HC Deb 21 June 1921 vol 143 cc1291-2

(1) The proviso to Section thirteen of the Finance Act, 1920 (which provides for quarterly licences in respect of any vehicles which are chargeable with duty as mechanically-propelled vehicles), shall have effect as if for the words "other than a cycle or a tram-car or a vehicle on which a duty of five shillings is chargeable under this Section for one quarter of the year only beginning on the first day of January, the twenty-fifth day of March, the first day of July, or the first day of October, and in the case of any licence so taken out the duty shall be thirty per cent, of the full annual duty" there were substituted the words "for such periods of the year as the Minister of Transport may by regulations prescribe, and in the case of any licence so taken out the duty shall be such amount as shall be proportionate to the full annual duty having regard to the period for which the licence is taken out."

(2) The Minister of Transport may make regulations generally for the purpose of carrying this Section into effect, and such regulations may prescribe the fee, if any, or fees to be paid in respect of any such licences, and may specify the class of vehicles to which such licences apply.—[Sir W. Joynson-Hicks.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


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

This Clause also, I hope, will receive the favourable assent of the Ministry of Transport who, I think, is in charge of the matter. Under the present taxation of motor cars there is a provision that licences may be granted quarterly. A curious effect of this has been that the trade of selling motor cars has developed into a quarterly trade. Men who are about to buy a motor car, say, in the month of February or the beginning of March, will not buy it until the turn of the quarter, the 1st April. The same thing happens at the end of the year. This is detrimental both to the trade and the Treasury. The Treasury is kept out of a certain amount of duty and the traders are kept with a large amount of stock on their premises which they are unable to sell. The proposal I make to the Committee is that this should be reconsidered and that the Ministry of Transport should make Regulations enabling licences to be granted, not merely quarterly but monthly, or for shorter periods. The question of the period I leave to the Government; but I would like the assurance that the spirit of this Clause also is accepted by the Government and that the hon. Gentleman will on the Report stage, if he cannot accept the exact words of my Clause, bring up a Clause which will carry out the objects I have in view.


I think I can meet the hon. Baronet sufficiently to enable him to withdraw his Clause. The Clause which he has moved is not one which the Minister could accept. There are certain conditions which I desire to make clear. The first is that I think that any licence which might be granted should not under any circumstances overlap the calendar year. There are reasons why no licence should be in existence beyond the 31st of December. The next question raised in the form of the Clause is that the licence fox a proportion of the year is said to be only a proportion of the annual sum. A quarterly licence at present is charged at a somewhat higher rate, 30 per cent. for the quarter instead of 25 per cent. Then there are one or two other matters about which, perhaps, I need not elaborate at this time, but I will endeavour between now and the Report stage to put some Clause down which I think will meet the hon. Baronet.


I am much obliged to my hon. Friend. I hope he will get as near as possible to the proportionate amount of the duty. But I must not look a gift horse in the mouth and perhaps he will let me see the Clause as soon as he has drafted it. In these circumstances I ask leave to withdraw.

Motion and the Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


I do not wish now to move my new Clause for the proposed Amendment of 10 & 11 Geo. V., c. 72, s. 9, but I reserve the right to put it down on the Report stage.