HC Deb 02 July 1923 vol 166 cc133-9

(1) If an individual proves that he is a widower and that for the year of assessment a person, being a female relative of his or of his deceased wife, is resident with him in the capacity of housekeeper, he shall, subject as hereinafter provided, be entitled to a deduction of forty-five pounds in respect of that person.

Provided that—

  1. (a) No deduction shall be allowed under this Section unless the individual proves that no other individual is entitled to a deduction in respect of the same person under the provisions of Part II of the Finance Act, 1920, as amended by any subsequent enactment, or, if any other individual is so entitled, that the other individual has relinquished his claim thereto; and
  2. (b) No deduction shall be allowed under this Section where the person is a married woman living with her husband, and the husband has 134 claimed and been allowed a deduction of two hundred and twenty-five pounds under the provisions of Part II of the Finance Act, 1920, as amended by any subsequent enactment.

(2) This Section shall apply to an individual being a widow as it applies to an individual being a widower.—[Mr. Turner.]

Brought up, and read the First time.


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

I desire to make a special appeal to the Minister in charge of the Bill. Not many concessions have been made to what I may term the ordinary people of this Kingdom through the Finance Bill, and it seems to me that this is but a simple and humane proposal. I know that allowances are made to widowers who have children, but I think the allowance should be extended to widowers even without children. I know of many decent men who have lost their wives, and whose mothers have become their housekeepers, and it does seem to me that, when a man has lost his wife, and his mother, or sister or aunt, or other relative acts as his housekeeper, there ought to be no hesitation whatever in giving him the benefit of the exemption of £45 that the widower with children gets. When a man in that position requires a housekeeper, who is the best housekeeper for him under such conditions? It is certainly one of his own relatives. Many a man who has lost his wife does not want to get married again, because he has a great regard for the memory of the departed one. There are some who undertake a second venture but many a man who loses a good wife and has a dear memory for that good wife is not always anxious to get married again. It does seem to me that, if a mother or a sister or other relative is looking after the household of such a man, he ought to be entitled to the exemption that a widower with children now has. His trouble is enough in losing his wife, and it ought not to be made more by a charge when he has a relative as his housekeeper. When this proposal was discussed before, that an allowance should be given to a widower in respect of his housekeeper, it was said that the housekeeper might be another person than a relative, and that that might lead to morals being undermined. I am one of those old-fashioned folk who believe in the high morals of the home, and I would have no taxation that would interfere with those high morals, but in this case the Clause merely provides that the allowance shall be given in respect of a relative.


I beg to second the Motion.


This, I think, is an easier Clause to resist than some which have been brought forward. Under the present Income Tax law, when there are young children and a housekeeper is necessary, an allowance of £45 is given, but this Clause seeks to go further and give an allowance for a housekeeper where there are no young children. I know that the hon. Member who brings forward this proposal was not in the previous Parliament, but the proposal has been debated many times, and has been defeated by considerable majorities.


It is still right.


Of course, the hon. Member is quite entitled to take that view, and assume that the minority is very often more right than the majority I explained during the Committee stage that the whole of these Income Tax provisions emanated from the Royal Commission, on which there were three Members of the Labour party, namely, the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Deptford (Mr. Bowerman), and Mr. Brace, who is no longer a Member of the House. Nowhere, however, in the Report of the Royal Commission do I find any suggestion that there should be this exemption. Many other exemptions were included in the Report, and I think most of them have already been passed into law, but I although, as I have said, the Commission included three Members of the Labour party, they expressed no disapproval and made no separate Report on this question. In these circumstances, I must ask the House to abide by its previous decision, and not to accept this Clause.


Would not the right hon. Gentleman consider the case where there happen to be one or two sons, say between 16 and 18 years of age? Is it not fair to assume that domestic help is necessary in such a home, and would very often prevent the father from taking the wrong course, and help to guide the children along the path that they ought to travel? I think the right hon. Gentleman does not give to this proposal its full face value. Where the wife has gone, some domestic assistance becomes necessary, and in the case of a relative of the widower or of his deceased wife, if she is brought into the home as housekeeper, the cost to the widower is just the same as when his wife was alive. On the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman's refusal would imply that he desires to impose a penalty on the widower for having lost his wife. I hope he will give more consideration than he appears to have given to this case. If he will do so, I think he will feel bound to do more than he professes at the present moment.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House divided: Ayes, 146 Noes, 233.

