§ Mr. SMEATON
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to a case in South Wales where the owners of a colliery had a valuation made of the ungotten minerals within their workings; is he aware that this valuation occupied several months and cost the owners £900; and that, on the basis of this valuation, the mineral duty at ½d. in the £ would have realised £125 for the Exchequer, or less than one-seventh of the cost of valuation; and whether, if this ratio between cost of valuation and realised duty is even remotely approximate for the United Kingdom, he will consider the advisability of substituting for the mineral duty a substantial tax on mineral royalties?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
My right hon. Friend has reason to believe that in the case to which my hon. Friend refers the cost of the valuation included not only the cost of valuing the unworked minerals within the workings of the colliery, but also of valuing the plant, works, railways, rolling stock, brick works, house property, etc., belonging to the company. The question, therefore, is based on a misconception, as the cost of valuing the minerals alone would only amount to a relatively small proportion of the cost of the whole valuation.
Mr. PIKE PEASE
When is the Chancellor of the Exchequer likely to make his statement in regard to the proposed taxes on royalties?