§ Sir P. HARRIS
I beg to move, in page 13, line 28, after the word "importation," to insert the words:without taking into account in the calculation of such price.6.0 p.m.
If the wording of this Amendment is not perfect I hope that the principle which it contains will receive consideration. The principle which I am endeavouring to raise is that the value of imported goods for the purposes of the Act should be taken to be the home consumption price or the invoice price f.o.b. as opposed to the c.i.f. price. I gathered from the speech of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury when he moved the Second Reading of the Bill that if the Government had not foresen certain difficulties, they would have presented this Clause in the form which I now ask the Committee to support. May I remind the right hon. and gallant Gentleman of his words:Clause 15 of the general Clauses deals with the value of goods for the purposes of this Act,' and the value of goods for the purposes of the Act is being taken as the value here, and not the value there.That is very homely language, and makes quite clear, I think, what he means, though it is rather vague. He went on to say:That differs from the practice of the United States and other countries where the value of goods is taken in the country of origin."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th February, 1932; col. 1301, Vol. 261.]I want the Committee and the Government to adopt the policy which experience has proved to be the best and the most practicable and, on the whole, the fairest to industry and trade. What I propose here is the practice in the United States and in other countries which have experience of tariffs. This is not merely a question of the duties being levied both on the value of the commodity itself and also on the freight and insurance and other costs, but it raises also the very serious question of taxing the cheaper commodity more than the dearer commodity. The cheaper the article the higher the percentage of freight in its value. If the articles are of the same bulk 266 the freight is the same on the lower-priced article as it is on the more expensive article. We had many discussions on that point during the consideration of the Safeguarding Duties in reference to earthenware and other articles, and it was then pointed out that the bulkier the goods were the higher the freight.
There is another and, perhaps, more serious aspect of the question. It is our pride that our shipping is an integral part of our industry, and nobody knows that better than the President of the Board of Trade. Therefore, we want to encourage goods to come from the four quarters of the globe and the further a commodity has to come, the larger the part played by freight in its cost. If goods merely come across the Channel, in a Channel steamer, the freight is a small factor, but if they come in British steamers from South America, China, and other far away countries, the cost of freight plays a much greater part in the value. Therefore, the method proposed in the Clause of levying the duty, is tantamount to a premium to the countries which are adjacent to us, as opposed to the countries which are far away. When we come to raw materials like fibre and esparto grass, and articles such as linseed cake meal, cotton seed meal and so forth, freight plays a very great part in the prices of these commodities as landed in our ports. The Government proposes to levy this duty not on the goods only but on the ships which carry the goods. That is what the proposal amounts to, if you levy a duty on the freight. In cases of goods carried a great distance the freight may come to something like the same as the value of the goods. A duty of 10 per cent. sounds modest when levied on the article itself but if the freight is to be included, then on the original value of the goods, the 10 per cent. may become 20 per cent. or 30 per cent.
There would be no serious difficulty in giving effect to the Amendment. Long experience has proved it possible to levy a duty on the invoice value. It may be that cases of evasion would arise, but with a highly organised Consular service it should be possible to detect such cases. In any case, I ask the Government, is it wise, in introducing a scheme of this kind for the first time to jeopardise its success and injure our shipping merely 267 because there may be some isolated examples of evasion, by collusion between exporter and importer? The practice which is suggested in the Amendment, goes on all over the world. Our Dominions levy their duties on the home consumption price and I do not think there is any protected country which does not follow that practice. At a time like the present when the shipping trade is experiencing a very hard time this question should be seriously considered. One of the main reasons for the so-called adverse trade balance is the decrease in the amount of goods carried in British ships and from that standpoint it is unwise to introduce a system of levying taxation both on goods and on freight insurance and other charges. I would also remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer that we have a fairly big part in effecting insurances for the carriage of goods. Lloyds does the insurance for a great part of the carrying trade of the world and this proposal is not going to make the insurance of cargoes any easier.
There is an unanswerable case for the Amendment, and that the right hon. Gentleman should, at any rate, give due consideration to the possibility of accepting it. I do not know if, in calculating the amount of revenue—which has never been estimated by the way—it is to be assumed that the duty is going to be levied on the freight as well as the goods. But, as I understand it, the main purpose of the Bill is to restore the balance of trade and the wrong way of doing so is by levying this new duty on costs, insurance and freight as well as on the original value of the goods.
