HC Deb 11 December 1919 vol 122 c1620
63. Captain W. BENN

asked the Prime Minister whether he is willing to grant an official inquiry into the practicability of a captal levy?


The views of the Government on this subject have already been stated. We are anxious to secure at the earliest possible moment a decision upon the scope and practicability of a tax on war-time increases of wealth. But for reasons which were fully explained in the finance Debate the Government do not propose to enlarge the scope of reference to the proposed Committee.

Captain BENN

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Prime Minister in a speech at Manchester pledged himself in favour of such an inquiry—that he was in favour of resolutions passed at a certain meeting, one of which was the inquiry into the capital levy?


I have heard a great deal of talk about that. [HON. MEMBERS "Read the speech!"]. I think my right hon. Friend said "to the best of his recollection." As a matter of fact, the error arose from this fact: that the Prime Minister had read an account of the first day's proceedings of the Conference, and did not remember that this body was not likely to be satisfied with one day's decision.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the views of the Government in this matter have been formed as a result of any inquiry?


The whole subject was dealt with very exhaustively by members of the Government in Debate, and I cannot add anything to what was said then.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that the Prime Minister is a half-timer?