§ 75. Major NALL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that spirit merchants, whose business declined in 1915–16 owing to their absence on military service, are at a disadvantage compared with those who carried on at home if their present clearances from bond are only allowed on the basis of their 1916 clearances; and whether lie will arrange for those who have now resumed business to be allowed clearances on their pre-war basis?
I am aware that in some cases the trade of a spirit merchant in the standard year 1916 may have declined from the average of previous years owing to the cause stated in the question, but I understand it is the practice of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, where any such case is brought to their notice and evidence produced to their satisfaction that the decline of trade in 1916 was due to the absence of the principal on military service in that year, to give directions for the issue of a special authority for the clearance of additional supplies.
§ Major NALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in some cases the Commissioners are not doing that?
No, I am not aware of that. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman desires special individual cases to receive inquiry, perhaps he will either himself communicate with the Board of Customs or communicate with me, and I will send them for consideration by them.