Paragraph (a) of Sub-section (3) of Section one hundred and thirty-seven of the Income Tax Act, 1918, shall be read and construed as if for the word "may," wherever the same occurs therein were substituted the word "shall."—[Mr. Gould.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. GOULD
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
This is a very small concession which I hope the Financial Secretary will be able to make. First of all there is no legal right, under the Bill as it stands at present, for an appellant, when appealing before the General Commissioners to be represented by a solicitor or barrister. The Financial Secretary has given us a concession that, in appeals under Schedule A, he may be represented by any person, and that person is defined as an accountant or any other authority. When taking the appeal before the General Commissioners, however, there is no right to be represented by a legal gentleman. It is quite true that in many cases objection is not made to such representation, but our complaint is that there is a right on the part of the revenue authorities to refuse to allow 270 the representative of the appellant before the General Commissioners to be a barrister. I do not propose to take up the time of the House in discussing this, and, inasmuch as a concession has been made by the Financial Secretary in regard to Schedule A, I ask that it shall be extended to all appeals before the General Commissioners. I think, in granting that, the right hon. Gentleman will be meeting the wishes of all sections of the House and of private individuals as well. It will involve no burden on the Exchequer, as the expense will be thrown on the individual appealing, and I hope that, under the circumstances, the Amendment will be accepted.
§ Mr. HANNON
I beg to second the Motion.
It is a very small concession for which we are asking. The matter has been thoroughly discussed already. All we are asking is that the appellant shall be allowed to be represented by a properly qualified person.
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)
My hon. Friend was good enough to see me on this and one or two other matters connected with the Bill, and, in view of the position in regard to Schedule A, I think it only right to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend, but it will require a slight verbal alteration at the end.
§ Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time.
Amendment made: At the end of the Clause, insert the words
and for the words 'or may' the words 'and shall'. shall be substituted."—[Sir W. Joynson-Hicks.]
§ Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The first Amendment I propose to call is that standing in the name of the hon. Member for North Camberwell (Mr. Ammon), dealing with the question of mineral waters.