§ (1) Notwithstanding anything in section ninety-five of the Spirits Act, 1880 British liqueurs and perfumed spirits may be ware housed in accordance with that section for home consumption, and accordingly the words "medicinal spirits or tinctures other than perfumed spirits" shall be substituted—
- (a) for the words "British liqueurs or tinctures or medicinal spirits" in subsection (1) of the said section ninety-five and in section seventy-four of the said Act; and
- (b) for the words "British liqueurs, tinctures, or medicinal spirits" in subsection (2) of the said section ninety-five.
§ (2) Sub-section (4) of the said section ninety-five (which imposes a limit on the strength of British compounds warehoused for home consumption) shall cease to have effect.—[Mr. E. Williams.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
The Clause is intended to give effect to an Amendment which I moved on the Committee stage, and to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer was very friendly but a little doubtful whether the words upon which I framed my Amendment were satisfactory. At the present time if certain classes of spirits commonly known as liqueurs are imported from abroad, they can be stored in bond until the importer has sold them. If such articles are produced in this country for home consumption, they may not be stored in bond, and accordingly duty has to be paid at the time of manufacture. In these circumstances, the British manufacturer is at a disadvantage as compared with the foreign competitor, and the sole purpose of the proposed new Clause is, not to protect him, but merely to place the British manufacturer in a situation as favourable as that of his foreign competitor. The Act which I am proposing to alter is the Spirits Act, 1880. I have not been able to discover why these somewhat unusual provisions were included in that Act. I hope that, in view of what the Chancellor 547 of the Exchequer said on the Committee stage, the words which I am now proposing will commend themselves to him and that the Financial Secretary, on his behalf, will now be able to accept the Clause.
§ 6.44 p.m.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
My hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) has stated with great lucidity what is generally considered to be a very complicated matter. He wishes to allow British liqueurs and British perfumed spirits to be deposited in bond without payment of duty, and to be subsequently withdrawn on payment of duty for home consumption. As my hon. Friend pointed out, the foreigner enjoys bonding facilities which are not open to his British competitor, and it is only reasonable that that differential treatment should be removed. My right hon. Friend told my hon. Friend on the Committee stage that if he could find a better form of words in which to remove the anomaly, he would be prepared to consider them. My right hon. Friend is satisfied with the suggested form of words, and I ask the House to accept the Clause.
§ Clause added to the Bill.