§ MR. BOWERMAN (Deptford)
I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Income-Tax Commissioners in Liverpool have reported that an examination of the books of some of the firms comprised in what is known as the American Beef Trust disclosed no profits, the cattle and beef being invoiced to the branches of those firms in Great Britain at prices leaving no margin of profit liable to income-tax; whether any of the firms belonging to the Trust pay income-tax upon the trade done in this country; and, if not, whether any steps will be taken to prevent a continuance of such evasion of taxation.
§ MR. HOBHOUSE
My right hon. friend has caused careful inquiry to be made into the matter referred to by the hon. Member, but is unable to obtain any confirmation of the suggestion made in the question. The Commissioners of Taxes at Liverpool bring into charge all American companies and firms trading there, and the liability to income-tax of these traders is ascertained as far as possible on the exact profits, i.e., the difference between the proved cost price in America and the sale price in this country, less cost of freight and distribution expenses.