HC Deb 06 June 1967 vol 747 cc831-3
The Chairman

The next Amendment selected is No. 15. It might be convenient to take at the same time:

Amendment No. 16, Schedule 9, page 59,line 42, at end insert: 2. In section 146(3), for the words 'subsection (6) of section one hundred and eight of this Act' there shall be substituted the words 'section 6(3) of the Finance Act 1967'.

Amendment No. 17, Schedule 9, page 60,line 28, at end add: 6. In the proviso to section 253(3), for the words 'this Act as to permits for the' there shall be substituted the words 'section 6(2) and (3) of the Finance Act 1967 in connection with the sending out or other'.

Amendment No. 41, Schedule 16, page 97, line 4, column 3, at end insert: Section 147(1) from 'and where' onwards. Section 147(2).

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

We accept that, Sir Eric.

Mr. MacDermot

I beg to move, Amendment No. 15, in page 9, line 3 to leave out 'sections 108' and insert: 'section 108, section 147(1) from "and where" onwards, and sections 147(2),'. It would be convenient to adopt the course which you suggest, Sir Eric.

The object of these Amendments is to make further minor Amendments to the Customs and Excise Act, 1952, which are consequential on the abolition of spirits permits and the introduction of spirit advice notes under the Clause. We shall be considering the Clause in a moment. Therefore, perhaps all I need say now is that these are little used provisions of the law which, I regret, were overlooked when the Clause was drafted.

Amendments Nos. 15 and 41 repeal provisions in the 1952 Act which are wholly unnecessary in view of the abolition of spirits permits. Amendments Nos. 16 and 17 are purely drafting Amendments which substitute references in the Clause to references in the Act which they replace. I hope that the Committee will be satisfied with that explanation. If hon. Members want a further explanation, I shall be glad to give one.

Amendment agreed to.

Question proposed, That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

The Clause is generally welcomed on this side of the Committee as a further simplification of the law in this sector.

Subsection (5) provides In this Act and the Act of 1952, the expression 'spirits advice note' means a document containing such particulars as the Commissioners may direct. I understand that some apprehensions have been expressed that this gives the Commissioners a very wide discretion in deciding what should be put in the spirits advice note. Since the object of the exercise is to bring about a simplication of the law, and since the spirits advice note is intended to be simpler than the old spirits permit, it would be helpful to the trade and certainly to the Committee if the Financial Secretary could indicate what the Commissioners and Treasury have in mind as to the contents of the spirits advice note.

Mr. MacDermot

I am grateful for the general welcome which the hon. Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin) has given to the Clause, and I think that I can reassure him. It is the intention of the Customs and Excise to operate this in as flexible a way as possible, and it is envisaged that ordinarily the normal commercial invoice, despatch note, or similar document, will suffice, and it will not be necessary to bring into existence a new and special form. We hope to be able to prescribe the requirement in such a way that certainly in the vast majority of cases ordinary commercial documents will suffice.

Question put and agreed to.

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