HC Deb 04 December 1916 vol 88 cc649-50

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that, by the Stamp Act of 1870, as modified by the Finance Act, 1899, bills of exchange for over £100 drawn or expressed to be payable or actually paid or endorsed or in any manner negotiated in the United Kingdom exceeding £100 must be stamped at the rate of 1s. per £100, whereas in the case of bills of exchange for over £100 drawn and expressed to be payable out of the United Kingdom, where actually paid or endorsed or negotiated in the United Kingdom, the Stamp Duty payable is only 6d. per £100; whether he will state what reason, if any, exists for maintaining this preferential treatment for foreign bills: and whether he will, in the next Finance Bill, impose stamp duties on foreign hills of the kind indicated above equal to or exceeding the duties on British bills?


The differentiation in the rate of duty between the two classes of bills specified was introduced in 1899, in consequence of representations that the higher rate of duty had the effect of restricting dealings in the United Kingdom in bills drawn and expressed to be payable abroad. In view, however, of the change of conditions which has taken place since the differentiation was introduced, I will give careful consideration to the suggestion made in the latter part of the question.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give consideration to the point that we are not so desirous now as we were some years ago to forward German interests by discounting German bills?


Yes, certainly.