asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether France, Belgium and Italy collect 26 per cent. reparation duty upon German goods imported into their respective countries; if so, what is the approximate amount so collected during the year 1921; and whether, when German goods are imported from the above -mentioned countries into England, they are exempt from reparation duty?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative and the second part therefore does not arise. As regards the last part of the question, goods of German manufacture imported into this country through France, Belgium or Italy would be exempt from the levy provided they had been the subject of a genuine sale to an independent purchaser in such country who had subsequently re-sold them to an importer in the United Kingdom.
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate the position that when these goods are imported direct into this country the Reparation Duty is levied on them, whereas if they are imported directly through these other countries there is no duty on them? Does he not see the absurdity of it?