CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - DUTY ON TINNED FRUITS.

asked the Minister for Finance whether he is aware that the full duty of three and three-fifth pence per lb. is being charged on tinned fruits, and that the Revenue Commissioners state that they have no instructions as to any concession in the duty on this article, and whether, in view of the pledge which he gave the Dáil, and to prevent the hardship on the trading community caused by the unnecessary locking up of capital, he will issue instructions as to the concession forthwith.

I am aware that duty is being charged at the rate of 3 3/5d. per lb. on imported fruits containing sugar or other sweetening matter. As I announced on the Report Stage of the Finance Resolutions, the precise form which the promised concession in regard to certain classes of preserved fruit was to take had not then been decided. In the Finance Bill which will be introduced at an early date I propose to provide for the admsision at a reduced rate of duty of 1 1/5d. per lb. of all fruit (not liable to duty as fruit) in syrup containing not more than 33 1/3 per cent. of sweetening matter. Instructions will be issued to the Revenue Commissioners to give immediate effect to this provision, and cases in which duty has been paid at the higher rate since 26th April last will be adjusted and any moneys overpaid refunded.