§ Mr. HINDLE
asked whether it is proposed that the Commissioners who, under Section 46 of the Finance Act, 1910, have in default of agreement to apportion as between the owners and the tenants of tied public - houses the amount of the increased Licence Duties, should make regulations as to the procedure before them and as to the evidence and the principles upon which those apportionments will be made; and whether, in view of the fact that a contention has already been raised that the entire burden of the duties should rest upon the tied tenant where neither his rent nor the price of his liquor has been raised, the Commissioners will give an early ruling on the point?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The responsibility of determining the apportionment of the increased duty in the case of tied houses under Section 46 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, is only imposed upon the Commissioners of Customs and Excise in default of agreement between the parties interested in the business carried on. It is not considered necessary or advisable at present to make any formal regulations as to the procedure to be followed where cases are refererd to the Commissioners, and it is impossible for them to give a ruling upon any matter affecting an apportionment until a specific case is brought before them for their determination. Having regard to the variety of ties and the great divergence of practice connected with them, it is probable that any ruling upon a particular case could only be regarded as applicable to other cases where the tie and circumstances are of a precisely similar character. There have been informal communications between the members of the different sections of the trade and the Commissioners, and it is at present anticipated that, speaking generally, the apportionment of the increased duties under the Section will be a matter of arrangement between the parties interested and that the services of the Commissioners will not often be required.
§ Mr. GEORGE YOUNGER
Is this not a matter in which each case will have to be adjudicated upon, and to which it is impossible to lay down a general rule?