§ 41. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the collection of £3,500 duty on toy magic-lanterns and kaleidoscopes, under the Safeguarding of Industries Act, necessitated, for the 932 Customs examination, the opening of some 90,000 cases and entailed a charge of 1s. 6d. on each package for opening, in addition to other costs such as rent, breakage, and pilferage; and whether he will consider the advisability of taking action to obtain the exemption of such articles from duty?
The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Guinness)
I do not know what is the hon. and gallant Member's authority for the figure of £3,500 for the duty on toy magic lanterns. I cannot, however, accept the implication that the opening of 90,000 cases would have been avoided but for the operations of the Safeguarding of Industries Act. It is necessary in the interests of the Revenue to require imported packages to be opened at the discretion of the Customs, irrespective of the nature of their declared contents. There is no power under the law to exempt articles, such as magic lanterns, which are dutiable as a whole, and it would be impracticable to grant exemption from duty in respect of such articles as might be claimed to be for use only as toys.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that my authority is one of the leading men in the trade, and a former very respected Member of this Rouse—Mr. J. D. Kiley—who is a recognised authority on the subject; and does the right hon. Gentleman think it right that this veritable tax on the nursery should be imposed?