§ MR. G. C. T. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his attention has been drawn to the prosecution last week of Mr. Bandy, by the Inland Revenue, before the Highgate Bench of magistrates, for driving a vehicle without a licence on the 16th May; whether he is aware that it came out in the trial that Mr. Bandy had only on that very day purchased the vehicle and was driving it home for the first time, and that this fact was known to the Inland Revenue and its officer from the 16th May to the 6th July, and yet the prosecution was persisted in and the fact not stated by the Inland Revenue officials at the Court; whether he is aware that the Bench dismissed the summons with the rebuke that the case should never have been brought into Court; and, whether he will inquire into the matter, and take steps to prevent such annoyance and expense to persons from the Inland Revenue officers in future?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
Mr. Bandy was observed driving the vehicle on 16th April. Notice was sent to him as to the necessity of taking out a licence, but no licence was taken out till May 18th, after the time allowed by law had expired. The officer who reported the case mentioned the explanation given by Mr. Bandy—that he had only purchased the vehicle on the day in question. This explanation, however, was unfortunately overlooked at the Head 675 Office, and a prosecution was ordered. The Board of Inland Revenue much regret that such an oversight should have occurred, and I do not think any action of mine is necessary to prevent its recurrence.