§ Lord BALCARRES (for Earl Winterton)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he is aware of the fact that licensees of public-houses are, in many cases and for a variety of reasons peculiar to the trade, quite unable to give a full and accurate return of the sales of bottled beer for each year over the period of the last three years which is demanded on Government Form LL, under Section 44 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise; 947 and, if so, how does he propose to meet these cases; (2) whether he is aware of the fact that licensees of public-houses are in many cases and for a variety of causes, some of them technical, quite unable to state accurately the number of barrels of beer of different classes sold each year for the last three years, which is demanded on Government Form LL, under Section 44 of the Finance (1909–10) Act, 1910, by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise; and, if so, how does he propose to meet these cases?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The particulars referred to by the Noble Lord have been asked for, and in most cases furnished without difficulty by licensees, in cases which have been referred to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue under Section 2 (2) of the Licensing Act, 1904, for the determination of the amount of compensation payable on the non-renewal of a licence. The Commissioners have made considerable concessions in regard to the furnishing of the information necessary to enable them to determine "annual licence value" and they will not insist on information being given which, owing to exceptional circumstances, it is not in the power of the licensee to furnish.
§ Mr. MOONEY
Are we to understand from the answer that the exemption granted in the Secretary to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue's letter of 21st June to hotel proprietors and restaurant keepers, stating that pages 2, 3, 4 of Form L.L. need not be filled in by them, will be extended to licensees of free premises, as they ask for a mass of technical detail, which, while they might be available in the case of a tied house, is not known to the licensee of a free house, and could only be obtained at great loss of time, if at all?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
I think that is so. I would prefer that the hon. Member would put down a question on the Paper.