HC Deb 04 July 1944 vol 401 cc992-3
30. Major York

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will reconsider the maximum value for duty-free parcels which may be sent home by British soldiers from the C.M.F. and the M.E.F., in order to put them on the same basis as the United States troops serving in those areas.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Anderson)

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given to him on 28th June by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to which I have nothing to add.

Major York

Would the Chancellor say whether any consultation has taken place with the United States Army authorities to see whether uniformity in the matter of postal services could not be made within a Command?

Sir J. Anderson

It is not, primarily, a question of postal services, but a question of liability to pay Customs duties.

Major York

Is it not the number of parcels, and the amount that can go into the parcels that are in question?

Sir J. Anderson

It has not been considered primarily from that point of view.

Mr. Quintin Hogg

Is it not a fact that the present concession was made at a time when the communications between here and the Mediterranean were very much more extended than they are now?

Sir J. Anderson

No, Sir, I do not think so. A further concession was made the other day. It is a question of duty-free parcels.

Mr. Bellenger

Would the Chancellor pursue this matter further, because the amount of revenue that is derived by taxing these parcels from troops overseas, who are not in a position to purchase large quantities, cannot be substantial, and if he can make this improvement, it would be very welcome among the troops serving overseas?

Sir J. Anderson

I think that is perhaps open to question. There would be great inequalities between troops in areas where facilities were available, and those in areas where facilities were not available.