Reference numberMS/426/460
Alternative reference numberMS/426 p115
TitleCopy letter from [Edward Sabine], Treasurer of the Royal Society; to Customs
Date30 January 1852
DescriptionSends an extract and a Treasury Order to show that the Royal Society have never sanctioned the delivery of more than one presentation copy of a foreign paper duty free. Explains a list of Institutions delivering presentation copies of Literary and Scientific works were given to Customs for guidance, and that as far as boxes of books are concerned, the Treasury have directed for them to be opened and the contents examined. Explains that no law gives authority to the Lords of the Treasury to grant permission to import duty free to several copies and would need the approval of Parliament. States customs officers must be held responsible for the legitimate exercise of their work. Finishes that if the Governments and the Royal Society feel the duties of Customs interfere with the dissemination of knowledge, the Royal Society will petition for the removal of all duties on foreign books.
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