridge, Mddx.) Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Perkins, Walter Frank Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading)
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Perring, William George Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)
Jephcott, A. R. Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Wilson-Fox, Henry
Jesson, C. Pratt, John William Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Jodrell, Neville Paul Prescott, Major W. H. Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G. Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Pulley, Charles Thornton Wood, Major S. Hill. (High Peak)
Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly) Randles, Sir John S. Worsfold, Dr. T. Cato
Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey) Raper, A. Baldwin Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Joynson-Hicks, Sir William Raw, Lieutenant-Colonel N. Younger, Sir George
Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham) Reid, D. D. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Remnant, Sir James Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke) Robertson, John
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Rose, Frank H.
Bramsdon, Sir Thomas Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M. Royce, William Stapleton
Bromfield, William Kenyon, Barnet Sexton, James
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Kiley, James D. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Sitch, Charles H.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lister, Sir R. Ashton Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Entwistle, Major C. F. Lunn, William Swan, J. E.
Finney, Samuel Lyle-Samuel, Alexander Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Galbraith, Samuel Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray Tootill, Robert
Glanville, Harold James Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D. (Midlothian) Wallace, J.
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Mallalieu, F. W. Waterson, A. E.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Mills, John Edmund Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.
Grundy, T. W. Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross) White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Myers, Thomas Wignall, James
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Newbould, Alfred Ernest Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Hallas, Eldred O'Connor, Thomas P. Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hayday, Arthur O'Grady, Captain James Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)
Hayward, Major Evan Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hirst, G. H. Rae, H. Norman
Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Raffan, Peter Wilson TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Holmes, J. Stanley Rees, Capt. J. Tudor- (Barnstaple) Mr. G. Thorne and Mr. Hogge.
Irving, Dan Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)

Question put, and agreed to.

Division No. 181.] AYES. [7.42 p.m.
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Hayward, Major Evan Rcse, Frank H.
Bigland, Alfred Hirst, G. H. Rutherford, Colonel Sir J. (Darwen)
Blair, Reginald Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Sexton, James
Bramsdon, Sir Thomas Hogge, James Myles Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bromfield, William Holmes, J. Stanley Sitch, Charles H.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hood, Joseph Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R. Irving, Dan Swan, J. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)
Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe) Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M. Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Entwistle, Major C. F. Kenyon, Barnet Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Finney, Samuel Kiley, James D. Tootill, Robert
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lunn, William Waterson, A. E.
Galbraith, Samuel Mosley, Oswald Wedgwood, Colonel J. C.
Ganzoni, Captain Francis John C. Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross) White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Myers, Thomas Wignall, James
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Newbould, Alfred Ernest Wild, Sir Ernest Edward
Grundy, T. W. Preston, W. R. Williams, Aneurin (Durham, Consett)
Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth) Raffan, Peter Wilson Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Remnant, Sir James Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hallas, Eldred Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Hayday, Arthur Robertson, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Lyle and Col. Burn.
Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S. Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M. Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Farquharson, Major A. C. Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)
Allen, Lieut.-Colonel William James Fell, Sir Arthur Knight, Major E. A. (Kidderminster)
Atkey, A. R. Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)
Bagley, Captain E. Ashton Flannery, Sir James Fortescue Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)
Baird, John Lawrence Foreman, Henry Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Fraser, Major Sir Keith Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Gardiner, James Lister, Sir R. Ashton
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood- Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge) Lloyd-Greame, Major Sir P.
Barnes Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals) Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)
Barnston, Major Harry Gilbert, James Daniel Lorden, John William
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John Lyle-Samuel, Alexander
Benn, Capt. Sir I. H., Bart. (Gr'nw'h) Glanville, Harold James Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray
Betterton, Henry B. Goff, Sir R. Park M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Gould, James C. M'Micking, Major Gilbert
Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West) Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington) McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.) Mallalieu, F. W.
Blane, T. A. Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Martin, Captain A. E.
Boles, Lieut.-Colonel D. F. Greenwood, William (Stockport) Mitchell, William Lane
Bowles, Colonel H. F. Gregory, Holman Morrison, Hugh
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Greig, Colonel James William Morrison-Bell, Major A. C.
Breese, Major Charles E. Gritten, W. G. Howard Mount, William Arthur
Bridgeman, William Clive Guest, Major O. (Leic., Loughboro') Murchison, C. K.
Briggs, Harold Gwynne, Rupert S. Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)
Brittain, Sir Harry Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Neal, Arthur
Brown, Captain D. C. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)
Bruton, Sir James Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. Liv'p'l,W.D'by) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H. Hambro, Captain Angus Valdemar Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Hanson, Sir Charles Augustin Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton) Parker, James
Butcher, Sir John George Harris, Sir Henry Percy Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R. Haslam, Lewis Peel, Col. Hn. S. (Uxbridge. Mddx.)
Carter, R. A. D. (Man., Withington) Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston) Perkins, Walter Frank
Casey, T. W. Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.) Perring, William George
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin) Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, Yeovil) Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Chadwick, Sir Robert Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Pratt, John William
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm.,W.) Hickman, Brig.-General Thomas E. Preston, W. R.
Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender Hinds, John Prescott, Major W. H.
Clough, Robert Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G. Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Pulley, Charles Thornton
Cohen, Major J. Brunel Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.) Purchase, H. G.
Collins, Col. Sir G. P. (Greenock) Hope, James F. (Sheffield, Central) Rae, H. Norman
Colvin, Lieut.-Colonel Richard Beale Hopkins, John W. W. Randles, Sir John S.
Cooper, Sir Richard Ashmole Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Raper, A. Baldwin
Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely) Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead) Remer, J. R.
Coote, William (Tyrone, South) Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Courthope, Major George L. Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster) Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)
Craig, Colonel Sir J. (Down, Mid) Illingworth, Rt. Hon. A. H. Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Norwood)
Croft, Brigadier-General Henry Page Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert A.
Davies, Sir William H. (Bristol, S.) Jephcott, A. R. Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Jesson, C. Shaw, William T. (Forfar)
Dawes, Commander Johnson, Sir Stanley Simm, M. T.
Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend) Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvll) Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Dockrell, Sir Maurice Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke) Stanley, Major H. G. (Preston)
Doyle, N. Grattan Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Starkey, Captain John R.
Edgar, Clifford B. Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly) Strauss, Edward Antheny
Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon) Jones, William Kennedy (Hornsey) Sugden, W. H.
Elveden, Viscount Joynson-Hicks, Sir William Sutherland, Sir William
Taylor, J. Waddington, R. Wilson-Fox, Henry
Terrell, George, (Wilts, Chippenham) Ward-Jackson, Major C. L. Worsfold, Dr. T. Cato
Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham) White, Lieut.-Col. G. D. (Southport) Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)
Thomas-Stanford, Charles Williams, Lt.-Com. C. (Tavistock) Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Tickler, Thomas George Wills, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Gilbert Younger, Sir George
Tryon, Major George Clement Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)
Turton, E. R. Wilson, Colonel Leslie O. (Reading) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Vickers, Douglas Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.) Lord E. Talbot and Mr. Dudley Ward.

