§ 60. Mr. WHITE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will grant the return asked for by the Member for West Derbyshire [Members of Parliament (Salaries, etc.),—Return giving the names of all Members of Parliament holding any Government office in the financial year ending on the 31st day of March, 1920, the amount of any salary, fees, subsidies, grants, or expenses paid or allowed to each such Member during that period apart from any salary he may receive as Member of Parliament, together with the date of such appointment; the names of any Members of Parliament who have received briefs from the Treasury or any other Government Department during that period, together with the fees paid in respect of such briefs; and also any fees and expenses paid or allowed to any Member of Parliament not holding Government office in respect of any services rendered during that period.]
The preparation of such a Return as that asked for by my hon. Friend would involve a considerable amount of clerical labour and the value of the Return would be in no way commensurate with the work entailed. But if, however, the purposes for which the hon. Gentleman desires the information would be met by a Return on the lines of the somewhat similar Return prepared in 1918 on an Order of the House dated 21st February, 1918, I should be glad to issue the necessary directions.
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to look 222 into it to see whether it is worth having. I do not want to go to that length unless he thinks that it is worth having.
§ 69. Sir M. DOCKRELL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can arrange that orders for payment to Members of this House shall be either stamped or freed of stamp so that enfacement or endorsement of signature will be sufficient discharge for the amount involved?
The question whether it would be possible to arrange that orders for payment to Members of this House should bear an embossed stamp would be one for the consideration of the Clerk of the Fees whose duty it would be to ensure that the appropriate deduction on account of Stamp Duty should be made from the amount of salary paid to Members. The exemption of these orders from payment of Stamp Duty would require legislation and I see no reason why exceptionally favourable treatment should be accorded in this matter to Members while no such concession is made in the case of any other salaries paid by the Crown.
§ Sir M. DOCKRELL
Why, when an ordinary payment is made by cheque which bears an embossed stamp the signature of the payee is considered a sufficient discharge, should there be this pettifogging exception in the case of Members of Parliament?
I think that the hon. Member is mistaken if he supposes that the endorsement on a cheque is proof of payment. It may be prima facie evidence, but, speaking subject to correction, I do not think that it is proof.