§ MR. BLAKE
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If it is true, as stated in the newspapers, that large mercantile firms trading for profit under the name of "Civil Service," "Army and Navy," and other Co-operative Stores, are exempt from payment of Income Tax and the use of receipt stamps; and, if so, if he will be good enough to state the reasons for such exemption from contribution to the National Revenue?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The answer to the hon. Member's Question is this—that no co-operative stores are, as such, exempted from the payment of Income Tax. Only one of the institutions referred to—namely, the Civil Service Supply Association, which is registered as an industrial and provident society—is exempt from that tax; the others, the Civil Service Stores, and the Army and Navy Stores, not being so registered, are not exempt from it. None of these institutions are exempt from the receipt-stamp duty. Formerly, industrial and provident institutions were exempt from receipt stamp duty, but that exemption was repealed in 1876, at the instance of the present Government. That is the answer to the hon. Gentleman's Question. The hon. and gallant Member for Westminster (Sir Charles Russell) has given Notice of his intention to move for a Committee to inquire in the constitution and management of these institutions, and I think that great advantage will result from such an Inquiry, as it will remove some of the doubts that exist with regard to the position of these societies.