§ Major ELLIOT
The proposal in this Amendment is that we should substitute some other basis of arriving at the value of imported goods for the basis proposed in the Clause, which is that the costs insurance and freight should be included. The main argument of the hon. Baronet who moved the Amendment was that his proposals represented the practice in the United States. I do not understand this sudden zeal for the practice of the United States. Why not the practice of the United Kingdom? For 17 years we have operated the basis of arriving at the value which is laid down in the Bill. Why should we at a moment when we are making a change-over of this kind, adopt 268 a method of estimating value which is unfamiliar to the merchants concerned, unfamiliar to the public and unfamiliar to the Department which will have to deal with these matters?
§ Major ELLIOT
The hon. Baronet still harps on the idea that this is a Free Trade country but he forgets that it is a country which has high tariffs on a good many articles.
§ Major ELLIOT
Sometimes I wonder whether the hon. Baronet has been asleep for 20 years. Does he consider that the McKenna Duties and the Safeguarding Duties carry Excise duties? [Interruption.] I am not arguing that question now, however, because the point is whether we should tear up the basis upon which these duties have been levied for 17 years and adopt a totally new basis at a. moment when we are trying dais experiment. I suggest that no case has been made out for altering our practice in this respect and on that account alone it would be highly inadvisable to make the change which the Amendment suggests.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
I do not think that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has met the real point of the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), which was that., in fact, the method of valuing proposed in the Bill might give an advantage to the countries which are contiguous to the United Kingdom. We have been told that the main object of this Measure is to deal with our trade and the question is whether it is proposed to deal with the trade situation by giving special encouragement to imports from the countries which are nearest to us and discouraging imports from the countries which are furthest away.
§ Major ELLIOT
Most of the far-away countries are our Dominions, and in any case their goods are getting in free.
§ Mr. ATTLEE
The right hon. and gallant Gentleman speaks of everything in connection with this Measure as if it were going to last only for a few months. But Japan and China will not be always engaged in what I suppose I must not 269 call a war, and we have a very large trade with the South American countries, for instance, which are far away. I think that this matter has not been given sufficient consideration. We have had too little explanation as to the actual effect upon our trade of these duties.
§ Mr. HOLDSWORTH
The Financial Secretary suggested that there would be difficulty in applying the method proposed in the Amendment, but paragraphs (b) and (c) of Sub-section (2) provide for all contingencies and meet any difficulty as regards arriving at the net price. The only thing we ask in the Amendment is that the duty should be levied on the net value of the goods rather than on the net value with cost insurance and freight added. Paragraphs (b) and (c) provide that in certain instances prices are to be arrived at in certain ways and there should be no difficulty in arriving at net prices.
§ Mr. NUNN
A little practical experience might be helpful in the consideration of this matter. The difficulty in connection with this Clause is mainly a difficulty of administration. When you try to discover a price at the other side of the world you at once involve yourselves in tremendous difficulties. I am aware that America does this, but she does it with great difficulty and with great annoyance to American subjects. Hon. Members will recall the tremendous dispute which took place some years ago in Paris owing to the activities of the American Customs agents who were operating there. If our Customs department has to prove values on the other side of the world, it will involve a tremendous increase in our consular staffs abroad; there will be very great difficulty, and disquietude will be caused as to whether we are getting the right values or not. I do not wish to say anything which might seem to reflect on the character of commercial men, but I have had some experience in connection with the administration of a Customs department, and it has taught me that in this matter of commercial honesty the question of putting in invoices for Customs purposes, takes rank with the question of "diddling" railway companies. It is not really dishonesty. It is a form of activity somewhere between honesty and dishonesty, and I dare say most hon. Members will know that 270 almost every exporter of goods takes very good care to have duplicate documents, one set of documents being for his customer and the other for Customs purposes. I have even encountered a perfectly respectable Scottish baillie who had the misfortune to try to palm off on me, in connection with a private purchase that I was making, duplicate documents, not knowing what my particular job in life was. When you have that state of affairs, it is obvious that the Customs department would be up against great difficulties in any case, and the more we can lessen those difficulties the better it will be for the efficiency of the department and the more will the merchant be saved trouble.
We do lessen those difficulties—and I am speaking from practical experience—by arriving at the value in this country. There is no question about that, from a practical point of view. It is something we can prove. I should have liked to see the Customs Department given power actually to purchase goods, in a case of dispute, at the declared value. That is not in the Bill, but it would have been a very useful power to have behind the Government Department. You can prove the value of the goods here, but it is very difficult to do so abroad without setting up the most elaborate machinery. Why one should involve the country in the expenditure necessary to have inspectors and so forth and an expert staff at every Consulate, I cannot understand, when, as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury has pointed out, already this country has been operating under the system laid down in this Clause for 17 years. I would remind the Committee also that the whole of our commercial statistics are collected and published on the basis of the c.i.f. value.
