asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that many manufacturers of proprietary medicines are evading the patent medicine duty by ceding their proprietary rights, at the same time retaining the protection and good will of their registered trade names; and whether, in view of the loss of revenue caused by this form bf evasion, he will take steps to bring this practice to an end?
The law povides for exemption from Medicine Stamp Duty in favour of known, admitted and approved remedies, when sold under certain conditions by duly qualified chemists and druggists. I am aware that certain manufacturers have taken steps, one of which is a disclaimer of proprietary rights, to bring their preparations within the scope of that exemption; hut, provided this is within the terms of the Statute, I cannot interfere.
Is it not the case that, as a result of this evasion, many other manufacturers who still pay the duty will have to follow the same course of evasion, as they cannot face the unfair competition?
If my hon. Friend will look at the answer, he will see that manufacturers have to comply with certain conditions, as to publicity and so on, and manufacturers who comply with those conditions obtain corresponding privileges.