HC Deb 28 June 1944 vol 401 cc720-1
52. Major York

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now lift the restrictions on the number of parcels which British soldiers may send from the C.M.F. and M.E.F. in order to conform to the practice of the United States Army.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Assheton)

I have been asked to reply. I assume that this Question relates to the concession introduced last year, under which members of the Forces serving overseas are allowed to send home free of Customs duty not more than four parcels a year. While my right hon. Friend cannot see his way to increase this number, he has recently authorised the raising of the maximum value for each duty-free parcel from 30s. to 40s.

Major York

Would my right hon. Friend say how the Government justify the differentiation between the practice of our own Forces and that in the American Forces in this respect?

Mr. Assheton

I am afraid there are many differences between our own Forces and the American Forces. We are not such a rich country as the United States.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the amount of duty derived from taxing these parcels from the Forces substantial; and if it is not could not the Government consider doing away with it altogether as it is an irritation to both members of the Forces and their dependants at home?

Mr. Assheton

I could not possibly consider that.

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