HC Deb 04 July 1923 vol 166 cc443-4
82. Mr. LAMB

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he can give any assurance that, when issuing revised regulations in connection with the payment of Entertainments Duty, the Commissioners of Customs and Excise will make it clear that duty will not be payable in the case of agricultural shows which include educational exhibits depicting the methods employed at farm institutes, etc., for the training of young agriculturists and for assisting farmers and smallholders and, similarly, that duty will not be payable in the case of agricultural shows which include riding and driving competitions?


Under the clause which was added to the Finance Bill on the 2nd July, exemption from Entertainments Duty may be granted in respect of agricultural shows which, inter alia, consist solely of an exhibition of the products of agriculture, or of materials, machinery, appliances or foodstuffs used in the production of those products, or displays of skill by agricultural workers in work pertaining to agriculture, together with a band. Where an agricultural show includes exhibits outside those mentioned, the question whether exemption from Entertainments Duty can be granted depends upon whether such exhibits, if forming a separate exhibition, could have been exempted under any other provision of the law. As regards riding and driving competitions, I cannot add anything to the statement which I made in the debate on the 2nd July.


Will exhibits from agricultural elementary schools be allowed in the case of work done by the children in elementary schools in agricultural areas?


In view of the large number of people who run these shows who do not read the newspapers, can the right hon. Gentleman send us some circular statement which we can send to these people so that they may know exactly how they stand.


The difficulty is to determine whether the exhibits are of an agricultural character. I can imagine certain elementary school exhibits which would not have anything to do with agriculture and which would not come within the Clause. My hon. Friend has anticipated something which I intended to say this afternoon, and I am considering whether it can be carried out.


Does the right hon. Gentleman use the phrase "exemption from the tax" as meaning that in each particular case application has to be made to the Excise authorities for exemption?


I really do not know, but I will find out, and let the hon. Member know.