HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 c1000
43. Lient-Colonel Hyde

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the nature and value of goods seized by Customs officers in Northern Ireland for the non payment of duty during the past three years; and what proportion of these goods came from the Irish Republic.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Approximately 9,000 such seizures were made during this-period, consisting mainly of cigarettes, pipe tobacco, nylon stockings, motor vehicles or sugar, and practically all were in respect of goods coming from the Irish Republic. Their value cannot be stated without detailed analysis of Customs records, and I hardly feel that this would be justified.

Lieut-Colonel Hyde

In view of these figures, is my right hon. Friend satisfied that he has a sufficient body of Customs officials to control the 250 miles of border, because there is reason to believe that considerable quantities of smuggled goods, are still getting across the frontier, with consequent loss to the Exchequer?

Mr. Butler

I am aware of the nature of this problem, and I am satisfied that we have sufficient Customs and Excise staff.