HC Deb 06 December 1920 vol 135 cc1747-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, having regard to the provisions of Section 3 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, which provides that imported motor cars which are proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Customs and Excise to be constructed and adapted for use and intended to be used solely as motor omnibuses or motor ambulances, or in connection with the conveyance of goods or burden in the course of trade or husbandry, are exempted from duty under the Act, and also to the fact that the same scale of fees, for the purpose of licence fees and duties and rebate on petrol, is applied to motor omnibuses and taxicabs as vehicles plying for hire, on what ground and authority is import duty charged by the Customs authorities on chassis imported into this country and adapted and intended for use as taxi-cabs; and as the imposition of this import duty is an unfair burden upon taxi-cab owners, the majority of whom are owner drivers, persons of small means, many being discharged sailors and soldiers, will instructions be given to cease its collection?


Motor omnibuses and motor ambulances are specifically exempted on importation from duty by Section 13 (4) of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, but the provisions of this Sub-section do not exempt imported taxicabs from the duty. I have therefore no power to give the instructions desired by the hon. Member.