HC Deb 15 June 1865 vol 180 cc304-8

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clauses 1 to 6 agreed to.

Clause 7 (Stamp Duties on Charter-parties reduced).


said, he had some Amendments to propose in this clause, with a view to the convenience of persons who made use of charter-parties. There was a certain class of these documents which were sent from abroad as mere tenders signed by the party making the tender, and which became charter-parties when they were duly signed in this country. He wished in the case of these charter-parties to give a power, not generally conferred, of stamping the written document on the payment of only 6d. It would be better to negative the clause and bring up another.

Clause struck out.

Clauses 8 to 15 agreed to.

Clause 16 (Receipts given for Sums deposited on Allotments of Shares, or for Calls on Scrip or Shares, not to be exempted from Stamp Duty).


said, this clause made receipts given for sums deposited on allotments of shares liable to stamp duty. Was it not desirable that the letters of allotment themselves should also be subject to the duty?


said, the proposition of the hon. Gentleman was a new one, and might, perhaps, at some period be taken into consideration, but at present he felt precluded from requiring that letters of allotment should be subject to the duty.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 17 to 21 agreed to.

Clause 22 (Appeals against Adjudications on Stamp.—Duties in Scotch Cases to be heard in Scotland).


said, this clause directed that appeals against adjudications on stamp duties in Scotch cases should he determined by the Court of Exchequer in Scotland. He wished to know why appeals in Irish cases were not to be determined in Ireland.


said, he was under the impression that under the provisions of the Bill Irish cases would be determined in Ireland, but in the event of that not being the case, he would take care to introduce an Amendment to rectify the omission.

Clause agreed to; as were also Clauses 23 and 24.

Clause 25 (Amending the Law respecting Appeals under Excise Acts on Complaints before Commissioners and Justices).


said, he wished to inquire to whom the appeal lay from the decisions of the Commissioners of the Inland Revenue and of the justices. He called attention to the large expenses attending appeals from the decisions of the magistrates in petty sessions on application for licences, and expressed some dissatisfaction at not having heard from the Chancellor of the Exchequer some intimation of the intention of the Government to bring in a Bill on the subject. Some drinking licences were granted as a matter of course by the Excise, while others were granted, or refused, by the magistrates; and the whole subject was in a most unsatisfactory state. He had hoped that the Chancellor would have introduced a clause which would have prevented the litigation and expenses likely to arise under this clause.


said, the appeal in the decisions referred to by the right hon. Baronet lay to the superior courts as in ordinary cases. The other remarks of the right hon. Baronet were rather wide of the objects of the clause, which related only to appeals with regard to decisions as to inland revenue questions. The question of licensing was a large, interesting, and difficult one. He hoped the Legislature would shortly approach its consideration, but he doubted whether the preparation of a measure to meet the difficulties was part of the proper duties of a Finance Minister.


said, he thought that, as a large amount of revenue was raised under the licensing system, it was one that came within the functions of the Finance Committee.

On the Motion of The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER, the following new clause was substituted for Clause 7:— In lieu of the stamp duty of 5s. now chargeable by law on any Charter-party, or any document chargeable with Stamp Duty as a Charter-party, there shall be charged and paid thereon the stamp duty of 6d., and it shall not be lawful under any pretence whatever for the Commissioners of Inland Revenue to stamp, after the same shall have been signed, any Charter-party, or any such Document as aforesaid, which, after the expiration of one calendar month from the passing of this Act, shall be made on or by means of any printed form, or on a form which shall be partly printed; and if any person after the period aforesaid shall make or sign any Charter-party, or other such Document as aforesaid, which shall be printed or partly printed, and shall not be duly stamped for denoting the duty hereby charged thereon before the same shall be signed, he shall forfeit the sum of £50; Provided always that if any Charter-party or other such Document as aforesaid, which shall be wholly in writing shall be brought to be stamped within the respec- tive times hereinafter mentioned, after the same shall bear date and shall have been first signed, the Commissioners shall stamp the same on the following terms—(that is to say) if within fourteen days, on payment of the Duty and 4s. 6d, and if after that time and within one calendar month after such date and first signing, then on payment of the Duty and the sum of £10; but after the expiration of the last-mentioned period it shall not be lawful to stamp such Charter-party or other Document as aforesaid on any pretence whatever: provided always that if any Charter-party, whether printed or written, shall be first signed by any party thereto out of the United Kingdom, such Charter-party being unstamped, it shall be lawful for any party thereto within ten days after it shall have been received in this kingdom, and before the same shall have been signed by any person here, to affix thereto an adhesive stamp denoting the Duty chargeable thereon, and to cancel such stamp by writing across the same his name and the date when he shall so affix such stamp, and thereupon such Charter-party shall be deemed to be duly stamped.



said, he wished to point out the growing necessity for a Bill to consolidate the whole of the laws relating to the Exchequer, in consequence of the yearly alterations in the Stamp Acts. Under present circumstances it was scarcely possible to find out the actual state of the law upon the subject without wading through innumerable clauses in various Acts; and, therefore, he trusted the Chancellor of the Exchequer would take into consideration the propriety of introducing such a Bill on the assembling of the new Parliament. One of the anomalies requiring removal was this. A stamp duty of 30s. was required for a power of attorney to sign a document on which the stamp duty was 6d.


said, he felt the force of what had been said, and thought it would be very desirable that they should have a consolidation of the Stamp Acts.


said, he wished to direct the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attention to the fact that ships might be sold, assigned, or mortgaged without making any return to the revenue by means of stamps, and the law even provided an admirable and cheap machinery for doing so. It was for the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether the stamp duty, payable on the mortgage of land, should not be extended to the transfer of ships.


said, he had to complain that in Ireland, in transactions with regard to land, persons had to pay double stamp duty as compared with the duty in England. In England they had to pay only a 10s. duty; in Ireland they had to pay an ad valorem duty besides. That double duty seriously interfered with the transfer of land in Ireland. It was a matter of great importance that the transfer of land in Ireland should not continue to be of the exhorbitant character it had been ever since the year 1858.


said, that with regard to settlements a gentleman had written to him stating that, in addition to the 5s. duty on every £100 ad valorem, he had also to pay £1 15s. for the deed.


said, if anybody wished to have the decision of the Commissioners with regard to the proper stamp to be put on the deed he could go to them, and if he was not satisfied with their decision he could go the Court of Exchequer.


said, if his hon. Friends furnished him with the particulars of the several cases he would see what could be done.

Preamble agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered on Monday next.