HC Deb 14 July 1868 vol 193 c1199

begged to inquire of the Secretary of the Treasury, Whether he has directed his attention to the Return which he had brought under the Notice of the House last night, on the subject of Courts of Appeal in cases of Assessed Taxes?


said, he was exceedingly sorry that he was unable to reply to the hon. Gentleman's statement last night. His attention had been called to the Return for which the hon. Member moved some months back, and which had been laid on the table. That Return showed that throughout the country there were a great number of towns, containing a considerable population, which were situated more than four miles distant from a Court of Appeal for Assessed Taxes. Considering the great amount of apparent inconvenience which that must occasion, it was surprising that the complaints of the taxpayers were not more frequent or more bitter than they were on that account. He could only say that, having made inquiry of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, he was informed it was very rarely that serious complaints were made to them of the inconveniences which must undoubtedly exist, and that practically they found little difficulty, when complaints were made, in getting the Local Commissioners to appoint more convenient places for holding the appeals. Still the subject was, no doubt, one requiring consideration with a view to the provision of a remedy. That was only one instance among many of what the people of this country were willing to bear in order to enjoy the advantage of a tribunal, which was independent of the Government. The Local Commissioners were generally country gentlemen, and were entirely unpaid. He would take care that inquiries should be made into the extent to which those difficulties prevailed, and hoped in the course of the Recess to be able to inform himself whether legislation on the matter was necessary, or whether it was possible by other means to remove great part of the inconvenience to which the hon. Gentleman had referred.