asked the. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the complaint of a Manchester firm that in order to obtain delivery of certain German goods in April, 1921, they were compelled to deposit £157 in cash, which the Customs officials improperly demanded, and that, despite communications sent on the 19th July, 3rd August, 19th August, 1st September, 15th September, 7th October, and 17th October, 1921, all of which were duly acknowledged by His Majesty's Board of Customs, they did not succeed in obtaining the refund until the 1st February, 1922; and whether, in view of the hardship involved in withholding this large sum of money for so long a period and in order to avoid further similar occurrences, he is prepared either to increase the staff dealing with such matters or to adopt some simplified system?
If the hon. Member will give me particulars of the case he has in mind, such as the name of the importing firm and the reference number of the correspondence with the Customs, I will have inquiry made. I may point out, however, that, in cases of this nature, the importer had the option of entering into bond instead of making a cash deposit, in order to secure delivery of the goods.