HC Deb 13 June 1879 vol 246 cc1882-6


Clause 25 (Police proceedings for penalties in relation to dogs).


observed, that certain words at the end of the clause included the Small Penalties Act of 1865, although in that Act it was declared that its provisions should not apply to any penalties imposed by any Act relating to the Inland Revenue. Therefore, they were incorporating an Act which did not apply. Had they not better leave those words out, especially, as to make the complications more complete, they were about to pass a measure (The Summary Jurisdiction Bill) which repealed the Small Penalties Act?


said, by the Act of 1878, dogs kept by farmers and shepherds for tending sheep and cattle were exempted from the tax; but that exemption did not apply to dogs kept for the same purpose by graziers, dairymen, and butchers. He would ask whether the same rule ought not to apply? He agreed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the unwisdom of extending exemptions; but in this case the exemption was of dogs kept for leading sheep and cattle, not of dogs kept by farmers and shepherds.


replied, that this ease very fairly illustrated the mischief arising from exemptions. He could only say that this matter was fully discussed, and the words in the Act represented the decision of the House; while, if they were to go on making and extending exemptions, he did not know where they would stop. No doubt, there were many persons who kept dogs simply for their usefulness; but it had been thought wise to make the exemption stop where it did.


pointed out that the police prosecuted in cases where licences had not been taken out, acting under the direction of the Inland Revenue Office; but if they failed to secure a conviction, then the cost fell upon the Police Fund. He thought this was unfair, and ought to be altered.


said, but for this system there would be no check on prosecutions. It worked very well, for he had had many cases before him, and the police never failed to secure a conviction.


, in answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Chester (Mr. Dodson) explained that these words were put in to settle a doubt as to the present law. It was doubtful whether the prosecutions should be under the Police Act or Jarvis's Act, and these words were inserted for the purpose of clearing up the matter.


remarked, that the clause gave the Justices power to act under the Small Penalties Act, although in the 7th clause of the Act it was enacted that it should not apply to any Revenue case. Therefore, in order to make the matter clear, and to avoid ambiguity, they ought to add the words "notwithstanding anything contained in the seventh clause of the Act."

Clause agreed to.

SIR HENRY SELWIN-IBBETSON moved, in page 10, after Clause 24, to insert the following Clause:— (Parishes formed for Poor Law purposes may be made parishes for the purposes of certain taxes.) Where in England under the authority of Parliament any part of a parish or place has been formed into a new parish or place for the purposes of Poor Law administration, or any parish or place, or part of a parish or place, has been amalgamated with or included within the boundaries of another parish or place for the said purposes, the Commissioners of Inland Revenue may, if in their discretion they think fit, by order in writing, direct that such new parish or place, or such parish or place with which, or within the boundaries of which any parish or place, or part of a parish or place has been amalgamated or included, shall be a parish fir place for which a separate assessment of the Inhabited House Duties and of the Duties of Income Tax shall be made, and for which assessors and collectors may be appointed for the purpose of assessing and collecting the said Duties. In ease any parish or place or part of a parish or place in the jurisdiction of one body of Commissioners of Income Tax is amalgamated with or included within the boundaries of a parish or place in the jurisdiction of another body of Commissioners of Income Tax, such order shall have the effect of transferring the jurisdiction to such last-mentioned body. The hon. Gentleman said, the object of the clause was to enable the Inland Revenue, as far as possible, to make the areas of Imperial and local taxation coextensive. Some time ago the Local Government Board acquired statutory powers to adjust boundaries, and it was desirable that the Inland Revenue Department should have power to make similar charges. A case in point had recently occurred in the neighbourhood of Hull, where some common land belonging to various parties had been built on and made into a populous district. The Local Government Board had made that into a separate parish; and, of course, it was necessary that the Inland Revenue Board should have power to make their areas correspond.

Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.

MR. J. G. HUBBARD moved, in page 10, after Clause 24, to insert the following Clause:— (Particulars of demand note.) The collectors of House Duty and Income Tax under Schedules (A) and (13) shall in the demand note delivered previous to payment, and in the receipt given subsequently to payment of the Duty or Tax, distinctly describe the property and specify the amount of the assessment and the rate at which the Duty or Tax is charged upon such assessment. The right hon. Gentleman said, that the proposal was so obviously just and fair, that he did not suppose his proposition would be resisted. On the demand note for taxes was merely at present given the name and amount, and the receipt provided none of the explanations he suggested. It was said that this information was not required in the receipt, and it was sufficient if it were given in the demand note; but he entirely dissented from, that view, and thought it was far more essential to he given there, for, otherwise, there was no means of ascertaining, unless the demand note were also filed, what was the amount of that assessment or the rate of charge. This was opposed to anything like regularity, and he had known a landlord pay on these receipt notes for several years in excess of what was right, because he had no means of ascertaining the correctness of the amount or of the figures given. The Chancellor of the Exchequer would do great good if he would remove one of the most foolish inconsistences in the Act, especially as the alteration would involve, practically, neither difficulty nor expense.


feared that his right hon. Friend a little underrated the expense which this alteration would cause, for he was told that it would put the Office to a great deal of trouble and some considerable expense. At the same time, he was prepared to admit that it was quite reasonable that the demand note should contain these statements. He did not quite see the necessity for setting out the demand in the same way in the receipt note. When goods wore bought at a shop the items were set out in the account; but they were not repeated in the receipt. Therefore, he would be willing to accept the clause, with the exception of the words extending its operation to a receipt note.


pointed out, that his right hon. Friend had forgotten the great point he made, that the landlord only got the receipt-note. he hoped, for the sake of saving a few pence, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not refuse to accept the full clause. He must object to taking such a boon as offered. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not give him full justice, he would prefer to let the law remain.


remarked, that the illustration of the Chancellor of the Exchequer did not affect this question; because in the case of the tradesman, when the receipt was given the matter was at an end and clone with, while here the receipt was wanted for a third party, the landlord, who was required to make a deduction without any proof of the correctness of the figures. The proposal was so reasonable, that he hoped his right hon. Friend would divide.


said, he demand note would be in the possession of the tenant, and he could show both to the landlord.


replied, that even then there would be no means of identifying the two, unless the receipt bore the same number as the demand note.


suggested that the details would be the same.

Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.

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