Overseas Soldiers' Gifts (Personal Case)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th July 1952.

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Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 17th July 1952

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Mrs. A. E. Lewin, 103, Quinton Road, Coventry, had to pay £2 3s. 4d. on a musical box sent as an anniversary present by her husband, now serving with the Royal Artillery in Korea; and what was the reason for his high charge being made.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

The musical box was liable to import duty and, in addition, to Purchase Tax. The combined charge calculated at the legal rates on the value declared by the sender, was £1 10s. The payment of £2 3s. 4d. by Mrs. Lewin included duty and tax on some additional items in her parcel.

As the hon. Member is aware, there is a special concession which enables Service men to send home presents other than tobacco, scent or liquor free of Customs charges provided their total value does not exceed 10s. The value of this parcel was £2 7s.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

I am well aware of all that, but does the Financial Secretary not feel—because I know that the Government, of whatever party, are sympathetic—that something could be done about the parcels sent home by these Service men; and would the Chancellor either consider revising the list or set up a committee to look into this matter?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

This is an important matter, and I can assure the hon. Lady that it is kept under review.