HC Deb 13 July 1954 vol 530 cc260-1
12. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why day trippers returning from France are not permitted any allowance of duty-free goods.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The circumstances in which day trips are made are not comparable with those in which concessions are granted to foreign tourists and our own nationals returning from travel abroad.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is not this a mean and paltry discrimination against people who cannot afford longer holidays? Does it also apply to air passengers who spend a few hours in Paris or Brussels and come back the same day? Will not the Chancellor have another look at this matter and take steps to see that all people are treated alike?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir; I am not prepared to go back on the present practice. The position would be that, if we had day trips for £3, which is a typical day trip passage, it would be possible to bring in a small amount of concession cigarettes, half a bottle of spirits, perhaps half a pint of perfume and a bottle of sherry or other heavy wine, all at considerable concessions made by the Customs, which would mean that the trip would he very much worth while. Therefore, I think we had better stick to the present regulations, whereby travellers who do not go on day trips are given very considerable concessions by the Customs.

Mr. Shinwell

Does that answer mean that if we can afford to take an extended holiday abroad we obtain privileges, whereas if we cannot afford to do so we do not? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Is that what is meant by Tory policy, one law for the rich and another for the poor?

Mr. Butler

This is not Tory policy. It is inherited policy, based on common sense.