§ Although I am dealing with the existing basis of revenue, I think it would be convenient, though perhaps it is a little exceptional in the order of the Budget statement, to mention here certain minor changes in Customs and Excise Duties. The Customs Duty on British wines instituted last year was fixed at 1s. a gallon. I am sure that it could be prudently and fairly raised to 1s. 6d. a gallon, which will yield an additional £65,000 this year and £70,000 in a full year. That increased duty will take effect from to-morrow. I propose that as from the 28th April there shall be a Customs Duty upon mechanical lighters of 6d. and a corresponding Excise Duty of a similar amount on homemade mechanical lighters. The yield of this duty will be only £40,000 this year. Its object, of course, is to preserve the efficiency of the far more important Match Duty, from which we get several millions revenue each year, by curtailing the use of mechanical lighters.
§ I propose to make a very small change, the cost of which is unappreciable, some £350 a year, in the Customs Duties on cinematograph films, in order to place British Empire films on the same footing as those films which are produced abroad by British residents. The Committee appointed under the Safeguarding of Industries procedure unanimously recommended the imposition of a Customs Duty on buttons—buttons used for fastening or decorating apparel. I propose, therefore, as from the 28th April that a duty of 33⅓per cent. ad valorem shall become chargeable on such articles. This will not mean that buttons already on imported garments will be charged the duty. The duty is estimated to bring in revenue to the extent of £130,000 this year and £200,000 in a full year. With these variations, the total Customs and Excise revenue comes to £113,067,000 and £139,018,000 respectively.