HC Deb 15 July 1930 vol 241 cc1095-7

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether

acre in 1920 to £30 per acre in 1929, while building costs have decreased by about 40 per cent.


asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of persons applying for small holdings in the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 respectively, and the number of holdings provided in each of those years?


As the reply contains a number of figures I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

he is aware that stocks of duty-paid lace are being re-exported to the country of origin in order to get a rebate of duty with the intention of re-importing such stocks duty free after 1st July; and whether, in view of the consequent injury to British trade and the loss to the revenue, he proposes to take steps to stop this practice?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Philip Snowden)

Under Section 6 (3) of the Finance Act, 1925, on proof to the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise that lace on which import duty has been paid has been re-exported as merchandise, a drawback equal to the amount of the duty paid is allowable, provided the goods have not-been used in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. The title to drawback is not affected by the lapse of the import duty as from the 1st July, and there is no authority for continuing the duty charge upon lace re-imported on or after that date. I am not aware of the extent to which duty-paid stocks of lace are being re-exported with the intention of re-importing them duty free, but it must obviously be limited to the excess of the duty-paid stocks in the possession of traders on the 1st July when duty-free importations were available. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that this practice involves a loss to the Exchequer and to the British taxpayer?


No; it is just the ordinary practice whenever duties are changed.