HC Deb 21 February 1961 vol 635 c295
26. Mr. Woodnutt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that substantial private companies and partnerships do not qualify for relief in respect of financial loss through flooding; and whether he will introduce amending legislation to authorise Customs and Excise to refund duty in respect of stocks of tobacco and cigarettes damaged by flooding.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I am aware of the fact to which my hon. Friend refers, but I am afraid that the answer to the second part of his Question is. "No. Sir."

Mr. Woodnutt

Is not my right hon. and learned Friend aware that it is not just a question of the loss of three or four packets of cigarettes, but one of thousands of pounds' worth of stock lost through flooding? Is he further aware that these people have already paid the Customs and Excise duty on it, and does he not think it is most unreasonable that they cannot get it back? Cannot he devise some means by which he could help them, and, if the answer is "No", cannot he ask his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government to help them to the extent of the amount of the duty they have paid?

Mr. Lloyd

My hon. Friend will be aware that this is a question of outlays by substantial private companies and partnerships, and if a substantial company or partnership chooses to take a calculated commercial risk by not insuring, I do not think I can help them, but I will draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to the latter part of my hon. Friend's question.