HC Deb 13 July 1916 vol 84 cc630-2

(1) Where in calculating for the purposes of Part II. of the Munitions of War Act, 1915, the profits of a controlled establishment a deduction has been allowed under that Part of that Act or rules made there under in respect of exceptional depreciation or obsolescence of buildings, plant, or machinery, and the sums so deducted have not been deducted or allowed in computing the amount upon which Income Tax has been paid in respect of those profits, there shall be allowed a re-payment of Income Tax equal to the amount of the Income Tax at the rate at which that tax has been paid on the amount of the sums so deducted.

Provided that the repayment of Income Tax under this Section—

  1. (a) shall be made in respect of the In-come Tax year which includes the end of the period of assessment in respect of which the said deductions have been allowed under the Munitions of War Act, 1915; and
  2. (b) shall be deemed to have effected a reduction of the Income Tax assessment by the amount upon which Income Tax has been so repaid.

(2)Any application for relief under this Section shall be made to the Commissioners by whom the Income Tax assessment has been made, and those Commissioners upon proof of the facts to their satisfaction shall certify to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue the sum repay-able, and the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall cause repayment to be made accordingly.—[Mr. McKenna.]

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

I move this in response to an appeal made to me yesterday by the hon. Member (Mr. James Mason). I think it carries out his object entirely.


In looking at the Clause I think it meets what was asked for yesterday, but it only deals with Income Tax, and I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he deals with the other references to depreciation which he has promised previously. I do not mean as regards Income Tax, but as regards the calculation of excess pro-fits. There is no Amendment brought in as regards that. I know Clause 50 gives a reference to the Minister of Munitions. I do not know whether that is the response to the application which we made on this side in reference to depreciation for the purpose of the Excess Profits Duty. I should like to have a word or two as to how it is to be carried out, because apparently it is not in this Clause, and whether it is to be done by regulation if it is omitted from the Clause? From first to last the right hon. Gentleman has told us he is going to give us this depreciation on the basis of the Munitions Act, 1915, and to that deputation which saw him the other day consisting of Messrs. Vickers, Maxim, and Cammell Laird, he also stated that the items A, B, C, and D in that Act would be dealt with as a matter of calculation in assessing the excess profits. I do not see it in the Bill. It is perhaps my stupidity in not understanding it, but I should like an explanation so that one can go away perfectly satisfied that the matter is fully dealt with.


The power to deal with the controlled firms in the way in which we have promised to deal with them is contained in Section 40, Sub-section (3), of the original Act, under which we can make Regulations. The only power which we have not got was to transfer the jurisdiction of the Referee under the Excess Profits Duty to the Referee under the Munitions Act, and that we accomplish by Clause 50. We have, therefore, power under the two Acts combined not only to adopt the Munition Rules, but to make the decision of the Munition Rules depend upon the decision of the Munition Referees and not the Referees under the Excess Profits Duty. Otherwise there is no further enactment necessary. The pledges which I have given, of course, stand upon record. They will be carried out by the two Departments, and my hon. Friend may rest assured that everything we have said will be executed to the full.


An Act of Parliament supersedes all pledges.


I desire to thank the right hon. Gentleman for the Clause, which, as far as I can see, fairly carries out my object.

Clause added to the Bill.

Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended on re-committal, to be considered upon Monday next.

The remaining Orders were read, and and postponed.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 22nd February, proposed the Question, "That this House do now Adjourn."