§ Mr. JOHN WALLACE
I do not rise to support the Amendment, but I wish to get clear a statement by the last speaker. I understood him to say that every exporter in this country had two sets of invoices, one for Customs purposes and one for the consumption of his own people at his place of business.
§ Mr. NUNN
Then the hon. Member rather misheard me, because I said "almost every exporter," and I was not referring to this country. My experience is abroad, and almost every exporter that I encountered certainly did send a 271 duplicate set of documents. I have had the opportunity of having them in my own office.
§ Mr. WALLACE
I am glad that that explanation has been given, because the hon. Member did not make it clear at
§ first, and it sounded like an unworthy imputation against the exporters of this country.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 50; Noes, 350.273
|Division No. 82.]||AYES||[6.19 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Groves, Thomas E.||Maxton, James|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grundy, Thomas W.||Morris, Rhys Hopkin (Cardigan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, F. (fork, W. R., Rormanton)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Bernays, Robert||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cape, Thomas||Hicks, Ernest George||Price, Gabriel|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hirst, George Henry||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Janner, Barnett||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Daggar, George||John, William||Thorne, William James|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. David|
|Edwards, Charles||Lansbury, Rt. Hon, George||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lunn, William||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middesbro, W.)||McGovern, John||Sir Percy Harris and Mr. Holdsworth|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Duggan, Hubert John|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Carver, Major William H.||Dunglass, Lord|
|Albery, Irving James||Castlereagh, Viscount||Eady, George H.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Castle Stewart, Earl||Eales, John Frederick|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Eden, Robert Anthony|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, [...]y)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon, Leopold C. M. S.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Gazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Birm., W)||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgbaston)||Elmley, Viscount|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Ballour, George (Hampstead)||Chotzner, Alfred James||Emrys- Evans, P. V.|
|Baltour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Christie, James Archibald||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Balniel, Lord||Clarke, Frank||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blk'pool)|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Clarry, Reginald George||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Clayton, Dr. George C.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Falls, Sir Bertram G.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Colfox, Major William Philip||Fermoy, Lord|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Collins, Sir Godfrey||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th. C.)||Colman, N. C. D.||Ford, Sir Patrick J.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Colville, Major David John||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Conant, R. J. E.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Cook, Thomas A.||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Bird Sir Robert S. (Wolverh'pton W.)||Cooper, A. Duff||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Copeland, Ida||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Borodale, Viscount.||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman|
|Bossom, A. C.||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Craven-Ellis, William||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Crooke, J. Smedley||Glyn, Major Ralph G. C.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Goldie, Noel B.|
|Boyce. H. Leslie||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E. R.)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Cross, R. H.||Grattan, Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Crossley, A. C.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon, John|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grimston, R. V.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Brown, Brig,-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Davison, Sir William Henry||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Buchan, John||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Denville, Alfred||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Burnett, John George||Dickie, John P.||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Dixon, Rt. Hon. Herbort||Hanbury, Cecil|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Donner, P. W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Caine, G. R. Hall-||Drewe, Cedric||Haslam, Henry (Lindsay, H'ncastle)|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Duckworth, George A. V.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Campbell, Rear-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Milne, Charles||Scone, Lord|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw-||Selley, Harry R.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Hillman, Dr. George B.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Mitcheson, G. G.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Hope, Capt. Arthur O. J. (Aston)||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. H. (Ayr)||Simmonds, Oliver Edwin|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Moreing, Adrian C.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Hopkinson, Austin||Morgan, Robert H.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hornby, Frank||Morrison, William Shephard||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Muirhead, Major A. J.||Somervell, Donald Bradley|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Munro, Patrick||Soper, Richard|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J,|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert K.|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Normand, Wilfrid Guild||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||North, Captain Edward T.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. C. (Westmorland)|
|Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Nunn, William||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||O'Connor, Terence James||Stones, James|
|Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Storey, Samuel|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Ormiston, Thomas||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Ker, J. Campbell||Palmer, Francis Noel||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Patrick, Colin M.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Kimball, Lawrence||Peake, Captain Osbert||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.||Pearson, William G.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Knebworth, Viscount||Peat, Charles U.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Knight, Holford||Penny, Sir George||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Templeton, William P.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Petherick, M.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Law, sir Alfred||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull. S. w.)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Leckie, J. A.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Levy, Thomas||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Train, John|
|Lewis, Oswald||Ramsay, Capt, A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Llewellin, Major John J.||Ramsden, E||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Rankin, Robert||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Renter, John R.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Mabane, William||Rentoul, Sir Gervais S.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)||Reynolds, Col. Sir James Philip||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|McEwen, J. H. F.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Ropner, Colonel L.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Rosbotham, S. T.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|McLean, Major Alan||Ross, Ronald D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Maitland, Adam||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Runge, Norah Cecil||Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.||Russell, Hamer Field (Shcf'id, B'tside)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Salmon, Major Isidore||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Salt, Edward W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Millar, Sir James Duncan||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Sir Victor Warrender and Mr. Womersley.|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Savery, Samuel Servington|
Motion made, and Question, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.