The following Amendment stood on the Paper in the name of Mr. KILEY: At the end of the Clause to add the words Except that a similar reduction and allowance of duty shall apply in the case spirits used in the manufacture of perfumery, essences and fine chemicals, subject also to such Regulations as the Commissioner of Customs and Excise may prescribe.


In regard to the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Kiley) the Clause which we are discussing now relates to spirits used in medicinal preparations or for scientific purposes. Does the hon. Gentleman contend that cosmetics are either medicinal or scientific?


I refer to fine chemicals in the Amendment.


Does the hon. Gentleman say, too, that eau de cologne is a medicine?


I beg to move at the end of the Clause to add the words Except that a similar reduction and allowance of duty shall apply in the case of spirits used in the manufacture of perfumery, essences and fine chemicals, subject also to such regulations as the Commissioner of Customs and Excise may prescribe. I will explain my case. This is the third time this afternoon I have intervened in order to obtain some concessions from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The object I have in view in this proposal is to enable the people who manufacture these commodities to carry on their business, and to make profits from which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will derive an advantage. If, as I am informed, the duty is levied in the way now proposed it will have the effect, to give one instance, of sending up a bottle of eau de cologne, which in pre-War days sold, say, at half-a-crown up to something like 8s. 6d. In consequence it will tremendously affect the demand and make it only obtainable by people who are very well-to-do.

Those who have had experience of the sick-room know the value of eau de cologne there, and its necessity. But the principal object I have in view is to ask the Chancellor to make such concession as will enable the businesses for which I at the moment speak to be carried on at something like their normal turnover. If the present proposals are allowed to go, it will bring down the output of such firms by a half or two-thirds.


I could not possibly accept this Amendment. What are the articles for which the hon. Member seeks exemption? Perfumery! But that clearly is a luxury. Essences? Which are used in the manufacture of beverages, and in flavouring confections. I really do not think these are cases at all comparable to those to which we were referring a little while ago, the use of spirits in the manufacture of drugs. I have not directed my consideration to anything in the nature of alternative proposals; none have been brought forward. I could not in regard to these articles hold out any expectation that I am unable to fulfil. As regards the general burden on the businesses, that is common to all businesses nowadays.

Captain W. BENN

I do not agree with the Amendment of my hon. Friend. I do not see what claim these articles have over others to be considered as suggested, and I think the Chancellor has made out a complete case. But he has already given preferential treatment to certain trades—and that is the difficulty. I cannot, of course, go into this except by way of Illustration, but the man who makes motor cars and men of certain other trades are receiving preferential treatment—musical box makers, film manufacturers, and others. Once you start, representatives of one trade or the other immediately get up and put forward requests for similar treatment, and you cannot maintain any real equity in deciding between the one and the other. I am against both.


I desire to withdraw the Amendment. Perhaps I did not make my position quite clear, but I wanted to emphasise the fact of a bottle of eau de cologne rising from 2s. 6d. to 8s. 6d., and also the fact of the diminished output due to the present proposals, and the consequent less employment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.