HC Deb 06 June 1951 vol 488 cc1058-60

5.45 p.m.

The Attorney-General (Sir Frank Soskice)

I beg to move, in page 6, line 38, at the end, to add: (4) Drawback allowed before the commencement of this Act shall not be deemed to have been wrongly allowed if it would have been allowable by virtue of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section had the foregoing provisions of this section then been in force. Hon. Members will have noticed that the new Clause 8 has two purposes. My Amendment relates to the former of those purposes. Under the Second Schedule of the Import Duties Act, 1932, drawback orders can be made by the Treasury in respect of classes of goods. It was a requirement that the classes of goods exported should be exported in exactly the same state as that in which they were imported, and it had been thought for a long time past that a machine which was incorporated in a larger article of machin- ery could be said still to remain in the same state and that a drawback order could be made in regard to it.

Doubts have been raised recently whether a drawback order could be made in respect of a particular piece of machinery incorporated in a larger unit, and subsection (1, a) now makes it possible to have a drawback order in respect of articles of machinery in those circumstances. In other words, provided that the other requirements in the Second Schedule of the Import Duties Act, 1932, are complied with, a drawback order can be made in respect of parts of machines which are incorporated in larger units.

The Amendment retrospectively validates any drawback relief which has been given in respect of parts of machines incorporated in larger units in the past under the terms of drawback orders thought to have been lawfully made under the Second Schedule to the 1932 Act. If the Committee agree with the Clause as a whole or that part of the Clause, I hope that they will agree that it is reasonable retrospectively to validate drawback orders which have been made upon this doubtful view of the law. That is the sole purpose of the Amendment.

Mr. Oliver Lyttelton (Aldershot)

We welcome the Amendment. I believe that the point which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has in mind is the drawback on things like fraction horsepower motors which are now increasingly incorporated in large machine tools. I believe that something of this kind will be helpful.

Mr. Pickthorn (Carlton)

I have only one short question to put. I have followed the Attorney-General as closely as I could, but there was one thing which I did not quite follow. Everything he said was with regard to machinery. The word in the Clause is "goods." Might not the effect of the Clause therefore be to apply to something which he did not mean, or, if not, why should not the Clause say "machinery" if it is meant to apply to nothing but machinery?

The Attorney-General

It is because the Clause, or this part of the Clause, can only apply to something which can be incorporated in a larger unit and, ordinarily speaking, the only things that one can incorporate, without changing their nature, in larger units are parts of machines. That is why, generally speaking, this applies only to machine parts.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill.