HC Deb 24 February 1948 vol 447 cc1769-70
65. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why Postal Depot, Customs and Excise, located at 17–19, Colmore Row, Birmingham, declined to release six catalogues sent free of charge by the Lisle Magnetic Corporation, of Clarinda, Iowa, U.S.A., to Messrs. John Godrich, consulting engineers, of Birmingham.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Glenvil Hall)

The package of catalogues was detained by the Customs in the absence of an import licence granted by the Board of Trade. Messrs. John Godrich were informed accordingly on 23rd January, but I understand that no application for a licence has yet been made.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what useful public service is served by demanding the obtaining of an import licence for documents which cost nothing, and which are of benefit to British industry?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

This happens to be the state of the law under the Import of Goods (Control) Order, passed in 1940, and I ask the hon. Gentleman carefully to note the date.

Hon. Members

During the war.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

While I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's care for the past, may I ask him whether it is not possible for him—an example having been brought to his notice—to consider amending legislation, in view of the fact that the present position is obviously absolute nonsense?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

That question should be addressed to the President of the Board of Trade, who, no doubt, will take note of what the hon. Gentleman says.