HC Deb 27 July 1936 vol 315 cc1253-6

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

11.38 p.m.


On the Second Reading I raised the question of the Tea Duty and asked whether it was being imposed for the same reason as it was imposed in this country, namely, in order to make people realise that we are engaged in spending money on more armaments. I want to ask why the duty is being imposed before the people in the Isle of Man in their Legislature have had an opportunity of discussing it? I realise that they have called a consultative committee and are later to have a joint meeting of the House of Keys and the Tynwald, but it is unsatisfactory that they cannot obtain tea from bond until a resolution has been passed and they are in a difficulty because of the imposition of the duty. Again, what is the reason for the varying dates, some from 13th May, some from 10th June, and others from 7th March? Clause 10 gives the Commissioners power to make regulations for preventing an evasion of the duty. Who are the Commissioners? I hope that in the future some better method will be adopted, and that we shall not impose these duties without the people in the Isle of Man having a voice in what they have to pay.

11.40 p.m.


I acknowledge the forbearance of the hon. Member, and I think it is only proper that I should say a few words in reply to the questions he has asked. In the first place, the hon. Member asked why we impose this Tea Duty on the Isle of Man. The short answer is that the Isle of Man Legislature, the Tynwald, imposes the duty on the Isle of Man. All that this Bill does is to ratify the resolutions of the Tynwald of the Isle of Man, dated 12th May and 9th June. The hon. Member asked why there are various dates for the commencement of these duties, and again the answer is to be found in the procedure of the Isle of Man Legislature. The Isle of Man passes Customs resolutions in its Tynwald which have the same effect as our Budget resolutions, and have subsequently to be confirmed. The reason there are various dates is that these resolutions were, in fact, passed on various dates in the Legislature of the Isle of Man.

The hon. Member then referred to Clause 10, and asked what the term "Commissioners" means. It means, as he himself suggested, the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, and the reason the full title is not set out in the Clause is to be found in the Isle of Man Customs Act, 1932, which contains a definition of the word "Commissioners" and provides that in that Act and every subsequent Act dealing with the Isle of Man customs, when the word "Commissioners" is used it is to be understood as meaning His Majesty's Commissioners of Customs and Revenue.

11.42 p.m.


I assume that the Isle of Man Tynwald receives the proceeds of these Customs. Is there any relationship between the Customs Duties imposed and the expenses to the Isle of Man? Is there any surplus or deficit, and if so, how is it dealt with?

11.43 p.m.


I can speak only by leave of the House. The Isle of Man Exchequer is a separate entity, and the proceeds of these Customs, if the House ratifies them, will go into the Isle of Man Exchequer.


Not all of them, surely?


It would not be proper for me on this occasion to launch out into an exposition of the somewhat technical financial relations obtaining between the two Exchequers. The broad answer to the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) is that these duties are imposed by the Tynwald, and the proceeds of them go into the Exchequer of the Isle of Man.