The collection of excise duties on commodities demands official cognisance before production begins, and sometimes before various stages in production are entered upon. Facilities must be provided for officers to watch manufacturing operations, and to measure and sample not only the final product, but perhaps the materials used, and the product at intermediate stages. It may be necessary also, to supervise the
5 product after duty has been charged, in its passage through the wholesale and retail trade on its way to the consumer. The co-operation of the police, business interests, and the general public is very necessary to prevent any large-scale illicit manufacture. It is therefore very desirable that an excise tax, in whatever country it is imposed, should be widely regarded as a fair impost in relation to the need for revenue, and that it is administered impartially. Finally, if commodities from foreign sources are similar to those subject to excise duties, and have equal access to home markets, they should enter the scheme of excise control on the same footing as the local product.