HC Deb 24 February 1921 vol 138 cc1192-3W

asked the Minister of Transport if the Government have imposed a tax, which is called sea surcharge, of 2s. on every pig, 2s. on each sheep and lamb, 5s. on each horned beast (cattle), and 10s. on each horse leaving Ireland for Great Britain; if so, to what purpose is this tax devoted; and if he will take immediate steps to have these railway and shipping rates revised?


The sea surcharges are as stated by my hon. and gallant Friend, excepting as to lambs, where the charge is 1s. They were not imposed as a Government tax, but represent additional freight charges for the sea portion of the journey which are rendered necessary by the increased cost of working the steamship services. The charges are credited to the steamers. When railway rates were revised in January, 1920, the surcharges imposed during the War were reduced by about 33⅓ per cent., and when the throughout charges were again increased, on the recommendation of the Rates Advisory Committee so recently as September last, the sea surcharge was permitted to remain at the lower level.