HC Deb 16 June 1924 vol 174 cc1716-8
22. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the fact that Lieut.-Colonel Sir Brodrick Hartwell, Baronet, is using His Majesty's mails for the fifth occasion for the purpose of raising money to sell alcoholic liquors off the coast of the United States, whether he can now announce what steps the Government propose to take; and whether they have considered if similar action can he taken, as in the case of Mr. Edgar Speyer, who was deprived of the baronetcy and privy councillorship which ho had held?


As has been stated on several occasions in this House, the question of measures for the suppression of activities such as those of Sir Brodrick Hartwell was carefully gone into last year. Special legislation would be necessary before His Majesty's Government could intervene in cases of this kind, but it was found extremely difficult to frame suitable legislation without imposing restrictions which would seriously hamper legitimate trade. The matter is, however, receiving further consideration by the Departments concerned. As the hon. and gallant Member is aware, a Treaty has been concluded with the United States, as a result of which it is hoped that the United States Government maybe enabled effectually to deal with the smuggling of liquor. With regard to the second part of the question, it is not the fact that Sir Edgar Speyer was deprived of his baronetcy. He was deprived of his Privy Councillorship on being denaturalised.


Are the profits of this industry assessable under Schedule D, or are they to be regarded as capital?


That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


Has the Prime Minister considered that, by some alteration in the bond into which the exporters enter, it would be possible, without any legislation, to put a stop to a good deal of this traffic?


As the right hon. Gentleman knows, that is not an affair of the Foreign Office, but I am sure that the Departments concerned will take note of what he has said.


If it is not an affair of the Foreign Office, is it not an affair of the Prime Minister?

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