HC Deb 07 June 1894 vol 25 cc589-90
MR. W. REDMOND (Clare, E.)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government have received representations from the Australian Governments with reference to the proposal to levy Death Duties on colonial property left by persons who have died in Great Britain; whether the attention of the Government has been directed to the statement of Sir George Dibbs, Premier of New South Wales, that the persistence in this proposal with reference to Death Duties on Colonial property would create an unpleasant feeling between the Colonies and Great Britain; and whether the Government will endeavour to agree to the views of the colonies on this matter?


I am informed that a representation has been made by some of the colonies on this subject. As far as I understand it, this is an objection founded on a misapprehension. We have no intention of imposing any tax what- ever on the colonies. The only question is whether personal property abroad or in the colonies which is held by persons domiciled here, and which is now subject to Legacy and Succession Duty, shall be subject to the Estate Duty which it is proposed to levy on such property when held in England. I need hardly say that any representation on this subject by the colonies will be most carefully and re-pectfully considered by Her Majesty's Government.


Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer draw no distinction between property held in the colonies and in other places abroad?


The great difficulty in this matter is that if a distinction is made between the United Kingdom and places abroad the duty therefrom becomes really a preferential duty—a preference to those who do not pay and a disadvantage to those who do. I can only repeat that any representation that may be made to the Government by the representatives of the colonies will be most carefully and respectfully considered.