§ 55. Mr. HARRIS (for Mr. FENBY)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a consignment of dolls from Hamburg to Glasgow consisting of 311 dozen dolls, valued at £8 14s. 11d., was held up for days; that after the importer had filled up numerous forms the duty charged on the silk attached to the dolls amounted to one penny; and whether, in the interests of the trading community, he can see his way to exempt from duty values under a certain amount in order to avoid the cost and delay incurred in the examination and collection of such goods?
This consignment arrived at Glasgow on 5th March. It was not presented to the Customs for examination until 12th March. It was passed by them on the same day. Only one form, the ordinary form of Customs entry, had to be filled up. The Silk Duty, which was chargeable on a portion of the consignment only, happened to amount to one penny. There is no general provision exempting goods from duty on the. ground that the amount is small. But even if there were, the goods would still have to be entered and examined by the Customs as part of the ordinary import procedure.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Would it not be wiser in the interests of British trade to give some discretion to the Customs officials 997 by some rule which would relieve the irritation and friction which is caused to importers?