§ Colonel Beamish
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the further representations made to him regarding the imposition of Pur- 206W chase Tax on wholesale transactions in second-hand gem jewellery; and if he is now in a position to make a further statement on this matter.
I have now received and am considering representations made by the associations representing all sections of the jewellery trade and by the London auctioneers about the decision to collect Purchase Tax on these transactions.
On the evidence at present available to me 1 can see no practicable alternative to withdrawing the second-hand goods concession from gem jewellery in view of the evidence of widespread malpractice disclosed by the investigations of the Customs and Excise.
I recognise, however, that the notice given of this step did not give traders much time to adjust their business to the new conditions. I have accordingly asked the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to defer its operation to 1st May.