Orders of the Day — Customs (Import Deposits) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th November 1969.

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Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough 12:00 am, 17th November 1969

It would be a mistake for me to agree with the suggestion of the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Sir A. V. Harvey) that all small firms have been hit by the import deposits scheme. Obviously one cannot make a generalisation like that. I agree that a number of small firms have been hit, depending on whether their imports are essential or not. I support the plea which he made by implication and the plea made by the hon. Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) for the Schedule to the Act to be examined again so that many of the borderline cases—and I wish later to mention one with a constituency angle—between essential and not quite essential raw materials may be considered and adjustments made before the Bill goes on the Statute Book.

I was very interested in the rather peculiar speech of the hon. Member for Worthing. I have often chided him by saying that his speeches run to a common pattern. He lambasts the Government politically in the first part of his speech and then quickly goes on to make some constructive observations to which I always listen with great attention. But on this occasion he was politically critical throughout his speech. That rather destroyed the impact which he wished to make on the House.