HC Deb 17 March 1926 vol 193 cc424-5
55. Colonel DAY

asked the Attorney-General if his attention has been drawn to the delay in the matter of appeals to the King's Bench Division in respect of Income Tax; and will he consider the advisability of a time limit being made in this regard?

The ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir Douglas Hogg)

Under the existing law dissatisfaction has to be expressed immediately on the giving of a decision by the Commissioners if the unsuccessful party desires to have a case stated. The cases have to be stated by the Commissioners; but as a matter of convenience they are usually submitted by the Commissioners in draft to both parties before being finally settled. The cases to be stated vary so much in importance and complexity that I am satisfied a time limit for their signature by the Commissioners would not be practicable or in the interests either of the taxpayer or the Crown.

Colonel DAY

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the learned Judge of the High Court stated that it was a scandal and perfectly shocking that a man should have to wait five years before these appeals were brought before the Court, and will he consider some method of hurrying them up?


If the hon. Member had followed the observations of the learned Judge a little more closely he would have seen that on a subsequent day he stated that he had been misreported.


Does the Attorney-General really think the Judge had been misreported?


I know he had. It is perfectly true that the learned Judge commented on the long time that had elapsed between the appeal being started and heard by him, but he was misreported in saying that the Revenue authorities were in any way to blame.


Whether the learned Judge was misreported or not does not the Attorney-General agree that it is scandalous that a parry should be kept for four years on tenterhooks without knowing whether there is to be an appeal or not?


It would be quite impossible to keep a man on tenterhooks for 24 hours. How long it takes after the commencement of an appeal and the time it is heard depends very largely on the time taken by the parties themselves.