§ 8. Mr. Ridley
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to provide that clocks and watches impounded by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise officers are given to underdeveloped countries.
§ Mr. Ridley
But is my right hon. Friend aware that these sales of smuggled watches are doing great harm to the home watch trade, not least because it becomes impossible to distinguish between smuggled watches and those found and resold by Customs? Would not it be a handy little bit of augmentation to our overseas aid if the market at home wore protected and these underdeveloped countries got the benefit of free watches?
§ Mr. Maudling
I do not think that it would present a good image of our aid policy to give things away because they are embarrassing us. I do not think that the embarrassment caused to the trade is very great. I am told that last year actual sales by Customs amounted to only 1 per cent. of the ordinary import trade, so I think that the embarrassment caused can be exaggerated.