HC Deb 12 May 1896 vol 40 c1135
SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his attention has been called to the recent judgment in the House of Lords affirming the freedom from Income Tax of foreign traders obtaining large profits from orders received by their agents, travellers, and accessories in this country; and, whether he will take steps to compel these foreign agents to take out a licence to ply their calling, in the same way that British hotel keepers, horse dealers, auctioneers, pawnbrokers and others, have to do, and following the example of many over-sea Governments towards the representatives of British firms arriving to solicit orders?


Yes, Sir, my attention has been called to this matter. The cases in which the position of such agents has been most prominently brought under notice have been those of the agents of foreign wine merchants. They are required to take out licences. Whether that system should be extended to agents for other kinds of business is a matter on which I am not at present prepared to express an opinion. I should have to consider carefully the possible effects of such a proposal upon the position of British subjects in foreign countries.