HC Deb 27 June 1961 vol 643 cc182-3
12. Mr. R. Carr

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the importance of encouraging tourists to conic into this country, he will now abolish the carnet/triptyque forms of documentation for private motor cars temporarily imported into the United Kingdom.

Mr. Barber

The possibility of simplifying the current requirements is being considered.

Mr. Carr

Is my hon. Friend aware that we are now the only country in Europe that insists on this documentary paraphernalia, and does he not think that this must inhibit our tourist trade?

Mr. Barber

I know the interest that has been taken in this matter by my hon. Friends the Members for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr) and Shipley (Mr. Hirst). I hope very much that we shall be able to announce a decision in the very near future, but I would add that this is a much more difficult matter than appears at first sight—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—because it involves serious risks of Revenue evasion and, consequently, has to be very carefully considered. I would only add that it is quite wrong to assume that the considerations that have caused most other European countries to abandon this system are relevant to our own position.

Mr. Hirst

Is my hon. Friend aware that this investigation has been going on for months and months, and that this lack of decision is making our country a laughing stock throughout Europe? Does he not think that, in the interests of the development of our tourist trade, the matter demands much more urgent consideration?

Mr. Barber

I regret the delay in reaching a decision. As I say, I hope that we shall be able to announce it in the very near future.