HC Deb 20 October 1947 vol 441 cc267-8W
Mr. Pitman

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will assure the House that His Majesty's Government still adhere to the general principle that it is desirable that no tax barriers should be raised at frontiers tending to restrict the free movement of ideas and information in the form of book, magazine, newspaper, gramophone record, play or film.

Mr. Harold Wilson

I have been asked to reply. Certainly, His Majesty's Government adhere to the general principle that frontiers should not obstruct the movement of information and ideas. There must, however, be limits to the practical application of that principle imposed by recognition of economic facts. Books, periodicals and newspapers pay no duties of Customs in this country, but gramophone records and films have borne such duties for many years past. Moreover, as is well known, the Customs duty on films has had to be raised very steeply with effect from 7th August last.