HC Deb 23 May 1881 vol 261 cc1113-4

said, that if the Forms of the House had permitted, he intended to have proposed— That no alteration of the Probate, Legacy, or Succession Duties can be satisfactory that does not at the same time provide for the imposition of the same duties upon freeholds as those imposed upon leaseholds. The changes made by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had not been just or equitable, although, now, useful alterations were proposed. Neither the late nor the present Government had taken upon themselves to look into this subject thoroughly, and to consider the enormous amount of freehold that was, at present, exempt from Probate Duty. He brought the subject before the House, not because he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer could be expected to make an alteration in the Budget now, but to impress on the House that the country was not satisfied with the present arrangement. He hoped the duties would be placed on a fair, equal, and just foundation.


pointed out that, although the subjects of the speeches delivered that evening were of very great interest, yet they were entirely incongruous the one with the other, and the only feature they possessed in common was that no practical issue or decision could result from them. He appealed to those other hon. Members who had Notices on the Paper to forego them, and allow the House to go into Committee. It was of very considerable importance that the Government should be allowed to proceed with the practical proposals which were in the Tax Bill of the year. He did not say there was anything unreasonable in discussing any of those matters; but the House would see that the Government were greatly strained and pressed; and, as the time was now at hand when the change in the Probate Duty was appointed to take place, great inconvenience would arise, both in regard to that matter, and also in regard to the Income Tax, if there should be any longer delay in proceeding with the Bill. It would likewise be undesirable to be compelled to postpone the Irish Land Bill in consequence of the necessity of passing this measure. He therefore ventured to express the hope that after the discussion that had arisen the Government might be permitted to have the Motion put, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

Main Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.