chapter  IX
Pages 11

THE Customs and Excise Department has its roots buried under many centuries of continuous existence, and some of its present methods are little changed, and still work efficiently. In the thirteenth century wool was examined at inland centres, a cocket or lead seal applied to the package, and again examined externally by a Customs official at the export ship to ensure that the wool had not been tampered with in transit. This procedure has hardly changed at all since that time. On the Excise side, the system of control by means of the entry of premises and plant remains little changed from the seventeenth century, when excise duties were first introduced, and the method of entry was so violently opposed as an encroachment on the liberty of the subject. Even the relics of the days of the Julian calendar persist in the Quarter days for taking out tobacco and certain other excise licences.