§ Sir KENYON VAUGHAN-MORGAN
I beg to move, in page 14, line 10, at the end, to insert the words:to the price at which such goods are freely offered for sale in the country of origin, and the Commissioners shall have regard to the higher of such prices; or.6.30 p.m.
The purpose of this Amendment is to give the Commissioners the opportunity 274 of ascertaining, for the purpose of determining the value, the price in the country of origin as well as the price in the country of importation, according to the terms of the Bill. It will strengthen the hands of the Commissioners.
§ Major ELLIOT
This is closely akin to the Amendment which was previously 275 moved, and the arguments which applied in that case apply here also. It would, in fact, import exactly the same element of uncertainty into the whole of these transactions as would the other Amendment, and we desire to avoid that.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
I do not rise to press the Amendment if my hon. Friend 'desires to withdraw it, but I do not think that he put his case before the Committee with his usual ease. The case dealt with by this Amendment, which is not the same as the previous Amendment, is the case of goods sold here below the price at which they are ordinarily sold in the country of origin; in other words, they are goods which have been dumped in this country. There is no doubt that it would strengthen the hands of the Customs to be able as an alternative to take the price at which the goods are sold in the country from which they come, if that price is higher than that for which the goods are ordinarily sold in this country. I think that my hon. and gallant Friend the Financial Secretary will find that a point is covered by this Amendment which is quite different from the point with which we dealt a few moments ago.
§ Sir K. VAUGHAN-MORGAN
The Financial Secretary said something to the effect that it would not simplify the procedure. The purpose of the Amendment is to render the work of the Commissioners more effective, and give them the opportunity of determining price on a somewhat wider basis than the opportunities at their disposal.
§ Major ELLIOT
It may make it more effective, but in this, as in so many cases, the best is the enemy of the good. If you widen the thing to bring in all these extraneous considerations, you will import confusion and not simplicity into the scheme which we are desiring to put through.
§ Sir REGINALD BANKS
The Commissioners will have power to get such evidence as they may require. If they find on examination that certain goods are being sold in this country below the price in the country of origin, they can start on that as a basis, as we have done in the case of dumped goods, and put 276 on a higher duty than they otherwise would.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir K. VAUGHAN-MORGAN
I beg to move, in page 14, line 21, after the word "goods," to insert the words:and in the case of such goods as, in the condition in which they are imported, are not offered for sale either in the country of origin or in the United Kingdom, the Commissioners may call for such information as to the cost of production as they may re-quire.The purpose of this Amendment is to enable the Commissioners to determine the value of such commodities as may be exported to this country but are sold neither here nor in the country of origin, and for which there is no ready market price. The Commissioners should then be given powers to ascertain to their satisfaction, or to call for such information as may be necessary, to determine the basis on which they shall fix the value, and such information as is required as to the cost of production.
§ Major ELLIOT
I am afraid that we shall have difficulty also in accepting this Amendment. The only conceivable case of imported goods which are not offered for sale here are goods imported for the importer's own use. The Commissioners have power in Clause 15 (2), to have regard to all relevant considerations, and to require such information as in their opinion is necessary to ascertain the value of the goods. I think that the Amendment is really unnecessary.
§ Sir K. VAUGHAN-MORGAN
I gather from my right hon. and gallant Friend that he is satisfied that the necessary powers are provided in the Sub-section to which he has referred. I was not satisfied that the case was exactly covered, but I shall be glad to accept his assurance; and, with the permission of the Committee, I will withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 16 (Determination of disputes as to value of goods) ordered to stand part of the Bill.