asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much home-grown tobacco was cured under Customs supervision in the 1951–52 season; if he will state the cost of equivalent imports; and if, in view of the desirability of saving dollars, he will arrange for an inquiry into the possibilities of easing the conditions under which people can prepare home-grown tobacco for their own consumption.
Tobacco grown at home by amateurs for their own consumption does not have to be cured under Customs supervision, but during the 1951–52 season approximately 40,000 lb. of such tobacco were cured duty-free under concessions granted to curing organisations. The cost of an equivalent weight of imported tobacco (exclusive of duty) is about £8,000.
I do not consider that the inquiry suggested is necessary as since 1948 the home-growing, curing and manufacture of tobacco by amateurs for their own consumption have been allowed to proceed freely.
I have no indication that the present concessions are working either inadequately or unfairly. If my hon. Friend has any other aspect of the matter which he would like to bring to my attention, I should be very happy to consider it.