§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
It is usual, either in Committee or on Report, that there should be some short explanation as to what the duties that are being imposed are. There has been, as far as I remember, no explanation at all in Committee 1014 on this Resolution, and I think it would he reasonable to ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he would, in two or three sentences, state what are the duties that the House is now, with much solemnity, deciding to impose.
This is a very old duty, which was doubled by the Finance Act, 1915. It is based on varying scales, according to selling price, the original scales being permanent. When the duties were doubled, they had the unexpected and satisfactory result of more than 1015 doubling the revenue, which, for the nine years since the doubling of the duty averaged £1,089,000, and before they were doubled, £334,000. We find that these increased duties have not affected the sale of patent medicines, and they do not impede the work of the panel doctors. Less than 1 per cent. of their prescriptions are estimated to fall under the operation of these duties, and we believe they are valuable revenue duties which impose no hardship on any class of the community.