HC Deb 23 February 1932 vol 262 cc304-5

"No duty under Section one of this Act or additional duty under Sub-section (1) of Section three shall be chargeable on fruit, vegetables, or other goods of a perishable nature which were actually shipped on the fourth day of February, nineteen hundred and thirty-two, in the one case and the date of the Order of the Treasury in the other case."—[Captain Barton.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Captain BARTON

I beg to move, "That the Clause he read a Second time."

The facts set out in the new Clause speak for themselves. They are only meant to deal with certain goods of a perishable character which actually were shipped or were on the high seas on the respective dates, the first date being the date when the Resolution was passed by this House, and the second date being the appropriate date when any additional duty to be put on by the Treasury is recommended by the Committee. I do it because I think that goods of this description are in a different category from goods of the ordinary description of trade, in view of the fact that they are of a perishable nature. When they arrive in this country the importer, instead of having an opportunity of warehousing the goods until the time has arrived when he can find a market for them, either for sale in this country or for re-export abroad, is handicapped to this extent, that he is compelled, owing to the nature of the goods, to find a quick sale at the market rates at the time. Even if the goods are subjected to refrigeratory conditions, which only last for a certain time, he cannot retain the goods for a longer period than a few days in the warehouse without the goods becoming absolutely unsaleable. Therefore, these goods are in a different category, in that the trader is restricted and compelled to sell the goods for what he can get for them.

It is obvious that the provision can only apply to cargoes of goods which have come from certain quarters of the globe, because in the month which has elapsed since the 4th February and the appropriate date of the additional order, most ships would have arrived in this country. It does apply to the case of fruits, such as apples and pears, which come from the North American Pacific coasts. I would not object if the provision were made specifically to relate to fruit coming from that particular quarter. I think the Amendment is one which might be accepted, and I should be glad to hear that it meets with approval.


I have listened with attention to my hon. Friend, and I must say that I am not precisely clear what he wants to do. The new Clause says that no duty shall be charged on goods of a perishable nature which were actually shipped on a particular date. My hon. Friend must realise that it would be very difficult to determine the condition that he seeks to lay down. In these circumstances, however desirable I might think his aim to be, I do not think the Clause would be a useful addition to the Bill. I wish that I could give him a more satisfactory answer for I should be only too happy to do so, but his new Clause is open to a very grave defect.

Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and negatived.


With regard to the new Clause which stands in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Norwood (Sir W. Greaves-Lord), I understand that he wishes to move it with a slight alteration. I think he had better call attention to it, because without that alteration the Clause would not be in order.