HC Deb 10 July 1903 vol 125 cc307-8
MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, seeing that it is usual in England to allow the payment of the ad valorem duty, under Clause 113 of the Stamp Act, 1891, to remain in abeyance until the capital authorised under the Act of Parliament has been raised, and that a similar course in regard to an Irish undertaking was recently refused, and an intimation given that the Commissioners of Inland Revenue had directed proceedings to be instituted for the recovery of the penalties incurred, he will consider how proceedings for the recovery of penalties will affect the investment of capital in enterprises in Ireland and retard the development of its industrial resources, besides increasing the cost of carrying out public works; and whether he will give directions that no proceedings shall be taken in such cases.

(Answered by Mr. Ritchie.) The hon. Member is mistaken in thinking that in England it is the practice of the Board of Inland Revenue to agree that payment of this duty may remain in abeyance till the capital authorised under the Act of Parliament has been raised. The duty is charged by law upon the authority to create, not upon the raising of capital, and is payable within one month from the date of the passing of the Act authorising the creation of capital. There is no difference in the practice of the Board as between English and Irish undertakings. Proceedings for penalties are less numerous in Ireland than in England, as might be expected, owing to the comparatively small number of companies in Ireland which attract the duty. I can give no such general undertaking to forbid proceedings as is suggested; but if the hon. Member has in mind any particular case which appears to him a hard one I will, on hearing from him, look into the circumstances.