Oral Answers to Questions — Medicine Stamp Duty.

– in the House of Commons on 25th February 1930.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Longbottom Mr Arthur Longbottom , Halifax

57.

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that bottles of phosferine are being sold by grocers at 1s. 3d. each, upon which a revenue stamp of 3d. has been affixed, and that similar bottles are being retailed by chemists at 1s. 3d. each without revenue stamp; and, if so, what is the explanation?

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

The prices of medicines are not subject to official control. As regards the Revenue stamp, the law exempts medicines from Medicine Stamp Duty under certain conditions, when they are sold by qualified chemists but not by grocers.

Sir G. HAMILTON:

Can the hon. Member say what the Co-operative Society charges for these things?

Photo of Mr Arthur Longbottom Mr Arthur Longbottom , Halifax

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this is the first of a series of evasions of the Stamp Duty for patent medicines, and, in view of the fact that manufacturers of patent medicines are taking the amount of money hitherto paid in Stamp Duty, will he not consider the advisability of introducing legislation to stop this wholesale profiteering at the expense of the national revenue?

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

This matter arises out of ancient legislation, and if there is proof that any loophole exists I have no doubt the matter will be considered.

Photo of Mr Arthur Longbottom Mr Arthur Longbottom , Halifax

Does not my hon. Friend know that the wholesale price of phosferine is 13s. per dozen, and that the Stamp Duty on this should be 6d. instead of 3d,?

Sir G. HAMILTON:

Can the Parliamentary Secretary answer my question; whether he knows what the Co-operative Society is charging for these things?

Photo of Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence Mr Frederick Pethick-Lawrence , Leicester West

I have no information on that matter.