§ MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, with regard to the announcement made last evening by the First Lord of the Treasury in relation to the proposed Van and Wheel Tax, Whether, considering the great loss and inconvenience already suffered by those upon whom the tax would have fallen, he could not now state definitely that the proposal was not merely postponed until next Session, but absolutely withdrawn without any intention on the part of the Government to re-introduce a similar measure?
§ MR. HERMON-HODGE (Lancashire, Accrington)
inquired whether the withdrawal of the Bill would involve the abolition of the proposed tax upon race and pleasure horses?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
I think I may inform the hon. Member opposite that, through the great pressure of business which there has been, and through the loss during last week of the day which was intended for the field-day to which the hon. Member had looked forward, it has become perfectly impossible for the Government to hope to carry this Bill—which includes, of course, the tax upon race-horses—through its various stages during the present Session. Under the circumstances, the Bill is withdrawn. With regard to the future, I should look upon the best course to be pursued to be this. Before the Government can deal definitely with a subject of this kind next Session, the County Councils will have been established; and it appears to me that the Government may then take the opinion of the County Councils and local representatives as to what means may be taken to reinforce local taxation by £700,000 which the ratepayers lose by the unfortunate fact that it has not been possible for us to pass the Bill.
§ MR. FIRTH (Dundee)
asked, whether the Government would consider the 526 effect of the abandonment of the Bill upon the London County Council, whose finances would be completely disorganized; and whether they would introduce some measure to relieve the County Council from this embarrassment, as otherwise a fresh tax would have to be imposed in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
The hon. Member must know that it is impossible to proceed with any fresh measures of this kind this Session.