HC Deb 21 February 1924 vol 169 cc2037-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if German goods imported into Great Britain through the Irish Free State are subject to the 26 per cent. Reparations tax; what arrangements are made, if any, to ensure that German goods re-exported from the Free State into Great Britain pay this tax; and if the 26 per cent. Reparations tax is levied upon German goods imported into the Irish Free State?


Under the German Reparation (Recovery) Act, 1921, as modified by the German Reparation (Recovery) Order No. 11 of 1921, the 26 per cent. levy is payable on goods first consigned from Germany to this country, and the fact that such goods are imported into this country from Germany via the Free State does not relieve them from liability. In any case where evasion by means of fictitious re-consignment from that country is suspected, the goods are not delivered without payment of the levy except on production of the full documentary evidence of the bona fides of the case. I understand that the Act is no longer in force in the Trish Free State.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is now in a position to make a definite announcement regarding the future of the German Reparations 26 per cent. levy, which now has to be met by the British taxpayer; and, if not, at what date he hopes to intimate the decision of His Majesty's Government, having regard to the fact that correspondence respecting the deadlock has now been passing between the two Governments for a period of nearly four months, during which time very great inconvenience and damage has accrued to British traders?


I had hoped to be able to make a statement on this subject to-day, but the negotiations are still continuing. I hope however, to be in a position to give my hon. Friend a definite reply early next week.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the injury to. British traders caused by the action of the. German Government in withdrawing their promise to German exporters to repay the 26 per cent. duty agreed to between the Allied and German Governments; whether any action has been taken in the matter: and what is the result?


Negotiations are still in progress with the German Government on this matter. The Government fully realise the importance of arriving at a satisfactory solution as soon as possible.