§ 48. Mr. GROVES
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware than on the 20th December last the Customs authorities seized a consignment of greaseproof paper imported by Messrs. Hill, Palmer, and Company, Limited, Maple Works, Warton Road, Stratford, on the grounds that it might be imitation greaseproof; that the Customs authorities retained these goods for one month presumably for testing purposes, although such process of test could be executed in three minutes; and whether, as these goods are now on the bands of the firm, he will compensate them for the loss sustained?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I am informed that the goods in question were not seized by the Customs authorities but were merely detained pending a decision as to the rate of duty payable. The delay in reaching the decision, which is regretted, was due to the fact that the paper was not regarded as responding satisfactorily to the simple test usually applied by Customs officers, and it was, accordingly, necessary to obtain expert 2098 opinion on its classification. The importers were, however, offered immediate delivery of the consignment on their depositing a sum to cover the higher rate of duty in case it should prove to be payable, and in these circumstances no question of compensation arises in respect of any loss which they may have sustained.
§ Mr. BURNETT
May I ask my hon. Friend whether the Customs test showed the paper to be any better than the greaseproof paper which is now being manufactured in this country?