HC Deb 14 June 1888 vol 327 cc91-2
CAPTAIN SELWYN (Cambridge, Wisbeach)

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether it is a fact that a Treasury Minute allows foreigners residing abroad to have their coupons of Foreign and Colonial Loans cashed in London free of income tax; whether the Board of Inland Revenue refuse the same privilege to British subjects permanently residing abroad, although the moneys are not derived from any source in Great Britain, but exclusively from foreign sources; and, whether, if such is the case, he will consider the advisability of extending to British subjects residing abroad the same privileges as those enjoyed by foreigners?


(who replied) said: Yes, Sir; the privilege spoken of by the hon. and gallant Member is allowed to foreigners residing abroad, and, I conceive, quite fairly. We have no right to tax foreigners as such, or to impose a duty on Foreign and Colonial Bonds as such where they are not held in this country. The accident that the coupons are payable here is not, I think, sufficient reason for taxing the foreigner who holds them abroad. But with British subjects the case is different, and I see no reason for extending this privilege to them. It by no means follows that because a British subject resides permanently abroad he ceases to have any concern in or to derive any advantage from the various objects for which taxation is imposed in this country. He profits by our Diplomatic and Consular services; and it is not exclusively those who live in this country who derive advantage from our expenditure on the Army and Navy, which again means taxation. I do not, therefore, think that the British subject resident abroad has a good claim to exemption from the small amount of Imperial taxation which he pays in this form.