I beg to move,
That the Import Duties (General) (No. 7) Order, 1959 (S. I., 1959, No. 1215), dated 14th July, 1959, a copy of which was laid before this House on 17th July, be approved.
This Order amends some of the rates of import duty which were imposed under the United Kingdom Customs tariff which came into operation on 1st January, 1959. This is the new "Brussels Nomenclature" tariff and it is working very smoothly. But as I warned the House at the time of its introduction, it is necessary to ask the House to make certain amendments in accordance with the transition from one nomenclature to another. All these have been brought to the attention of the trade organisations concerned.
In accordance with the general policy that we have followed in preparing the new tariff, the amended rates are substantially the same as those charged before 1st January under the old tariff. The new tariff has now been in operation for seven months and, inevitably, a changeover of this magnitude gives rise, as we expected it would, to cases where adjustment proves necessary. Three earlier amending Orders have already been approved by the House.
I have to tell the House that there are one or two further cases still under consideration, but the number is declining. It is very likely that the House will be asked to approve some other amendments in due course, but we have to bear in mind that in relation to the task we undertook, and a number of headings in the tariff as a whole—about 3,400— the number of items where amendments have been found necessary remains very small.
This Order may seem rather long, but it requires an affirmative Resolution only because of one of the amendments, that in relation to
glass barrelled hypodermic syringes",
increases the rate of duty while in all the other cases the present charges are reduced. It is obviously for the convenience of the House that these should all be grouped in one Order. They constitute a fascinating tariff hors d'œuvre. They range from frozen or dried shellfish, dental alloys and fillings, whip centres of leather, aluminium milk churns, to electric hair dryers and mother-of-pearl discs, to take a mere selection from this anthology.
I have said that all of these duties, with one exception, are lowered. I therefore ask the House to approve the bringing into effect of these minor amendments, all of which have been agreed with the trade interests concerned and will ease the working of the new tariff.