Division No. 259.] AYES. [7.28 p.m.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hill, A. Riley, Ben
Attlee, C. R. Hillary, A. E. Ritson, J.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hinds, John Roberts, C. H. (Derby)
Batey, Joseph Hirst, G. H. Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)
Bennett, A. J. (Mansfield) Hodge, Rt. Hon. John Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Berkeley, Captain Reginald Irving, Dan Royce, William Stapleton
Bonwick, A. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Saklatvala, S.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. John, William (Rhondda, West) Salter, Dr. A.
Broad, F. A. Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Scrymgeour, E.
Brotherton, J. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Sexton, James
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Shakespeare, G. H.
Buxton, Charles (Accrington) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Jones, R. T. (Carnarvon) Shaw, Thomas (Preston)
Chapple, W. A. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Shinwell, Emanuel
Clarke, Sir E. C. Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Collins, Pat (Walsall) Kenyon, Barnet Sinclair, Sir A.
Darbishire, C. W. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Snell, Harry
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Lansbury, George Snowden, Philip
Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh) Lawson, John James Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Leach, W. Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Lee, F. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley) Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Duffy, T. Gavan Linfield, F. C. Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Dunnico, H. Lowth, T. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Ede, James Chuter Lunn, William Thornton, M.
Edmonds, G. MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon) Trevelyan, C. P.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) M'Entee, V. L. Turner, Ben
Entwistle, Major C. F. McLaren, Andrew Wallhead, Richard C.
Falconer, J. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)
Foot, Isaac March, S. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gilbert, James Daniel Marshall, Sir Arthur H. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gosling, Harry Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.) Webb, Sidney
Greenall, T. Middleton, G. Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz Weir, L. M.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Morel, E. D. White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Groves, T. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Whiteley, W.
Grundy, T. W. Mosley, Oswald Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Guest, Hon. C. H. (Bristol, N.) Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Murray, John (Leeds, West) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) O'Grady, Captain James Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hardie, George D. Oliver, George Harold Winfrey, Sir Richard
Harney, E. A. Paling, W. Wintringham, Margaret
Harris, Percy A. Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hastings, Patrick Pattinson, S. (Horncastle) Wright, W.
Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart) Phillipps, Vivian Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hayes, John Henry (Edge Hill) Ponsonby, Arthur
Hemmerde, E. G. Potts, John S. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.) Pringle, W. M. R. Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. Ammon.
Herriotts, J. Rees, Sir Beddoe
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Burn, Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East) Burney, Com. (Middx., Uxbridge) Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)
Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark) Butler, H. M. (Leeds, North) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Butt, Sir Alfred Dixon, C. H. (Rutland)
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin Cadogan, Major Edward Doyle, N. Grattan
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W. Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R. Du Pre, Colonel William Baring
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Edmondson, Major A. J.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Ednam, Viscount
Banks, Mitchell Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)
Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Ellis, R. G.
Barnett, Major Richard W. Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.) Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)
Barnston, Major Harry Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.
Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Churchman, Sir Arthur Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Clarry, Reginald George Falcon, Captain Michael
Berry, Sir George Clayton, G. C. Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray
Betterton, Henry B. Cobb, Sir Cyril Fawkes, Major F. H.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Flanagan, W. H.
Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester) Cohen, Major J. Brunel Ford, Patrick Johnston
Blades, Sir George Rowland Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Foreman, Sir Henry
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale Forestier-Walker, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Conway, Sir W. Martin Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot
Brass, Captain W. Cope, Major William Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South) Furness, G. J.
Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham) Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Galbraith, J. F. W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury) Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page Ganzoni, Sir John
Bruton, Sir James Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North) Gardiner, James
Buckingham, Sir H. Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Garland, C. S.
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A. Dalziel, Sir D (Lambeth, Brixton) Gates, Percy
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead) Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lorden, John William Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney
Goff, Sir R. Park Lorimer, H. D. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Gould, James C. Lort-Williams, J. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.) Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon) Sanderson, Sir Frank B.
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Lumley, L. R. Sandon, Lord
Gretton, Colonel John Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Gwynne, Rupert S. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Shepperson, E. W.
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Shipwright, Captain D.
Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l,W.D'by) Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.) Skelton, A. N.
Halstead, Major D. Margesson, H. D. R. Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)
Hamilton, Sir George C. (Altrincham) Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mercer, Colonel H. Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)
Harvey, Major S. E. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.
Hawke, John Anthony Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden) Stanley, Lord
Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Steel, Major S. Strang
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury) Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Murchison, C. K. Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Nesbitt, Robert C. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Hewett, Sir J. P. Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.
Hiley, Sir Ernest Newson, Sir Percy Wilson Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Nield, Sir Herbert Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Hood, Sir Joseph Paget, T. G. Thorpe, Captain John Henry
Hopkins, John W. W. Parker, Owen (Kettering) Titchfield, Marquess of
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Pease, William Edwin Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Tubbs, S. W.
Hudson, Capt. A. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Turton, Edmund Russborough
Hughes, Collingwood Perring, William George Wallace, Captain E.
Hume, G. H. Pilditch, Sir Philip Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)
Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B. Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton Wells, S. R.
Hutchison, G. A. C. (Midlothian, N.) Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G. Weston, Colonel John Wakefield
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Privett, F. J. White, Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Raine, W. Whitla, Sir William
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor) Remer, J. R. Winterton, Earl
Jephcott, A. R. Remnant, Sir James Wise, Frederick
Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul Rentoul, G. S. Wolmer, Viscount
Johnson, Sir L. (Walthamstow, E.) Rhodes, Lieut-Col. J. P. Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Joynson-Hicks, Sir William Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
King Captain Henry Douglas Robertson-Despencer, Major (Islgtn, W.) Yerburgh, R. D. T.
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Rothschild, Lionel de
Lamb, J. Q. Roundell, Colonel R. F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R. Ruggles-Brise, Major E. Colonel Leslie Wilson and Colonel
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Russell, William (Bolton) Gibbs.