§ MR. ELTON (Somerset, Wellington)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his announcement that a heavy fine was to be imposed, in addition to the original Stamp Duty, on all deeds which had not been stamped immediately on their execution, if ever such deeds were adduced in evidence in a Court of Law, Whether he will introduce some provision in favour of deeds executed long before his proposed change in the law was made known, inasmuch as it has been the general practice of solicitors, in the case of informal written undertakings and many instruments regulating family property, to advise that it was not necessary to have such documents stamped unless and until some disagreement arose, and it became necessary to produce them in a Court of Law?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The Question of the hon. Member seems to show the urgent necessity for the change I propose, and the loss to the Revenue from the absence of any certain penalty for failing to stamp instruments which the law expects to be stamped. But I can re-assure my hon. Friend as to the past. The 16th section of the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill, which deals with this question, applies only to instruments executed after the passing of the Act.