HC Deb 01 October 1909 vol 11 cc1629-33

Where profits are derived from mines or other property of a wasting character, it shall be lawful in estimating the profits and gains for assessment to Income Tax (under whatever Schedule the same may be assessed) to deduct such a sum as fairly represents the loss or destruction of capital during the year of assessment incidental to the wasting character of such property.

This matter is so important that I would ask the Chancellor to consider whether he cannot accept this. In the case of leasehold property and during the time of the lease the property is a wasting one, and something should be allowed by way of deduction before estimating profits and gains for assessment to Income Tax.


I confess that this is a case with which I hold a considerable amount of sympathy, but many Chancellors of the Exchequer would shudder at the idea, because the moment you attempt it the whole fabric of your Income Tax goes. This year I shrink from this alteration, and I could not possibly contemplate it, although I do not deny the risk of the grievance that someone sooner or later has got to deal with. I could not deal with it in the present year.


I am very glad indeed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the first time, so far as I know, takes a sympathetic view as regards a matter of this kind, but I quite agree with him that this matter would go very far. I think it is a grievance, but the Chancellor will have to consider other wasting assets. Take the case of the professional man, who has nothing but his health. [Laughter.] It may sound funny, but if a man devotes his time day and night to making an income, all of which he has to earn, he is just as much a wasting asset as anything else, and if you admit the principle that you ought not to take anything of a permanent character this claim I hope is just as good as the claim of any other. I am glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer is sympathetic in the matter, and I hope next year we may get relief.


I am glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer is sympathetic, but it would have been better if he had been a little more than sympathetic and had removed this grievance, because I thought now was the time, when he was in office, for the adjustment of all grievances, and that he came down to show the financiers of this country how its finances should be conducted. This is a question which has occupied a good amount of attention in the City, and it is undoubtedly a case of very serious hardship to people whose money is invested in mines, nitrate securities and a variety of securities of that kind. They can tell that their interest is only going to last 20 years and they have to put by in that period a sum which will replace their capital at the end of it. I am very glad to see people who are wise and prudent enough to put by a sum which is sufficient to replace their capital at a time when it ceases to exist, and I think this matter should be dealt with. I sincerely trust my hon. Friend will divide the Committee upon it.


I only want to make one reference to that, and that is to call the Chancellor's attention to the fact that under the old law collieries and properties of a similar nature had the option of assessing their property at three or five years, in consequence of their not having an opportunity of ascertaining their wasting assets at more frequent intervals. Under Section 133 of the Income Tax Act that preference to collieries was taken away last year, and I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he would, now that it is taken away, see that an allowance is made in the case of wasting securities. Now that the power is taken away I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to consider my suggestion in a favourable spirit that some allowance should be given in place of it.

Mr. G. D. FABER (York)

There is a clause on the Paper in reference to the payment of Licence Duty by instalments in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswinford. The new scale of Licence

Question put, "That the Clause be read a second time."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 36; Noes, 143.

Division No. 756.] AYES. [4.40 p.m.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Fletcher, J. S. M'Arthur, Charles
Ashley, W. W. Gardner, Ernest Morrison-Bell, Captain
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Goulding, Edward Alfred Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edm'ds) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Carlile, E. Hildred Hamilton, Marquess of Renwick, George
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Harris, Frederick Leverton Salter, Arthur Clavell
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hills, J. W. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hunt, Rowland Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dalrymple, Viscount Kimber, Sir Henry Younger, George
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)
Faber, George Denison (York) Lonsdale, John Brownlee TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Remnant and Mr. Harmood-Banner.
Fell, Arthur Lowe, Sir Francis William
Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.) Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Ainsworth, John Stirling Higham, John Sharp Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Alden, Percy Hobart, Sir Robert Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Hodge, John Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Horniman, Emslie John Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Barnes, G. N. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Reddy, M.
Beale, W. P. Illingworth, Percy H. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Jackson, R. S. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Bowerman, C. W. Jardine, Sir J. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Jones, Leif (Appleby) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Byles, William Pollard Keating, Matthew Rogers, F. E. Newman
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Kekewich, Sir George Rose, Sir Charles Day
Clancy, John Joseph Laidlaw, Robert Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Clough, William Lamont, Norman Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Cooper, G. J. Lewis, John Herbert Seaverns, J. H.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Seddon, J.
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lundon, T. Seely, Colonel
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Lupton, Arnold Shackleton, David James
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Lynch, H. B. Sherwell, Arthur James
Dillon, John Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Snowden, P.
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall) Macpherson, J. T. Stanger, H. Y.
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Steadman, W. C.
Elibank, Master of M'Micking, Major G. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Essex, R. W. Maddison, Frederick Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Esslemont, George Birnie Mallet, Charles E. Thorne, William (West Ham)
Everett, R. Lacey Markham, Arthur Basil Toulmin, George
Ferens, T. R. Marnham, F. J. Verney, F. W.
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Massie, J. Vivian, Henry
Gibb, James (Harrow) Mond, A. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Montagu, Hon. E. S. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
Glendinning, R. G. Morse, L. L. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Murray, Captain Hon. A. C. (Kincard.) Waterlow, D. S.
Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Myer, Horatio Watt, Henry A.
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Weir, James Galloway
Gulland, John W. Nuttall, Harry White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Hart-Davies, T. O'Grady, J. Whitehead, Rowland
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Williamson, Sir A.
Hazel, Dr. A. E. W. O'Malley, William Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Hazleton, Richard O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Healy, Timothy Michael Parker, James (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Fuller and Mr. Whitley.
Hedges, A. Paget Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Helme, Norval Watson Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)

Duties is so crushing on the trade that we ventured to ask the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Clause to enable Licence Duties to be paid by instalments. Under the Act of 1880 licensed premises with an annual value of £500 would pay a duty of £50. Under the scale in the Bill the amount of the duty will be £250. The Committee will see for themselves what an enormous difference this extra payment will make. When the Government were asked to allow the new Licence Duties to be paid by instalments they met us very sympathetically in the matter. The Solicitor-General said he thought it would be better to deal with the matter on the Schedule. However, it clearly was not a simple course to do this on the Schedule, and it was not a convenient course. Then it was suggested that it should be put down in the shape of a new Clause, and in pursuance of this my hon. Friend (Mr. Staveley-Hill) put down this Clause on the Paper. But since then it has been suggested by the Government that it would be better to defer the matter to the Report stage. The Government are sympathetic in the matter because the Solicitor-General said he did not see any objection to the suggestion so long as it did not mean any loss of revenue this year, and that the Government would give it their serious and sympathetic consideration provided that there was no sacrifice of revenue. I am given to understand that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster thinks it will be the most convenient course to further consider this matter on Report, and, that being so, and on that understanding, I have great pleasure in not proceeding further with the Clause.


May I ask on what ground my new Clause to exempt greenhouses for market gardens from Undeveloped Land Duty cannot be argued? I should be very glad to lay the point before the Chancellor of the Exchequer; it is one of great importance.


The ground is this: If everybody had the right to bring up a new Clause dealing with anything that ought to have been moved by way of Amendment to the Clauses of the Bill presented to the House, then we would have the Committee stage all over again.

Committee report Progress; to sit again on Monday.

Whereupon Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER, in pursuance of the Order of the House of 20th August, adjourned the House without Question put.

Adjourned at Six minutes before Five o'clock, till Monday next, 4th October.