asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a parcel containing chemicals for research work was despatched from Berlin on 17th December addressed to Mr. Garfield Thomas, University of Manchester, which arrived at Grimsby on 24th December; that he was informed by the Customs three weeks later that the goods had arrived and that the duty on, the same would be 28 per cent. ad valorem, duty and another 33⅓ on, which was immediately paid; and whether, in view of the fact that these goods were on 9th February still retained by the Customs despite the duty having been paid, he will have inquiries made as to the reason they have not been released?
I can only speak for delay in so far as it is caused, or alleged to have been caused, by the Customs. I have investigated many cases of this sort, but in many cases I have found that the delay is not attributable to the Customs. In some few cases, such as this, there has, no doubt, been delay; but I am strongly of the impression, from the cases I have investigated, that the allegation that there is general delay for which the Customs are responsible is not substantiated by the facts.