§ 49. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view that ships have been and are being sold at many times their pre-war prices, why he has declined to tax these profits seeing that every necessity of life has risen owing to the present high freights; and whether he is aware that shipowners have in many cases escaped paying the Excess Profits Tax by selling their ships at these high prices?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. McKenna)
As my hon. Friend is aware, the business of selling ships falls within the scope of the Excess Profits Duty, and special provision was made in the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, to prevent loss of duty on increased shipping profits in cases in which a shipping company substitutes one ship for another. I may add that a wholly isolated transaction would not ordinarily constitute the carrying on of a trade or business.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Was not the provision in the Finance Act withdrawn owing to pressure put upon the Cabinet themselves by a ring of shipowners?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I can only suggest to my hon. Friend that he should wait until I make the Budget statement.