HC Deb 21 January 1941 vol 368 cc30-1
67. Mr. Keeling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what quantities of wine, spirits, cigars and other dutiable imports have been destroyed during the last 12 months because the highest bids for the goods failed to reach the amount of the statutory Customs duty?

Sir K. Wood

I regret that it is not possible, without a disproportionate amount of labour, to differentiate between dutiable goods destroyed for the reason given by my hon. Friend, and those destroyed on other grounds; but I can assure him that the number and quantities of goods destroyed in the last 12 months have been comparatively small and that the necessity for avoiding waste is borne in mind by the authorities concerned. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind and will give me details, I will have inquiry made.

Mr. Keeling

Will my right hon. Friend take action to prevent any destruction whatever?

Mr. Denville

On what other grounds are goods destroyed which are wanted in wartime?

Sir K. Wood

A very small amount of destruction is necessary. If there is any particular case that arises, I shall be glad to look into it.

Mr. Keeling

Does not my right hen. Friend recognise that any destruction of goods in war-time is wasteful?

An Hon. Member

It is criminal.