HC Deb 21 June 1921 vol 143 cc1261-2

"The term 'male servant' as used in the Act, 32 and 33 Victoria, chapter 14, shall not include a 'servant' who is bonâ fide employed by any county council, town council, or other authority having power directly or by means of precept, certificate, or other document requiring payment from another authority, to levy a rate in terms of Act of Parliament, or by a body undertaking the administration of education in Great Britain, notwithstanding that the duties of such servant may involve all or any of the duties of any of the servants described as 'male servants' within the meaning of section nineteen, sub-section (3), of the said Act."—[Mr. Ford.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


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

I understand the Chancellor of the Exchequer practically agrees to this, though objecting to certain of the phraseology in it. I will not go into the merits of this Clause, but merely mention that the desire of those who put down this proposed Clause is twofold. We wish to avoid unnecessary litigation in connection with the subject matter of the Clause. We also want to carry out what was obviously the intention of Parliament, although it has been otherwise determined, and that is to exempt from taxation the servants of public bodies, as they cannot be considered luxuries. Male servants are taxed as luxuries, but with public bodies they are used for the proper, decent, and, in fact, efficient carrying out of their public duties. I have also the greatest sympathy with this clause because it removes one more obstacle from the employment of ex-Service men.


I hope my hon. Friend will withdraw the Clause in view of the fact that I am perfectly willing to draft a Clause which will meet the object he has in view. The phraseology he has adopted is not entirely suited to the case.

Captain W. BENN

As I have my name to a similar Clause I should like to thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what he has said. He is aware that the position in Scotland differs from the position in England in that in Scotland judgments have been given on this matter but none have been given in England. I presume the Clause will be put down before the Report stage is reached.


On those conditions, I shall be very happy to withdraw the Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.