HC Deb 23 April 1923 vol 163 cc57-8W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that last week the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission at Coblentz, under the charmanship of Lord Kilmarnock, advised a member of the British Chemical Trade Association that if his firm desired to obtain delivery of their goods lying at Cologne they must pay the 10 per cent. Franco-Belgian Reparation Tax, and that since all goods consigned from Germany to the United Kingdom upon importation are liable to a tax of 26 per cent. ad valorem under the German Reparation (Recovery) Act, payable by the German Government, these goods are liable to a total levy of 36 per cent., whereas goods going to Belgium or France only pay 10 per cent.; and what action he proposes to take to remove this handicap to British trade?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

I am not aware of the communication mentioned in the first part of the question. It is, however, correct that goods exported from Cologne, as from other parts of German occupied territory, must, if they are subject to export licence requirement, pay export duty to the Franco-Belgian authorities, such duty at present being in nearly all cases 10 per cent.ad valorem. I am, however, informed that it has been decided to reintroduce as from 1st May the German export tariff as it was in October, 1921. As regards the last part of the question, I may point out that the 26 per cent. Reparation Levy does not act as a tax on German goods imported into this country so long as the German Government carry out their obligation to refund the amount of the levy to the German exporter; and no specific case of the German Government having refused to reimburse the amount has been brought to my notice.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has received a reply from the German Government on the subject of the policy of fixing differential export prices?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

I have been asked to reply. The answer is in the negative, but the matter will not be lost sight of.