HC Deb 23 June 1931 vol 254 cc195-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make representations to the Governments of Norway and Sweden with a view to the removal of the licence fee of 100 kroner (about £5 10s.) on all British commercial travellers entering those countries?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. William Graham)

The policy of imposing such fees is one of very old standing, and the actual amount of the fee charged has remained at the same level in both countries since long before the War. In these circumstances, I am of opinion that such representations as the hon. Member suggests would not serve any useful purpose.


Will the right hon. Gentleman, alternatively, impose a similar tax on commercial travellers coming from Norway and Sweden?


Oh, no, we could not entertain that suggestion. Representations were made in 1926, when it was proposed to increase this charge in Norway, and it was not increased at that time. I do not think we can do more.


May we take it that the right hon. Gentleman sticks to his Free Trade principles to the very bitter end?


Why did not the Tories put this proposal into effect when they were in office?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that British commercial travellers entering Norway or Sweden are charged a licence fee of 100 kroner per head per month, he will consider imposing a similar revenue tax of £5 10s. on commercial travellers visiting Great Britain and Northern Ireland from those countries; and whether he can state the estimated revenue to be derived from such a tax?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)

My right hon. Friend is not prepared to adopt this proposal. It is not practicable to furnish an estimate of the revenue that might be derived from such a tax.


Will the Financial Secretary see to it that commercial travellers from those countries have imposed upon them a tax similar to that which has been imposed upon our commercial travellers in those countries?