asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to circulars sent to Members of Parliament and others offering a certain 20 per cent. profit on capital every 66 days subscribed for the purpose of sending consignments of intoxicating liquor into the United States of Amerces; and whether, in the interests of amicable relations between Great Britain and the United States Government, this objectionable practice can be prevented?
§ Mr. RONALD McNEILL
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, I would refer the hon. Member to the statements which I made in this House in answer to questions on the 11th of April and the 1st of August last. As 283W matters stand, His Majesty's Government have no power, without special legislation, to intervene in cases of this kind. The question as to the form which such special legislation should take, has received careful consideration by the competent authorities, but it was found that there are great difficulties in the way of framing suitable legislation without imposing restrictions which would seriously hamper legitimate trade. As the hon. Member is aware, we have every hope that a Treaty will shortly be signed with the United States Government which should materially strengthen their powers to stop the smuggling of liquor into United States territory by sea.