HC Deb 04 June 1934 vol 290 cc590-1

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

3.51 p.m.


I should like to ask a question as regards the method of charging for hydrocarbon oils. I understand that under this Clause, which deals with hydrocarbon oils in the course of manufacture, or of distillation, or something of that sort, where they are normally submitted to a higher temperature than the atmospheric temperature and, therefore, have a greater volume, the intention is to reduce them to the volume which they would have at a normal atmospheric temperature. I want to ask whether this applies also to oils, for instance, in tanks which are heated by the sun and which often rise considerably above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, whether this is intended to make the normal measurement, for the purpose of Customs duty, gallonage at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, whether in future it is intended that all measurements shall be reduced to that common datum level, and whether they are measurements which are smaller because of extreme cold or higher because of heat than they would be if taken at that level. It seems that if this principle is to be introduced of taking a standard temperature for ascertaining the volume which is to be charged, it ought to be applied throughout to all volumes which are measured; they ought all to be reduced to the standard temperature, and it ought not merely to be applied in the case where the heating is in the course of some manufacturing process. The term "artificially heated" would presumably cover heating by sun heat in a tank, when heating would be due to the colour, very largely, of the tank, and that would be artificial. I should like to know whether such a case is intended to be and is covered by this Clause.

3.52 p.m.


The clause only applies to artificially heated oils; for the purpose of ascertaining the Customs duty chargeable, it only applies to artificially heated oils, and not to oils heated by the sun.


The point is this, that the sun may heat oil naturally if the oil is exposed to it, but if the oil was in a dark tank, with a good heat absorption surface, the oil would be heated by the sun, and that would be purely artificial. Is that case covered by this Clause?


The hon. and learned Gentleman's scientific knowledge may be greater than mine. I can only inform him that this form of measurement has been agreed with the trade, and, therefore, no injustice will be done.


I wanted to know what it meant.


The trade are willing, I understand, to face the ordinary atmospheric variations. I think that is a complete and lucid answer to the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.