§ (1) For the purpose of Sub-section (3) of Section seventeen of the Finance Act, 1907 (which makes provision with respect to the method of calculating proceeds of duties in the event of any alteration of the rate of duties), the proceeds of the duties on the licences for the sale of intoxicating liquor and on licences for motor cars imposed by this Act shall, so far as respects the sums to be paid into any local taxation account out of the Consolidated Fund in respect thereof, be deemed notwithstanding anything in that Sub-section to be the amount of the proceeds of the duties on those licences during the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and nine.
§ (2) Notwithstanding the proviso to Subsection (4) of Section six of the Finance Act, 1908, the duties on licences for motor cars in England and Wales shall continue to be duties to which that Section applies, but any sum by which the proceeds of those duties levied in any financial year by the council of any county or county borough exceed the amount of the proceeds of those duties certified by the Local Government Board to have been collected in that county or county borough during the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and nine, shall be paid into the Exchequer, and a council shall be entitled to be paid any sum by which the proceeds of those duties levied by them in any year are less than that amount, and the sums so to be paid shall be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof.
§ (3) Any reference in this Section to duties on licences for motor cars or to the proceeds of those duties shall be construed to-be a reference only to the duties on the licences which are affected by this Act.
§ Question proposed, "That this Clause-stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. HARMOOD-BANNER
You are taking away by this Clause from the municipalities a right which the Chancellor of the Exchequer in previous years has given 901 them. In 1907, when the present Prime Minister was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he inserted a Clause taking from the Exchequer any increase made in the licences, but he gave to the municipality or the local authority the sum which they got previously. It was pointed out that this deprived them of the natural growth of the number of Licences, and accordingly he accommodated the Act so that while he took in the increase in the licences, as, for instance, where a licence was raised from four guineas to six, he took the two guineas for the Exchequer. He so arranged that he did not deprive the local authority of the natural growth of licences. The Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1908 tried exactly the same system again of taking into his hands the natural growth as well as the increase. That was pointed out, and the natural growth was retained for the municipality. Now the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes and takes the natural growth again. He not only takes the difference between £4 4s. and £10 10s., but he also stereotypes the figure "as on the 31st March last," and he takes all the natural growth. If there were more licences, as was promised by the late Prime Minister, the increase should go into the fund which went to the local authority. I ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to do what the late Prime Minister promised, and so arrange this Clause that the natural growth in the number of licences shall go to the municipality. Why should you deprive them of this natural growth? The expenses of municipalities grow, and the licences should grow also. I cannot think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has inquired into what has been promised during the last two years.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The hon. Member assumes that we are proposing in this Bill to increase Motor Duties for Exchequer purposes. May I point out that not one penny of this money will be touched for Exchequer purposes. These taxes are being used for local purposes, and four-fifths of them will pass through the hands of the same municipality, and not one penny of the money will be spent for Imperial purposes. The money raised will all be spent upon the roads of the country. That is the reason why we thought it would be better that it should go to this fund. The hon. Member may criticise our method, but it has a local application, and it is not used for Imperial purposes. There- 902 fore we are not breaking any pledge on this subject.