§ MR. S. LEIGHTON
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he will take into his consideration the propriety of extending to Mechanics' Institutes the exemption from Inhabited House Duty now allowed to merchants in respect of their business premises, and to barristers in respect to their chambers?
Sir, I am afraid that it is not in my power to hold out to the hon. Member any engagement on this subject. It is not possible with regard to exemptions to adopt any lines that shall be absolutely satisfactory upon broad and clear principles, nor do I believe it possible to adopt any line that would be absolutely satisfactory or more acceptable than the present one. As to the chambers of barristers and merchants' offices, they were considered to be in law exactly on the same footing; and I apprehend that all other buildings would be exempted provided they were only used as offices, and not for profit.