HC Deb 19 July 1949 vol 467 cc1160-1
48. Mr. Keeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether applications from private persons to import wine from France will now be favourably considered.

The Secretary for Overseas Trade (Mr. Bottomley)

Private individuals may be licensed to import two cases of wine as a bona fide unsolicited gift. Commercial imports by private individuals are not, in general, permitted.

Mr. Keeling

As we have just reduced the duty on wine in order to increase the revenue, may I ask why the Govern- ment puts difficulties in the way of the private importer who would like to benefit the Revenue in a big way by importing a cask or a barrique and doing his own bottling?

Mr. Bottomley

We can import certain limited supplies but, for balance of payments reasons, we do not want to extend it too fully because of repercussions in other sections of the industry, and in industry generally.