§ Mr. Jay
Estimates of the receipts of Purchase Tax for the financial year 1949–50, sub-divided according to the statutory classification, are not available, but I give below a table showing the estimated yield of Purchase Tax in the calendar year 1949 under the main headings.
Groups under Eighth Schedule of Finance (No. 2) Act, 1948 Description Estimated Yield in 1949 £million 1 Footwear (Non-Utility) 5.0 1, 2, & 3 Non-Utility Apparel (other than Footwear), Utility Fur Garments and Fully Fashioned Stockings 57.1 4 Haberdashery 7.5 5 Domestic Textile Articles (Non-Utility) 8.6 6, 7 & 8 Tissues and Fabrics (Non-Utility) Plastic Sheeting and Fur-skins (Non-Utility) 20.2 9 Floor coverings 15.1 10 Wallpaper, etc. 2.8 11 Hardware, Non-Utility Furniture, etc. 12.4 12 Electrical and Gas Appliances, etc. 10.1 13 Cutlery 2.0 14 & 15 Lighting Fittings Bulbs, etc. 4.8 17 Clocks and Watches 3.8 18 Wireless Sets and Batteries 8.0 19 Musical Instruments and Gramophone Records 2.6 20 Toys and Sports Goods 9.1 23 Trunks, Bags, etc. 8.7 24 Photographic Goods 2.0 25 Pictures, Prints, Pictorial Greetings Cards, etc. 4.3 26, 27 & 28 Jewellery, Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Ware, etc. 6.4 29 Fancy Goods 3.6 30 & 31 Toilet Requisites and Hairdressing Machinery 7.0 32 Toilet Preparations and Perfumery 17.9 33 Drugs and Medicines 9.4 34 Stationery and Office Requisites 23.7 35 Passenger Road Vehicles, including Cycles 26.9 — Miscellaneous (including groups for which information is not separately available) 3.3 TOTAL £282.3 m.
§ Mr. Hutchinson
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason Purchase Tax upon articles of clothing, such as stockings, sent into this country in postal packets, was not charged before the first week in March, 1950; why no notice was given of the intention to impose this charge; and whether it is intended to maintain it in cases where the recipients ordered these goods before the charge was begun to be imposed.
§ Mr. Jay
Purchase Tax is chargeable upon all new articles of clothing imported by post. It is waived only if the amount involved is negligible. In March, 1950, it was found that postal packets containing one or two pairs of nylon stockings were arriving from Malta or Gibraltar in such numbers that a waiver could no longer be justified and the tax due has since been levied. Practically all of these stockings originally came from the United Kingdom. In view of the nature of the traffic and of the fact that legally these goods if imported without licence are liable to seizure I see no grounds for an act of indulgence such as the hon. and learned Member suggests.