§ SIR C. DILKE
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether no serious attempt is to be made during the present Parliament to carry a Land Tax Commissioners' Names Bill, such as should constitutionally be passed in the first Session of each Parliament; and whether, by the absence of such an Act, the Land Tax Commissioners, by whom the Income Tax Commissioners are appointed, will gradually be reduced so as to consist of county magistrates only?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
I know of no constitutional necessity for passing a Land Tax Commissioners' Names Bill in the first Session of each Parliament, and, when the preceding Parliament has been a short one, there is not much practical reason for doing so. In this Parliament what has hitherto been regarded as a formal and non-controversial Measure has been treated as controversial. I hope, however, that next Session the Bill may be reintroduced and passed into law. As county magistrates are ex-officio Land Tax Commissioners, the effect of continued omission to appoint new Commissioners would be as stated in the Question. But there is no intention of allowing such a result, and at the present time the number of Land Tax Commissioners is, I understand, adequate.
§ MR. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
Is it not a fact that five years have now passed since the Land Tax Commissioners' Names Act was passed, and is not considerable inconvenience felt in several districts owing to the non-passing of another Act, which there is no intention on this side of the House at any rate of unduly opposing?
§ MR. HANBURY
I can only say that the honourable Member himself is responsible for the withdrawal of the Bill.