HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 cc1194-5
21. Mr. Mathers

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the large number of pilferages from parcels sent by relatives to British prisoners of War, especially tobacco parcels, before leaving this country, he will authorise the omission of the special Inland Revenue label which declares the contents and thus attracts the attention of persons committing the offences?

The Postmaster-General (Captain Crookshank)

I have no evidence that pilferages from parcels sent by relatives of British prisoners of war occur on any appreciable scale before despatch from this country. Parcels of tobacco, despatched through a holder of a censorship permit, are exported on drawback or out of bond and, in accordance with the normal procedure for parcels containing dutiable articles so exported, the Customs Regulations require the exporter to affix a distinctive label which carries no indication of the contents of the parcel.

Mr. Mathers

Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman read the evidence that I sent him on this subject in support of this Question? If it is possible to waive the use of this very conspicuous label with regard to the Red Cross when sending parcels of this kind, why is it not possible to do the same for the relatives, whose parcels could then pass safely, instead of being pilfered of their tobacco contents?

Captain Crookshank

I received the letter from the hon. Gentleman, but, as I have pointed out in my reply, the reason for the label is due to Customs regulations, Questions about which should be addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.