HC Deb 13 April 1899 vol 69 cc1021-2

I propose to look to both direct and indirect taxation, and I look first to the stamp duties. I pro- pose two new stamp duties. First, I propose to require a stamp duty of 5s. per £100 on the nominal value of all documents representing foreign or colonial bonds, stocks, or shares, which are not at present liable to any duty under the Stamp Act, to be paid on the first occasion when any such document is negotiated here, in order to make it a good delivery in the United Kingdom. Once stamped, it will not require to be stamped again during its lifetime. If withdrawn and another exactly similar is substituted the new document would have to be stamped at a reduced rate of charge. It has long been an admitted anomaly that these documents are not subjected to taxation through the stamp duties, and I do not think anyone could possibly object to an attempt to make them bear their share. An attempt was made by my right honourable Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Goschen) in 1888, but I am informed that it failed then because the duty was a recurrent duty, and gave so much trouble to those who held these securities, that practically the duty could not be levied. The duty which I propose is small in amount, and framed so as to avoid driving those securities—the stay of which in this country is transient.—from the market, and also to avoid any unnecessary trouble on the part of those who hold them. My second proposal is, to impose the ordinary mortgage duty of 2s. 6d. per £100 on loan capital and debenture stock created by any corporation or company under statute. If it were created not under statute, it would have to be secured by a trust deed, and it would then be liable to the 2s. 6d. mortgage duty. I do not see why, merely because it is created in a different way, it should escape the duties to which all other mortgages are liable.