§ 63. Sir JOHN BARRAN
asked the right hon. Gentleman what are the figures on which he bases his statement that the Legacy Duty paid on gifts to voluntary hospitals has averaged, approximately, £100,600 during the years 1907 to 1910; on what grounds he defends the admitted differentiation in favour of Irish hospitals; and whether he has made any calculation of the extra financial burdens already falling, or likely to fall, on the voluntary hospitals of Great Britain through the National Insurance Act?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The approximate estimate of £100,000 for Legacy Duty paid on gifts to hospitals and kindred institutions is based upon the opinion of my right hon. Friend's expert advisers, and is supported by the statistics of legacies published annually in "Burdett's Hospitals and Charities." The exemption of Irish hospitals dates from 1807 when Parliament in the Irish Stamp Act of that year conferred an exemption from Legacy Duty upon legacies by the wills of Irish testators in favour of Irish charities. The exemption has been confirmed by Parliament on several occasions since although it may be that if the matter were now being considered for the first time the exemption would not be granted. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.